Archive for August 7th, 2011


Cayetango Silva died forgotten, alone and in extreme poverty without realizing that his San Lorenzo march, the same one he had sold for a small sum of money, would become immortal and be played and recorded many times…indeed it would be the march that the victorious Nazi army would play as it marched in into a conquered Paris on June 14, 1940…the march had been given by the Argentine army to Nazi Germany as a gift of friendship for although Argentina was officially neutral, its army sympathized with Germany…indeed, after the war Argentina became a leading haven for Nazi war criminals…Cayetano Silva first played his composition on his violin in 1901 for his baby daughter in her crib to lull her to sleep…he had dedicated it initially to General Pablo Ricchieri but the general asked that it be named instead for the city of his birth San Lorenzo…it became the official Argentine march which was played before and after all ceremonies…


For many years, it was played for the changing of the royal guard in England…Cayetano Silva, of mixed African descent, was born in the city of San Carlos in Uruguay; his mother had been a slave of the Silva family…from an early age he showed a love of music and he devoted himself to learning the violin….at the age of 17 he joined the army but by the age of 20, his precocious musical ability earned him the post of band director of the seventh regiment…he would go on to lead other military bands…he composed a number of other marches and composed the tango “Mas Vale Que Nunca”…his San Lorenzo March was recorded in a tango beat by the orchestras of Roberto Firpo and Juan De Dios Filiberto…when he died at the age of 52, he was denied burial in the local cemetary because of his African roots