A "Canción de la pampa" in very different versions



This song with subtitle "Canción de la pampa" was written in 1931 by Cátulo Castillo, with lyrics by his father José González Castillo.


"Aguacero" means torrential rain, and in the song  a drover with an oxcart is trekking in the pampa and happy about the rain. The melody is like a hymn.

"Y la pampa es un verde pañuelo, colgado del cielo que quiere llorar".

Out of at least 6 recordings that exist, I want to present three that are beautiful and very special - each in its own way -, from the thirties and the fourties:

Francisco Lomuto with Alberto Hilarion Acuña y Fernando Díaz, recorded 9th of November, 1931:


Juan Maglio "Pacho" with Carlos Viván, recorded 11th of July, 1934:


Lucio Demare with Horacio Quintana, recorded 14th of November, 1944



Lomuto's version:

This is blues in tango! The piano plays transitions with dissonances, the bandoneons play ligating one note to the next, like "glissando" for bandoneon - a capella in the B part - , and the tutti play very lively and very "dirty". Both verse and chorus are sung which was unusual in those times; the chorus by a duo of singers. After the singing, the dirty bandoneons come back, and then a really bluesy violin solo, with blue notes! This is unique in tango, only Lomuto did it a few times.


Juan Maglio's version:

This was Juan Maglio's last recording, only three days before he died, and it's one of only very few recordings he did after 1932. His way of playing is more solemn than in the Lomuto version. We have a long bandoneon variation in the middle of the song, chromatic piano transitions, and beautiful deep violin solos. And, what was very unusual in the thirties, the singer comes back in the end, and the song fades out instead of the usual chan-chan.


Demare's version:

Ten years later, Lucio Demare recorded the song with the opulent sound of his orchestra, where each of the sections sounds strong and warm; himself with the jazzy piano. The accompaniment of the singer is incredibly rich, it's like a song on its own, with several voices and various moods and colours.