Transcription: Warren Edwardes (c) 2018-07-24

Translation: Warren Edwardes (c) 2018-07-24

More Transcriptions and Translations


Simbolo Osmar Maderna directed by Aquiles Roggero, c. Adolfo Rivas, Raúl Aldao 1958-09-24

Music: Ramón Sixto Ríos

Lyrics: Ramón Sixto Ríos

Note that this song was recorded by Roggero and not by Maderna who had died several years before.


Que dulce encanto tienen

Mis recuerdos Merceditas

Aromada florecita

Amor mío de una vez.

La conocí en el campo

alla muy lejos, una tarde

donde crecen los trigales

provincia de Santa Fé.

Asi nació nuestro querer

con ilusión con mucha fé

pero no se porqué la flor

se marchitó y muriendo fué

como una queja errante

en la campiña va flotando

el eco vago de mi canto

recordando aquel amor

porque a pesar del tiempo

transcurrido es Merceditas

la leyenda que palpita

en mi nostálgica canción.

Y amándola con loco amor

asi llegué a comprender

lo que es querer, lo que es sufrir

porque le di mi corazón.

lo que es querer, lo que es sufrir

porque le di mi corazón.

"Merceditas" [Literal Translation]

What sweet charm they have

My memories of Merceditas

Floral aromas

My love a time ago.

I met her in the countryside

far away, one afternoon

where the wheat grows

In the Province of Santa Fe.

This is how our love was born

with hope with lots of faith

but I do not know why the flower

Of love withered and died

It is a wandering torment

over the fields it floats

the vague echo of my singing

remembering that love

because despite the time

elapsed it's Merceditas

the legend that throbs

in my nostalgic song.

And loving her with crazy love

So I came to understand

what it is to love, what it is to suffer

because I gave my heart to her

what it is to love, what it is to suffer

because I gave my heart to her


A few days ago a Tanguera asked me to name a song. We went outside the milonga and I listened to the song on her phone. It was a video of a performance and the sound wasn't particularly good.

A lovely song - Merceditas - that I never get tired of. Great lyrics and masterful orchestration and a pair of tango singers who can actually sing.

Some of the transcriptions of Merceditas have "campaña" rather than what I hear "Campiña". "Campaña is a campaign like an electoral or advertising campaign. "Campiña" is what I hear and is more appropriate as it is "extensive cultivated countryside".

Merceditas as we see is not a small posh car. For Merceditas was the nick name of another Mercedes also of German origin.

Extracting from Merceditas (canción) on Wikipedia (in Spanish and translating) with additions [WE]

Merceditas is a well-known song of Argentine folklore, in rhythm of chamamé, by Ramón Sixto Ríos, in the 1940s.

It is an unrequited love song, considered together with "Zamba de mi Esperanza" as the most famous folk music of Argentina and one of the thirteen most popular popular songs of Argentina.

It seems to me to be be even more popular in the Gaucho areas of Brazil [WE]

"Merceditas" [Little Mercedes] was Mercedes Strickler Kahlow (21-12-1916 - 08-07-2001), a young peasant girl who lived in Humboldt, province of Santa Fe, with whom in 1939 the author maintained a relationship of unrequited love, which inspired the song.

Rios married but was widowed shortly after and had no children, while Merceditas never married.

Several decades later, being now elderly, Ramón and Mercedes met again.

They were put in touch via a radio programme producer. [WE]

He then again proposed to her, but she rejected him once more. They remained in close contact until the death of Rios, on 25 December 1995.

His last act was to bequeath to her the rights to the song. She lived to be 84 years old with the feeling that God had punished her for having rejected him.

Such a sad story that always makes me cry [WE]

Was Merceditas a Lesbian?

Not just a lovely sweet song the lyrics and the background storyline make a profound impact. It is about Mercedes Strickler Kharkov.

Merceditas was an unusual woman of that time. With a fiercely independent spirit, she could be seen in town on a motorcycle wearing leopard print trousers, boots and a leather jacket.

In 1939, ages 26 Ramón Sixto Ríos met the 23-year old Mercedes Strickler Khalov in Humboldt, while touring with a theatre company. Ramón Sixto Ríos was the author of the love story "Merceditas".

Merceditas was the daughter of German immigrants. As a little girl her father died and she had worked with her mother and sister managing the family dairy farm in Humboldt, in the Argentine province Santa Fe.

Ramón and Merceditas met at the Club Sarmiento in Humboldt when he was singing in a show. After the performance he invited her to dance a tango.

Merceditas was an unusual woman of that time. She was of a fiercely independent spirit. Dressed in leopard print trousers wearing boots and a leather jacket, she could often be seen on a motorcycle on the streets of Humboldt and around. She also rode horses astride.

She had many suitors in addition to Ramón Sixto Ríos who over decades before and after his marriage did all he could to win her over. But she never married.

Merceditas was "butch" in her dress sense given the styles of the day. But was she a Lesbian?

At that time in the early 1940s and for very many decades afterwards until the 1980s homosexuality was illegal. So was being a lesbian in an environment where that was illegal stopped her from marrying Ramón or anyone else?

Brazilians Rildo and Riany singing Merceditas in Portuguese.

The Brazilian Gaucho band Grupo Querência playing Merceditas