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Tango Songs for Beginners

A Compilation of Classic Tango Songs

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Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Tango in Buenos Aires

Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images

If you are just getting into Tango, this list will help you to get familiar with some of the most famous Tango songs in history. From "El Dia Que Me Quieras" and "El Choclo" to "Caminito" and "La Cumparsita," the following is an essential selection of classic Tango songs.

10. C. Gardel, A. Le Pera - "El Dia Que Me Quieras"
One of the most recorded Tango songs in history, "El Dia Que Me Quieras" is also one of the most romantic singles in the genre. "El Dia Que Me Quieras" was written by Carlos Gardel in 1935 and it has been recorded by all kinds of artists throughout the years.

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9. M. Mores, E. Santos - "Uno"
A very intense tango, "Uno" combines moving lyrics with a precise melody that reinforces the drama within the song. "Uno" is considered one of the best songs written by Mariano Mores during his long time collaboration with Enrique Santos Discepolo, the artist behind the lyrics of this marvelous piece.

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8. J. Sanders, C. Vedani - "Adios Muchachos"
"Adios Muchachos" is commonly seen as one of the Tango songs that opened the doors of the world to this musical genre. The music was written in 1925 by Julio Cesar Sanders and the lyrics were provided by his friend Cesar Vedani.

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7. Enrique Santos - "Cambalache"
Enrique Santos Discepolo wrote this song in 1934 for the movie The Soul of the Accordion. At first, the track's lyrics, which depict a cruel world, give the listener a depressing point of view about life. However, the more you listen to this song, the more you understand the relief that this tango encompasses. "Cambalache" is one of the most meaningful Tango songs ever written.

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6. E. Donato, C. Lenzi - "A Media Luz"
"A Media Luz" is one of the most romantic and popular Tango songs ever produced. Along with "El Choclo" and "la Cumparsita," "A Media Luz" is considered to be an essential ingredient of Tango's most famous trilogy. Donato composed this piece in 1925.

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5. Angel Villoldo - "El Choclo"
The origins of this tango are unclear. For some, "El Choclo" refers to corn, Villoldo's favourite ingredient of Puchero, a traditional Argentinian dish. For others, the title of this song is related to the nickname of a Buenos Aires pimp who was known as "El Choclo." Regardless of its origin, "El Choclo" is considereded by many as the most famous Tango song after "La Cumparsita."

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4. A. Scarpino, J. Caldarella, J. Scarpino - "Canaro en Paris"
This lively tango is one of the most famous creations of the Scarpino brothers. "Canaro in Paris" was written in 1925 by Alejandro Scarpino in a small cafe located in La Boca, the popular neighborhood of Buenos Aires where Tango has experienced a never ending evolution since the beginning of the 20th century.

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3. J. Filiberto, G. Peñaloza - "Caminito"
In 1926, and from the very heart of La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Juan de Dios Filiberto and Gabino Coria Peñaloza wrote "Caminito," one of the most famous Tango songs in history. Throughout the years, this single, which offers a simple yet powerful melody, has captured generations of Tango aficionados around the world.

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2. C. Gardel, A. Le Pera - "Por Una Cabeza"
If you saw the movie Scent of A Woman with Al Pacino, this is the melody that you listened to during famous scene where Al Pacino danced Tango with Gabrielle Anwar. "Por Una Cabeza" was written in 1935 by Carlos Gardel, who provided the music, and Alfredo Le Pera, who added the lyrics.

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1. Gerardo Matos Rodriguez - "La Cumparsita"
"La Cumparsita" is often considered the most famous Tango song ever recorded. Ironically, it was not born in the streets of Buenos Aires but in those of Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1917, Gerardo Matos Rodriguez wrote "La Cumparsita" with the musical flavor of a little march that has given to this song its unique flavor.

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