Tango

It was “Le Temps du tango” sang Léo Ferré in a sublime song (see below) published in 1958 by Odéon which is a nostalgic ode to this pre-war Paris so well immortalized by Brassaï's nocturnal photos. It was the time when the “apaches” (Parisian thugs) frequented the musette balls and dance halls to dance to the sound of a truly “bath” (too good) instrument: the accordion. One of these entertainment venues is located in the Marais and was threatened with disappearance.

It is therefore an entire part of the history of the capital which has just been saved by the City of Paris in an alley where we have little difficulty in mentally visualizing the popular fauna which was found there in the time of Marcel Carné's films: the inhabitants of the neighborhood and the forts of Les Halles, mixed with the pimps and the demi-mondaines holding the streets.

After years of discussions and uncertainties, the municipality has just confirmed the purchase, for 6,7 million, of the building on rue au Maire (3rd) which houses Tango, which became a gay nightclub in 1997. Like La Java, rue du faubourg du Temple (10th) or Balajo, rue de Lappe (11th), the establishment is considered a quasi-historical monument by lovers of ancient Paris.

The eight apartments above will be converted into social housing. The 4-storey building – 343 m2 of living space – will be rented by the City to Elogie-Siemp, one of its social landlords, for 65 years and a capitalized rent of 3,1 million euros. But the objective was first to save, in the 200 m2 commercial premises located on the ground floor, one of the “ oldest dance halls in Paris ", Tango, " who made LGBTQI communities dance every weekend+ » since 1997, explained the mayor of Paris Center, Ariel Weil.

An article in Le Figaro specifies: “The work to bring the building up to standard – joinery, facade and roofing – will give the town hall a few months to “ review the project », indicated Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, human rights assistant also involved in the project. “ The idea is to keep an LGBT festive place » which will benefit from a “ moderate rent price ", he added. “Like Léo Ferré, he also probably finds that “Tango is bad”.

Tango (The Thrill Box)
11 – 13 Rue au Maire, 75003 Paris
Tel: +01 42 72 17 78

Tango Time (1958)

(Music: Léo Ferré; words: Jean-Roger Caussimon)

I am from the time of tango
Where even the tough guys were crazy
Of this exotic guinch flower
They lost their energy there
Because abusing nostalgia
It's like opium... it's intoxicating.
Light suit and white shirt
In the basement of the “Mikado” 
I had some lovely Sundays
Bells came in avalanche
And offered you like a gift
Roundness of the breast and hip…
So that we can make them dance the tango!…
These moms don't fool you
It was a beautiful little doll
But not girls or socialites
And damn when we worked
Six whole days, we can afford
With a light heart… a weekend…

If by chance and without manners
The crush was coming soon
They gave each other it was sincere
Ah! what women could have pleased me
And I liked it!
I was so beautiful...
Should be able to go back...
Like we do to dance tango!
Tangos, there were lots of them
But I preferred “Violeta” 
It's so pretty when you sing it...
Especially when the crystal ball
Libra in the four corners of the ball
A whole ride… of shooting stars

So it was more Valentine'
It was more Loulou, nor Margot
Which I squeezed… the thin waist…
She was the queen of the Argentinian
And I was his hidalgo
Velvet eye and cuddly hand…
Oh how I loved dancing tango!…
But slowly the days pass
Farewell, youth and love
Little moms and “I love you…”
We leave room and that’s normal
Everyone has their turn to go to the ball
It doesn’t have to be… always the same

The heart says: “corazón” 
In Spanish, in tangos…
And in my heart... this word resonates...
And on the boulevard, in autumn
Passing near the “Mikado” 
I don't stop anymore but I hum:
It was bath, tango time…
It was bath, tango time.

Text: Axel G.

11.11.21

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