Santos Vega Legend
In remote times it lived Santos Vega, extraordinary "payador" who filled the
immense loneliness of the plain with the echo of his songs and the strumming
of his guitar. One day, when he was singing his best songs under the huge
shade of the ombú, for peasants of the furthest places, a stranger
came galloping a beautiful horse, and to everybody’s surprise, he challenged
the singer. Santos Vega accepted and his melodic voice ascended in the air
as a creeper full of flowers. Everybody heard the poet of the plain, and they
believed that his victory was ensured. However the stranger did not get surprised,
and when his turn came, holding the guitar against his heart, he began to
sing and his voice was of a tune that had never been heard, it was warm and
sweet and of a melody that seemed diabolic. The stranger defeated Santos Vega,
who felt a painful feeling and so did his friends.
The "payador" Juan Sin Ropa (John Without Clothes) was no more than the incarnation
of Lucifer, as only the devil could defeat him. Santos Vega was not seen or
heard any more; although it is said that on quiet nights, sadly wrapped in
his poncho, riding his tired horse with his guitar holding his back, he crosses
the silent plain like a shadow.
The image of Santos Vega has been naturally considered the personification
of the Argentine "gaucho". The studies of his person have been so exciting
that his real existence is about to be confirmed. Files have been exhumed,
long chats have been maintained with old people from Tuyú (Buenos Aires
province) that claim to have met him, and according to searchers there is
even a tomb that keeps his mortal remains.