1907, November 1 – BIRTH OF HOMERO MANZI

He stared at the emaciated, pale, figure in the mirror…he touched his face, chuckled and said, “and to think Barbeta, that you will soon die”…like Alice in Wonderland, Homero Manzi thought “stepping through the mirror to another world”…later battling the advanced stages of cancer, his blood curdling, harrowing scream of pain would be abated by yet another injection of morphine often administered by his son Acho and he would continue writing…it was in this state that he wrote his beloved “Discepolin” for his dear friend Enrique Santos Discepolo who himself lay dieing…both men would die within months of each other; Manzi 44, Discepolo 50…oddly “Discepolin” is a poem about a man about to die, by a man about to die…on his hospital bed he would received calls from friends requesting a quick poem or a lyric and he would reach for his pen and pad and begin writing…it was thus that he wrote “Canto de Un Payador por Eva Peron”…Eva Peron was a woman he greatly admired and who herself would also lose  a battle with cancer within months of Manzi (Scorpio)…Homero Manzi’s writing were true literature whose magic lay not only in the substance but in the style as well…arqueably he was the only tango lyricist who had this quality…this would be displayed time and again in his work (over 70 tangos) most notably in his immortal “Malena”…his “Fuimos”…his “Sur”…his waltz “Paisaje” to name just a few….

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Collaborating with Sabastian Piana he revived the milonga in 14 compositions in this genre starting with “Milonga Sentimental” which they wrote for Rosita Quiroga…already as a child he demonstrated a love of writing…at age 14 he wrote his first tango to be recorded “Porque No Me Besas”…early on he also demonstrated a deep social conscious and a desire for social justice…he joined the Union Civica Radical which had been founded by the charismatic Ipolito Yrigoyen who became his mentor and almost like a father figure to him…Manzi would pay dearly for this starting with beatings from opposition thugs and later imprisonment and the losing of his teaching post at the University…he wrote the screenplays for over 20 films; the first film which he both wrote and directed was “Pobre Mi Madre Querida” which premiered in 1948…another one, ”El Ultimo Payador” was about a singer who is dieing written months before he succumbed…he once said, “I write only about the things I have lived”…above all he was an ardent nationalist and loved his people; he once criticized Carlos Gardel for allowing the Americans to produce his films…he was also a lover of women, the nights, and horse racing to which he squandered much money…he apparently had an affair with the legendary Nelly Omar…in his “El Ultima Organito” (the funeral cart) he says, “fair maidens will open their shutters at the passing of his cart and it will eventually disappear into the distance and the people will be without a voice”

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