EL ESQUINAZO

Many of the old Argentine tangos are like country western music, they have a certain comedy to them. The great tango composer  Ángel Villoldo wrote such a comic tango in 1902 that quickly became the rage of Buenos Aires: He simply titled it "El Esquinazo."  (Robert Farris Thompson, Tango: The Art History of Love)

The title said it all. There was hardly a need for lyrics, which were added later.  In turn of the Century Buenos Aires 'el esquinazo' was slang for 'being stood up'.. As the bandoneonista di Giorgio explains: "You tell a 'mina,' I'll meet you at such-and-such-a-corner (esquina). She doesn't show--- you're 'hit by the corner' (le dió un esquinazo), you're stood up." Ángel Villoldo clearly meant his tango to reflect all the emotions that are reflected by this colorful term. (Thompson, p. 182)

You can easily recognize "El Esquinazo" because it begins with four quick knocks, as if a frustrated young tanguero is venting by stomping his feet on a street corner. "El Esquinazo" became so popular in 1903 that, when it 
played in a Palermo restaurant called the "Café Tarana," the customers would beat their hands and feet, which soon became coffee spoons, cups, plates, chairs, or any other object at hand. It got so out of hand, and left such a mess of broken plates and glass that the owner went to war with "El Esquinazo" and posted a sign: "Henceforth it is strictly forbidden to play the tango 'El Esquinazo.' We beg your cooperation in this matter. The Management." (Thompson, p. 182)

When dancing to "El Esquinazo," you have an opportunity to let loose and laugh about those times when you were 'le dió un esquinazo'. Just don't throw your wine glass.