5 songs that sing of Buenos Aires

Prepare your playlist with the songs inspired by the city of many passions.

From the poets and orchestras of the golden age of tango to the giants of Argentine national rock, generations of musicians and singers have been moved by, found inspiration in, and paid tribute to, the people and places of Buenos Aires. Here are just five classics dedicated to the city to help you start a playlist for your visit.

1. Balada para un Loco - Roberto Goyeneche (1969)

Can’t you see the moon rolling down Callao?”
 
Dozens of tangos have been dedicated to the city where the dance and music was born, but this  vanguardist piece composed by Astor Piazzolla, with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer, revolutionised the genre within the context of Argentina’s nueva canción, or new song, movement, while mentioning the Buenos Aires streets Callao and Arenales and psychiatric hospital in Calle Vieytes, Barracas, in a homage to madness that may be the madness of love or the madness of the city itself. The most famous versions of the song were recorded by Roberto Goyeneche and Amelita Baltar. We offer for your listening pleasure this faithful tribute recorded by Elena Roger in 2016.

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2. En la ciudad de la furia – Soda Stereo (1988)

Where nobody knows about me, and I’m a part of everyone”.
 

The name of this song has led many to refer still today to Buenos Aires as the “city of fury”. The “fury” of the time was the social and economic crisis that Argentina was suffering during the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín. As its composer Gustavo Cerati said, “The song was composed at a very difficult time for Argentina, in 1988, in the middle of a period of hyperinflation and unleashed anger, so it wasn’t difficult to write about a city of fury.” Here's the original official video released with the song.

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3. Con la frente marchita - Joaquín Sabina (1990)

Send me a postcard from San Telmo. Goodbye, take care.
 

Not a song by a local artist this time, but from the pen of legendary Spanish singer and songwriter Joaquín Sabina, who speaks of a romance with a young woman from Buenos Aires who can’t be swayed from her love for the city. The first verse achieves the incredible feat of combining mentions of Jorge Luis Borges, Evita Perón and Carlos Gardel, perhaps the three figures most associated with Buenos Aires. Listen to Sabina's tribute to the city below.

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4) 11 y 6 - Fito Páez (1985)

“He approached her and asked her how she was; he reached the window on
tiptoes and took her to walk along Corrientes.”
 

Fito Páez is one of the biggest names in Argentine rock from the end of the 20th century. This love story between two poor children aged 11 and 6, who kiss in the street, walk along Avenida Corrientes and sell roses at night, paints a poignant view of Buenos Aires’ street that never sleeps. Have a listen to this porteño classic that remains a relevant as ever.

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5) Vasos Vacíos / Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (1988)

“Ours is water
from the river mixed with the sea.”
 

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, the Buenos Aires ska band led by Vicentico, had great success in the
1980s and 90s after launching the album with this, the title track. The lyrics, which are open to interpretation, seem to speak of a love affair that couldn’t be, using the metaphor of the Río de la Plata river, as wide as a sea but with the freshwater of a river. The band originally recorded the track with Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Finish this brief run-down with another hit from the 80s.

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Learn more about music in Buenos Aires.