Volume 7, Number 2

July 2009

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Una poca de gracia:
Irish Music in Latin America

By Edmundo Murray (*)


Irish gathering in Buenos Aires, circa 1910

¿A qué cielo de tambores

Y siestas largas se han ido?

Se los ha llevado el tiempo,

El tiempo que es el olvido.

Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Milonga de los morenos’

(Para las seis cuerdas, 1965)


Why does traditional Irish music not integrate into the cultural world of Latin American and Caribbean countries? With a remote origin in Ireland and a creative flourishing in the United States, traditional Irish music made a late arrival in Latin America in the 1980s, together with the pub business and the marketing-orientated celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day. Irish music represented a weak competitor to the luxuriant folkloric genres of the region, which amalgamated African, Amerindian, European and Arabic rhythms, melodies, and instruments. A few Irish-Latin Americans contributed to Latin American music as composers, song-writers, singers and dancers. Furthermore, there are some sources that point to the playing of Irish music in the Argentine pampas in the 1870s. A collection of ballads published by anonymous readers of a rural newspaper in Buenos Aires is an example. However, most traditional Irish music in Latin America is a low-quality imitation and pales with una poca de gracia beside the flourishing Latin American musical landscape.


During recent weeks I received various emails recommending an internet video including the ballad Admiral William Brown by the Wolfe Tones. I was shocked by the inaccuracies, spelling errors and manipulated anachronisms in the lyrics. Several master works include factual errors or historical blunders, though that is not a detriment to their artistic quality. However, the reason for their success – usually in the following generations – is that they broke a set of aesthetic (and sometimes ethical) paradigms and developed new ways of perceiving the world through their musical worth among large segments of different societies. The musical quality of Admiral William Brown is remarkably poor. From the monotonous signature to each of the chords, every element can be easily predicted and nothing surprises the ear. The song was written by the Wolfe

Tone’s leader Derek Warfield, and it was first released on their 1987 album ‘The Spirit of Freedom’. (1) If, as they claim on their website, the Wolfe Tones is ‘Ireland’s number one folk and ballad group’, judging from this song a poor place is reserved for Irish musicians. (2)

Indeed, Irish music – any music – can be sublime. My problem is with the label. When the genre imposes a superstructure on the artist so that he or she cannot be creative enough to break with the rules of that genre, it is time to break the genre. The objective of this article is not to analyse the music itself, but its role as representation of a culture, such as that of the Irish in Latin America. My hypothesis is that this group of immigrants – in particular those in the Río de la Plata region – or at least their community leaders, were driven by strong ethnic and ideological values that determined and thus limited their capability to shape a new society composed of diverse cultures. Therefore, their musical representations are rigid and generally lack the interchange with other genres that is so typical of Latin America.

There is an inverse relationship between the effort of the migrants to progress socially and economically, and their potential adaptability and capacity to change and to intermix with other social or ethnic groups. When they arrive to their new home, they (usually) can only bring their labour and have no or scanty assets. Therefore, they tend to forget strong identity marks (e.g. language, religion), rapidly build new links with other groups, and develop receptive characteristics for their own group. However, when the migrants and their families develop the economic capacity to possess land or other productive property, their social behaviour changes and they close off the entry of other people to their circle. Of course this is a simplistic perspective and each migrant group has its own complexities. As described below, the Irish in Argentina and Uruguay were exposed to different factors at home and in their destination, and consequently developed different sub-groups.

The Irish who arrived in the Río de la Plata before the 1880s managed to constitute a more-or-less homogenous group, with their own language, institutions, media and social structure. With a relatively low re-migration rate and successful integration into the local economic cycle, some of them managed to own land and had the income to finance another wave of immigration from Ireland. The economic upper segment integrated into the local bourgeoisie and adopted their cultural and musical tastes, chiefly imported from Spain, France and England with little adaptations to the local rhythms. The middle classes stubbornly adhered to an Irish national identity and developed a preference for Irish melodies with a strong influence from the Irish in the United States. The immigrants who arrived after the 1880s had to adapt to adverse conditions. Access to landownership was not possible for settlers without capital and the labour competition with immigrants from other origins increased the re-migration rate of this group. Those who stayed in the region adapted to indigenous or immigrant groups and in many cases partially or entirely lost their Irish identities. They were attracted to local and immigrant music and some of them even developed artistic careers.

Culture: arts and values

Can music be seen as a representation of social values? Take for example this progression: from Crosby, Stills and Nash to the Rolling Stones, to Red Hot Chili Peppers, to Manu Chao. This is not a chronological selection, not even a sequence of influences; just musicians who expressed values from different societies at different periods. In Crosby, Stills and Nash (eventually with Neil Young), the use of multiple voices was a frequent feature and a reason of their success. Choirs were not only a musical recourse but more than anything the articulation of important values of the period: solidarity, peace, pleasure. In their long-standing career, the Rolling Stones led late 1950s rock towards a new way to express other values: hate of superstructures, break with tradition. There is a discontinuity here; perhaps U2 could fill the gap. In any case, the Red Hot Chili Peppers constituted the perfect image of the young, cool and mobile segments in developed countries. Finally, Manu Chao perfected that image going southwards and globalising his music to France, Spain and Latin America. Apart from the musical qualities of these groups and musicians, all of them had successful careers and undertook significant (and profitable) marketing strategies. The reason why they represented – rather than created – social values is that a basic marketing request is to adapt the product to the client’s needs. Even in the case of some great musicians that I mentioned, in their later careers they had to abandon any wishes to break the rules or musical tastes in order to adapt to their followers.

In music (as in any art but especially in music), the case of artists that go against the mainstream genres, melodic patterns or traditional instruments, is usually the exception rather than the rule. In Irish traditional music such a case becomes paradoxical. Musicians should break the rules and subvert values, and at the same time represent existing values in society. However, a static social structure restricted by powerful moral restrictions and isolated from external cultural influences could hardly inspire innovation among its musicians. ‘Traditional’ is synonymous with preserving old forms and any threat to ‘tradition’ is perceived as putting the society in danger.

When musical revolutionaries like Astor Piazzolla in Argentina or Heitor Villa-Lobos in Brazil created new genres from their respective traditional music, they were confronted with strong resistance. Villa-Lobos was accused of europeanising the local music to please the European public. Likewise, when Piazzolla’s creations were classified as commercial music, he replied that ‘the tango is to be kept like it is: old, boring, always the same, repeated. […] My music is very porteña, from Buenos Aires. I can work over the world, because the public finds a different culture, a new culture. […] All of the “higher thing” that Piazzolla makes is music; but beneath it you can feel the tango’ (Saavedra 1989). Only societies that are on the move, that are ill-defined and are open to external influences, are able to allow radical innovations like those of Villa-Lobos or Piazzolla. They represented in their work the changing values of their societies, and they overcame the resistance of the most reactionary segments, offering a basic musical form based on traditional patterns.

Music and Conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean

When the anthropologist and singer Jorge López Palacio first came across the indigenous music of Colombia, he experienced ‘a conflict of tones, conflict of forms, conflict of symbols and tonalities, of meanings and objectives, of social and geographic contexts, of temperatures, of textures, moving conflicts of body and spirit’ (López Palacio 2005: 58). Conflict is the best description I can find for the confrontation of so many musical cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean. A harmonious counterpoint of very different melodies playing together is the definition of the Latin American musical ethos.

Accents in European and African musical cultures (Galán 1997: p. 82)

Instead of offering a necessarily partial catalogue of the music in this region, I prefer to analyse the concept of conflict in greater depth. Take for instance Elis Regina singing Tom Jobim’s Aguas de Março. Her warm voice covers a generous range in a delightful dialogue with the piano. The metaphors of the lyrics take us to forests in half-dark, heavy skies, beaches with the scattered elements of nature. The steady progression provides an intoxicating rhythm. It would be difficult to see any conflictive element in such a harmonious song. However, there is an increasing tension between the tempo and the scenery displayed in the lyrics. The voice mirrors the human rhythm struggling with a frantic nature. Tension is present even in the singer’s melodious happiness, which would dramatically contrast with her tragic death years later.

Conflict is present in Latin American music in many forms. But the most important one is social struggle. The voices of enslaved Africans claiming freedom are present throughout the region’s rhythms, from Uruguayan candombe, to Peruvian marinera, to Cuban rumba and guaguancó and many others. The gloomy airs of the Andes point towards the unjust and unfair treatment of the indigenous peoples. Nothing in Latin American culture, let alone its music, can be taken in isolation. The Colombian cumbia is a perfect blend of Andean wind and African percussion instruments. The Cuban punto guajiro has its origin in Arab Andalusia, and is strongly influenced by African patterns. The Paraguayan polka combines Central European, Guaraní and African elements. These mixes represent the ethnic relations in the region. The original ingredients are not completely blended – sometimes their accents are recognisable in a melody.

In the end, what counts is a well-balanced mix. A harmonious mélange is the consequence of identifying and recognising the internal hierarchies among the many elements. However, as happens in language, the relationship is not levelled. There is always a conflict created by the dominant language/musical pattern that imposes its rules on the others: coloniser and colonised music playing in counterpoint. Vicente Rossi rightly points to the conflictive origins of music in the Río de la Plata region. ‘The dances in the Río de la Plata have contrasting influences (indigenous and African), transmitters (gauchos and rural criollos), adapters (gauchos and the African-Uruguayans and -Argentines), and innovators (urban criollos)’ (Rossi 1958: 111).

Musicians, Dancers and Reactionaries

The case of Irish-Argentine music is illustrative of the relationship between one immigrant culture and the values in the receiving society. Even if the creation of this category is perceived as too ambitious and only gathers disparate musical representations, it helps to understand the cultural connection between two social groups.

Gaining entrance into the local landed bourgeoisie was the most important goal of the Irish in Argentina. In a country where land was the most abundant resource, its ownership was traditionally reserved for members of the upper classes. Up to the 1880s, the land-hungry Irish immigrants and their families were able to integrate into a productive economic cycle in the pampas. The wool business attracted shepherds to tend flocks of sheep belonging to local landlords. Sharecropping agreements were made so that in two or three years the immigrants owned their own sheep. This led to the need to rent land. In a context of increasing wool international prices, more land meant more sheep, and more sheep required more land. By purchasing long-term tenancy contracts with the government of Buenos Aires, some Irish managed to own their land. Most of them were not large landowners (typical holdings were from 1,700 to 2,500 hectares compared with 10,000 to 15,000 hectares owned by other landlords). In order to maintain and increase their properties, they developed a need to join the Argentine landed class, in some cases by marriage, but more commonly by sharing their cultural values and participating in their social milieu.

Among the Irish immigrants and their families, some completely integrated into local societies, thus contributing to different musical cultures. Buenaventura Luna (born Eusebio de Jesús Dojorti Roco) (1906-1955), poet, songwriter, journalist and host of pioneering radio shows, descended from one (named Dougherty) of the 296 soldiers of the British army who stormed Buenos Aires in 1806-1807, were taken prisoners after the defeat in Buenos Aires, and were confined in San Juan (Coghlan 1982: 8). His zambas and chacareras are about the local gauchos and indigenous peoples, and the parched landscapes of his birthplace Huaco, San Juan, near the border with La Rioja. (3) In 1940, Buenaventura Luna started his successful radio shows El fogón de los arrieros and later Seis estampas argentinas, followed by Al paso que van los años, Entre mate y mate… y otras yerbitas, and San Juan y su vida. He not only made known his own creations but also allowed and encouraged other groups and musicians to play their pieces. He wrote more than 500 songs. No traces of Irish music or themes can be identified in Luna’s songs.

Carlos Viván, El irlandesito (1903-1971)
(with kind permission of "Todo Tango")

Carlos Viván (born Miguel Rice Treacy) (1903-1971), known as El irlandesito (The Irish Boy), was a tango singer and songwriter. His first recording is from 1927 and he worked with the orchestras of Juan Maglio, Pedro Maffia, Osvaldo Fresedo and Julio De Caro. He went to work in Brazil and the United States, where he sang tangos and jazz. He had ‘a small warm voice, within an alto-tenor range, as was common then, plus a feature that made his voice unmistakable: his vibrato’ (Todo Tango). Among his creations are Cómo se pianta la vida and Moneda de cobre, which is about the mulatto daughter of a ‘blond, drunk and ruffian father’ and an Afro-Argentine woman. This tango represents the tough integration of destitute European immigrants who arrived in Buenos Aires by the end of the nineteenth century and joined the growing marginal classes in the city. The aged prostitute had in her youth been a beautiful woman with blue eyes from her father (ojos de cielo – sky eyes) and black curly hair from her mother.

Moneda de cobre (1942) (4)

Lyrics by Horacio Sanguinetti

Music by Carlos Viván, El irlandesito

Tu padre era rubio, borracho y malevo,

tu madre era negra con labios malvón;

mulata naciste con ojos de cielo

y mota en el pelo de negro carbón.

Creciste entre el lodo de un barrio muy pobre,

cumpliste veinte años en un cabaret,

y ahora te llaman moneda de cobre,

porque vieja y triste muy poco más valés.

Moneda de cobre,

yo sé que ayer fuiste hermosa,

yo con tus alas de rosa

te vi volar mariposa

y después te vi caer...

Moneda de fango,

¡qué bien bailabas el tango!

Qué linda estabas entonces,

como una reina de bronce,

allá en el ‘Folies Bergère’.

Aquel barrio triste de barro y latas

igual que tu vida desapareció...

Pasaron veinte años, querida mulata,

no existen tus padres, no existe el farol.

Quizás en la esquina te quedes perdida

buscando la casa que te vio nacer;

seguí, no te pares, no muestres la herida...

No llores mulata, total, ¡para qué!

Blanca Mooney (1940-1991)
(with kind permission of "Todo Tango")


A well-known female tango singer from a later period was Blanca Mooney (1940-1991), who made tours to Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, the United States and Japan. She recorded more than forty times and worked with the orchestra of Osvaldo Fresedo. Her renditions of Arrabalero, Dónde estás, and Julián became very popular. (5)

After the Falklands/Malvinas War of 1982, and following the internationalisation of aspects of Irish culture, musicians in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and other countries in Latin America were attracted to traditional Irish music. Some started playing fiddles, uilleann pipes, tin whistles, and bodhráns and interpreting the traditional airs of Ireland. However, most of the production was an imitation of mainstream Irish music, and very few produced innovative creations or experimented with different instruments or time signatures. Among the best-known Irish music groups in Argentina were The Shepherds and more recently, Na Fianna. (6)

Indeed, the most popular Irish-Latin American topic among Irish music songwriters is the San Patricios. The saga of the Irish and other soldiers who deserted from the United States army and formed the Mexican St. Patrick’s Battalion in the Mexican-U.S. American War (1846-1848) is the subject of a growing number of songs. This popularity runs parallel to the copious literature about the San Patricios, both academic and in fiction, and the films and documentaries. Among the songs about the San Patricios, there are traditional ballads and rock rhythms; probably the best composition is Charlie O’Brien’s Pa’ los del San Patricio.

As far as I could explore, there are no songs about the San Patricios in Spanish or by Latin American musicians. Seemingly, it is a subject more appealing to the Irish in Ireland or in the United States than to Mexicans or Latin Americans. The main reason for this may have been the traditional hegemony of the U.S. in, and fear from, Latin America, as well as the significant role played by the Irish-U.S. American population in the political and social life of that country.

Musical Resistance to Integration

In 1913, the diehard nationalist Padraig MacManus complained about the Irish in Argentina, ‘such shoneen families as we now often meet, ashamed of their race, their names and their parents; anxious to be confounded with Calabreses or Cockneys, rather than point out their descent from the oldest white people in Europe – the Gaels’ (Fianna, 31 July 1913). Although a wealthy estanciero himself, MacManus identified better with the Irish urban employees and administrators who stubbornly maintained the customs and cultural patterns of their ancestors. They looked with suspicion both on the upper class of Irish landowners who mixed with the landed bourgeoisie, and to the proletarian Irish labourers who intermingled with the growing crowd of immigrant workers in the Argentinean and Uruguayan cities. It was among members of this middle class that traditional music was played and danced in social gatherings and celebrations in selected settlements of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe to openly assert their Irish identity.

However, forty years before MacManus there were signals pointing to the fact that Irish music was crossing the Atlantic Ocean from north to south and from east to west. English-language newspapers published in South America – in particular The Southern Cross, and occasionally The Standard – used to include ballads, folk poems and short verses with traditional Irish topics. Among the Spanish-language media, El Monitor de la Campaña, which was the first newspaper in the province of Buenos Aires, published letters, stories, poems and ballads addressed to the local immigrants.

El Monitor de la Campaña was edited by Manuel Cruz in Capilla del Señor, a rural town located eighty kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, and settled by several Irish families who owned or worked at mid-size sheep-farms and estancias. Between 1870 and 1872, a series of Irish ballads appeared in El Monitor, written in English and covering topics of interest to the Irish. The six ballads in this series were published anonymously and signed by ‘P.C.’, ‘A Wandering Tip’, and ‘J. J. M.’ There is no indication as to whom those pseudonyms may refer to, though similar texts were published in contemporary English-speaking newspapers by teachers in Scottish and Irish schools, and by Irish Catholic priests.(7)

The first ballad, Donovan’s Mount, was published on 19 February 1872, and was inspired by the popular ‘drinking songs’ in Ireland. These songs – similar and possibly related to the seventeenth-century airs à boire in Brittany – are folk melodies sung by groups (typically of men) while consuming alcohol. Before the first stanza the author specifies that Donovan’s Mount should be sung to the air of Lanigan’s Ball, which is a popular Irish drinking song with the lyrics and tempo arranged as a tongue twister. In the Irish song, Jeremy Lanigan is a young man whose father passes away. The son makes the arrangements for the wake, a traditional Irish ritual to honour the dead that has the paradoxical goal of paying the family’s and friends’ last respects to the person who died, and at the same time celebrating the inheritance.

In the Irish-Argentine version of Lanigan’s Ball the story is about an Irish teacher (actually a wandering tutor usually with better-than-average education) who is looking for a job on one of the estancias owned by Irish families.

Donovan's Mount

By A Wandering Tip

Air: Lanigan's ball.

I roved round the camp till I met with an Irishman

Whose houses and lands give appearance of joy,

So I up and I asked if he wanted a pedagogue

As I tipped him the wink that I was the boy.

He made me sit down put my head in my hat again

Then ordered a peon my traps to dismount

And said as he handed around a big bumper full

"You're welcome señor to Donovan's mount."

Chorus: Hip, hip, hip hurrah for Donovan

For racing and spreeing I've found out the fount,

And if it should hap that one loses himself again

Let him ask the way to Donovan's mount.

I have travelled afar but never encountered yet.

Another to equal this green spot of camp;.

The boys that are on it are full of all devilment .

And dance till sun-rise by the light of a lamp..

And as for the girls these nymphs of the Pampa wild.

Sure he never escapes them the victim they count,.

They always are gay and as bright as the morning dew.

These magnetic needles of Donovan's mount..

Chorus: Hip, hip, hip,

Tho' La Plata boasts not of the steep mountain towering high.

Or the vales that abound in far Erin's green isle,.

Yet sweet are the plains where the red savage wanders free.

When lit by the light of a fond girl's smile..

Then here's a flowing glass to our Irish porteñas all.

May they ne'er have more sorrow than mine to recount.

For sorrow and I are like distant relationships.

Since the first day I stepped into Donovan's mount..

Chorus: Hip, hip, hip,.

(El Monitor de la Campaña N° 35, Capilla del Señor, 19 February 1872).

Other ballads published in this paper include themes of homesickness (The Shepherd and his Cot and Hibernia), freedom and adventure (A Jolly Shepherd Boy), love (The Pampa's Fairest Child), and political struggle in Ireland and in Argentina. In general, the voices of their authors hint at people with superior education. Among Irish teachers in contemporary Argentina and Uruguay, a few were convinced Republicans who tried to instruct their audiences in the struggle for Irish independence. Nevertheless, the content of these ballads is eminently local and adapted to the interests of the Irish rural population in the pampas.


By J. J. M.

Just now two years have pass'd and gone

Though they like centuries appear

Since, sad, forlorn, and alone

I sail'd from Ireland dear

Yet though I ne'er may see it more

Can I forget my childhood's home

My own loved Hibernia's shore.

When standing at my rancho door

Or when riding o'er the pampa plain

I silently long to hear once more

The sweet voices of her labouring Swain

Though the pampas may have fields

As fair and green all o'er

To me there is no soil that yields

Like my own Hibernia's shore.

I long to see my native groves

Where oft I've chased the bounding hare

And snar'd the woodcock and the doves

And listened to the cuckoo's voice so clear

Oh had I but an eagle's wings

Across the Atlantic I would soar

Nor would I think of earthly things

Till safe on Hibernia's shore.

Oh could I cope with Bards of lore

I'd proudly write in words sublime

The praises of her fertile shore

While life stands in her youthful prime

For when I'm sinking towards the tomb

And my feeble hand can trace no more

The words I'd like to write of that dear home

My owned loved Hibernia's shore.

Though there are comforts beyond La Plata's mouth

Where the Indian once did freely roam

Still I'd forsake the pleasures of the South

For those of my own dear native home

Old Erin for thee this heart is weap'd in grief

A heart that's Irish to the core

Still shall I love the Shamrock Leaf

That grows on Hibernia's shore.

(El Monitor de la Campaña N° 43, Capilla del Señor, 15 April 1872)

Even if the speaker acknowledges the ‘comforts beyond La Plata's mouth’ there is a clear inclination for Ireland, and to him ‘there is no soil that yields / Like my own Hibernia's shore.’ The conceptual development of Ireland as home is symbolically represented by ‘the Shamrock Leaf’. It is the emigrant who behaves as exile, and whose attitudes towards Ireland are of continuous longing for ‘that dear home’.

Songs and musical elements can also be identified in emigrant letters. Dance followed celebrations and horse races, and basic musical skills were a component of the education in Irish schools on the pampas. However, Irish parents in Argentina were not very enthusiastic about the musical prospects of their children studying in Ireland. In a letter to his brother in Wexford, Patt Murphy of Rojas, Buenos Aires province, notes of his son Johnny that ‘as to learning music, unless he is possessed of an ear and good taste for same, I consider [it] perfectly useless’ (Patt Murphy to Martin Murphy, 3 August 1879).

Furthermore, the Irish immigrants and their families appreciated the musical skills of the Argentines. During the shearing season, ‘they have what they call “Bailes” or dances … their favourite instrument is the guitar and almost all of them play a little … they have great taste for music so for them it is a time of great joy … people coming out from England are greatly amused at their dances’ (Kate A. Murphy to John James Pettit, 12 September 1868, in Murray 2006: 106). This points to the increasing affinity of the Irish with the local cultures, which in three or four generations were completely integrated.

Opening Fields

I would like to expand upon the historical pattern followed in the process of the above-mentioned integration for the last 150 or 200 years but there is no space for it, and I admit to lacking further information from other primary sources. In particular, a careful reading of The Southern Cross, The Standard and The Anglo-Brazilian Times is necessary for this undertaking. The future addition of emigrant letters and family collections to the corpus of research documentation may also include additional records.

There is ample potential for research on the musical aspects of Irish cultural integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. The fascinating formation of the glittering music in this region has undoubtedly received its major influences from the Amerindian, African and Iberian cultures. The role of Irish music in this process, even if a very minor one, may have been underestimated.

I hope that performers of traditional Irish music in Ireland and in Latin America understand that imitating others’ experiences only adds una poca de gracia to the musical cultures of both artistic communities. Certainly, the rich musical experiences that some artists are developing with the innovative blending of Irish and Latin American musical arrangements may have a lasting effect on future rhythms, melodies and harmonies.

Edmundo Murray


* Edmundo Murray is an independent researcher and writer based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Zurich. He has been the editor of Irish Migration Studies in Latin America (www.irlandeses.org), and a frequent contributor to journals and publications related to the study of the Irish Diaspora.

1 Recorded by Inchicore, “The Spirit of Freedom”, by Derek Warfield and The Wolfe Tones.

2 The Wolfe Tones official website (http://www.wolfetonesofficialsite.com/menu.htm), accessed 11 May 2009.

3 Zamba (known in other South American regions as zamacueca, cueca, marinera and chilena) is a dance in 6/8 time originally from Peru and with African influences. The chacarera is a fast-tempo dance alternatively in 6/8 and 3/4 time.

4 This tango by Alberto Castillo may be listened to at Todo Tango website (http://www.todotango.com/english/las_obras/letra.aspx?idletra=864).

5 Sound file at Todo Tango (http://www.todotango.com/english/las_obras/letra.aspx?idletra=652).

6 Na Fianna website (http://www.nafianna.com.ar/)

7 I am thankful to Juan José Santos of University of Buenos Aires (Instituto Ravignani), for sending copies of these ballads.


- Anonymous ballads published in El monitor de la campaña (Capilla del Señor, Buenos Aires, 1872).

- Coghlan, Eduardo A. El aporte de los irlandeses a la formación de la nación argentina (Buenos Aires: author’s edition, 1982).

- Galán, Natalio. Cuba y sus sones (Valencia: Pre-Textos, 1997). First edition 1983.

- Gargiulo, Elsa de Yanzi and Alda de Vera. Buenaventura Luna: su vida y su canto (Buenos Aires: Senado de la Nación, 1985).

- Herrera, Francisco and M. Weber. Dictionnaire de la danse (Valencia: Piles, 1995).

- López Palacio, Jorge. ‘Ma voix nomade’ in Laurent Aubert (ed.). Musiques migrantes (Geneva: Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, 2005).

- Murray, Edmundo. Becoming irlandés: Private Narratives of the Irish Emigration to Argentina, 1844-1912 (Buenos Aires: Literature of Latin America, 2006).

- Rossi, Vicente. Cosas de negros: los orígenes del tango y otros aportes al folklore rioplatense (Buenos Aires: Librería Hachette, 1958). First edition 1926.

- Saavedra, Gonzalo. Interview with Astor Piazzolla, 1989, in Piazzolla.org – The Internet Home of Astor Piazzolla and his Tango Nuevo, website (http://www.piazzolla.org/), cited 27 April 2009. Originally published in El Mercurio.

- Todo Tango website (http://www.todotango.com), cited 14 May 2009.

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2009

Published: 02 July 2009
Edited: 20 November 2009

Murray, Edmundo 'Una poca de gracia: Irish Music in Latin America' and the Irish-Argentine Dimension' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" 7:2 (July 2009), pp. 239-248. Available online  (www.irlandeses.org/imsla0907.htm), accessed .

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