A lot of Argentine folk music is about a gaucho sitting alone on the Pampas lamenting the loss of his woman / job / horse or all of the above, Chamamé – in general – is the exception. It is a really jolly, fast paced music; danced in pairs, very close together – literally, cheek to cheek.
Holiday in Argentina

Dancing the Chamamé

The word Chamamé is from the Guaraní language meaning ‘Estar en la lluvia con alma’ (to be in the rain with soul). They belive this is a description of a ritual music of the Guaraní indigenous people. The Jesuits had a habit of blending Christian and Indigenous traditions to make Catholicism easier to swallow and this way the Chamamé mixed with the music of the time.  It evolved in the following centuries, taking on aspects of  Spanish guitar music and the Polka (brought to Argentina by the Volga Germans), to become today’s Chamamé.
And this is not a folk music fading into history. Chamamé remains most popular in the region around the Ibera wetlands where it was born, but it is widely played throughout Argentina and there are several festivals dedicated to the music. The largest is held in the northeastern city of Corrientes at the beginning of each year. This year it was ten days long; 240 artists took part and around 13,000 people attended each night.
Holiday in Argentina

A  gaucho fiesta on an Estancia in the province of Corrientes