The Payadors of South America

Think “rap battles” are a recent invention? In South America a “payada” is where gauchos competed with each other by singing improvised lyrics, often raunchy and sometimes insulting to their competition. It is believed that “payadors” (some seen below in this motley crew ) were the source of early tango lyrics and themes.

The famous payador, Gabino Ezeiza is seen holding a guitar on the left in this photo from the late 1800’s.

Gabino Ezeiza was born February 3, 1858 in Buenos Aires, died at age 58 on October 12, 1916 in the Córdoba Province of Argentina. He is buried at Cementerio San José de Flores in barrio Flores of Buenos Aires. Ezeiza composed “Libertador,” “Heroica Paysandú.”