Translation: La Bien Pagá

I know that there are all kinds of people out there, translating tango lyrics for one reason or another. I have two reasons: to make sure that I really understand the song and to practice translating. I was inspired to do it by a friend who has been working on some translations of her own (and by the fact that I will take any reason to practice translating). I started with La Bien Pagá:

The Well Paid Woman

I don’t owe you anything
Don’t ask me for anything
I am leaving your side, forget me at once
I have paid with gold for your dark flesh
Don’t curse, blondie, let’s be at peace

I don’t love you
You don’t love me
If you gave it to me, I didn’t ask for it
Don’t throw in my face that you lost everything
At your side, I lost everything, too

Well paid
Yes, you are the well paid woman
Because I bought your kisses
And you knew to give them to me
For a handful of cash
Well paid, well paid

You were well paid, woman

I am not cheating on you
I love another
Don’t believe that because of this I betrayed you
She did not fall into my arms
She just gave me a kiss
The only kiss I didn’t pay for

I’m not asking you for anything
I’m not taking anything
Between those walls I am leaving buried
Pain and joy, that I give you and you gave me
And those jewels that you will now show off to another

Like any translation, I am probably never going to be satisfied with it—even less so because it is a translation of song lyrics. There are so many variables, and in this case I didn’t listen to the music to even hear how my translation would work if sung. This one is more just for the meaning of the lyrics themselves, not to be taken as standalone poetry or song lyrics. But watch out for more in the future, because goodness knows I have translation on the brain. It helps me not obsess about shoes! 😉


3 thoughts on “Translation: La Bien Pagá

  1. I plan on it, Jan!

    Mari, the most challenging part for me is taking a Spanish word that has many meanings (where the double meanings really add to the poetry of the lyrics) and finding a good way to translate them. I’m confident in my Spanish; it’s my translation skills that need work! 😉

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