November 2014 - Carablanca, London. Half way through my DJ set. I am about to play a tanda of valses, Canaro. I have been building up a mellow atmosphere, this tanda is going to be the apex of it, before a more rhythmic selection starts.
The last vals in this tanda is a little gem. It is called "Sueño de muñeca", Canaro with Maida.
The first vals starts. A gentleman sitting on the other side of the room walks over to the DJ box. He is not a dancer, as it was explained to me earlier by the organiser. He is from Buenos Aires but living in London. He is here to reconnect with his homeland through the music.
He approaches me and politely asks if he can make a request. "It depends on the request", I reply with a smile. He seems hesitant for a second, then continues:"It's a track called Sueño de muñeca, from the Canaro orchestra. It's not very common to hear it in milongas, but I would really like to listen to it." The look of surprise on my face takes him aback a little."If you cannot play it that's OK, I just thought I'd ask". I point at the screen on my laptop "Oh, but I am going to play it" I explain,"it's the track I am planning to play next. I had already made that vals part of my selection". He looks at the screen in disbelief. He reads the information of the track queued up to play next and looks at me with a smile. "Thank you" he says, and walks back to his seat.
"Sueño de muñeca" starts playing.
I can see the man across the crowded dance floor. He is sitting on the edge of the ronda, listening with his eyes closed, slowly rocking his head and shoulders to the music.
Moments like this one are the reason why I DJ, my friends.
Sueño de muñeca.
This vals has a very long intro - about 30 seconds long. When I play it I edit the intro out to ensure the track is danceable.
Translations are my own.
En el jardín de la ilusión
dormida vi bajo el rosal
a la mujer de tentación
que presintió mi madrigal.
Tenía los cabellos de oro y sol
un cuerpo de muñeca escultural
mejillas con colores de arrebol
diosa y flor virginal.
Por verla y admirarla me acerqué
y el hombre más dichoso me sentí
pues viendo que soñaba la escuché;
y al soñar
In the garden of illusion
asleep under the rose bushes,
I saw the woman of temptation,
who foresaw my madrigal.
She had long hair, made of gold and sun,
the body of a statuesque doll,
red glow on her cheeks,
goddess and virgin flower.
I went closer to see her and admire her
and I felt the happiest of men.
Upon seeing that she was dreaming, I listened to her;
as she dreamt
she was saying...
To find out what the lady said (a.k.a. full lyrics) please see: