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Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)

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Dave T 02 Sep 98 - 10:38 PM
Roger Himler 02 Sep 98 - 10:39 PM
Bob Schwarer 03 Sep 98 - 08:12 AM
Joe Offer 03 Sep 98 - 02:06 PM
Big Mick 03 Sep 98 - 09:15 PM
Roger Himler 03 Sep 98 - 09:25 PM
Dave T 03 Sep 98 - 10:03 PM
Gunny 03 Sep 98 - 11:43 PM
Barry Finn 04 Sep 98 - 12:12 AM
Big Mick 04 Sep 98 - 09:46 PM
Sheye 04 Sep 98 - 11:52 PM
Sheye 04 Sep 98 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 98 - 02:41 AM
Sheye 05 Sep 98 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,LEJ 26 Jan 01 - 01:20 PM
Amos 26 Jan 01 - 02:01 PM
JedMarum 26 Jan 01 - 02:36 PM
Matt_R 26 Jan 01 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,LEJ 26 Jan 01 - 02:56 PM
Kim C 26 Jan 01 - 03:53 PM
Melani 27 Jan 01 - 01:43 AM
mkebenn 27 Jan 01 - 07:17 AM
JedMarum 27 Jan 01 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 27 Jan 01 - 11:47 AM
Amos 27 Jan 01 - 12:19 PM
Big Mick 27 Jan 01 - 12:36 PM
leprechaun 27 Jan 01 - 12:59 PM
Matt_R 27 Jan 01 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,LEJ 27 Jan 01 - 05:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 01 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Bob T. { The Other One } 04 Oct 01 - 05:26 PM
ddw 04 Oct 01 - 08:51 PM
Little Hawk 04 Oct 01 - 10:47 PM
Troll 04 Oct 01 - 10:50 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 05 Oct 01 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,frankie 05 Oct 01 - 04:34 PM
Mudlark 06 Oct 01 - 01:04 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 06 Oct 01 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,peter cyril 08 Nov 01 - 03:11 PM
Trapper 08 Nov 01 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 01 - 04:20 PM
Stewie 08 Nov 01 - 06:50 PM
Little Hawk 08 Nov 01 - 07:39 PM
Stewie 08 Nov 01 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,VanGo 09 Nov 01 - 12:19 AM
Uncle Steve 09 Nov 01 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Kernow John 09 Nov 01 - 04:13 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Nov 01 - 07:43 AM
Jack The Lad 10 Nov 01 - 07:01 AM
fox4zero 10 Nov 01 - 10:48 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: PANCHO AND LEFTY (Townes van Zandt)
From: Dave T
Date: 02 Sep 98 - 10:38 PM

I didn't find this in the DT database so I'll post the lyrics here. I hope I didn't screw up the formatting for HTML; I used Wordperfect to do the conversion and checked the HTML file with a text editor. It looked OK... honest!! By the way, Pupunutu, if you want the chords let me know and I'll send those along also.


PANCHO AND LEFTY
As sung by Townes van Zandt on "A Far Cry from Dead" (1999)


Livin' on the road, my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
But now you wear your skin like iron
And your breath's as hard as kerosene
You weren't your mama's only boy
But her favorite one, it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit, boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
Wore his guns outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match, ya know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dyin' words
Ah, but that's the way it goes

And all the federales say
They could 'a' had him any day
They only let him hang around
Out o' kindness, I suppose

Well, Lefty he can't sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down South
Ended up in Lefty's mouth
The day they laid old Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
Ah, there ain't nobody knows

And all the federales say
They could 'a' had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out o' kindness, I suppose

And the poets tell how Pancho fell
Lefty's livin' in a cheap hotel
The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold
And so the story ends, we're told
Pancho needs your prayers, it's true
Save a few for Lefty, too
He just did what he had to do
And now he's growin' old

A few grey federales say
They could 'a' had him any day
They only let him go so wrong
Out of kindness, I suppose

A few grey federales say
They could 'a' had him any day
They only let him go so wrong
Out o' kindness, I suppose


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Roger Himler
Date: 02 Sep 98 - 10:39 PM

Pupunutu,

Try the Cowpie site. Here is the URL for the song you seek. Cowpie has a much greater number of Country and Western songs than the Mudcat.

Here's the exact URL.

http://www.roughstock.com/cowpie/cowpie-songs/h/harris_emmylou/pancho_and_lefty.crd

Enjoy the music.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 08:12 AM

For a couple of Townes Van Zandt sites go to:

http://home3.swipnet.se/~w36794/tvz/ & www.lonestarwebstation.con/jvzdex.html

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 02:06 PM

I suppose this song might be considered "country," but mostly because of Willie Nelson's recording. You won't find many country fans who know much about Townes Van Zandt. I think this is one that will someday end up in the canon of "folk" music. It's a classic.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 09:15 PM

Great song, one of my favorites to perform when I'm not playing Irish. I agree that it is more of a "folk" song than it is a "country".

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Roger Himler
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 09:25 PM

Joe(and anyone else out there),

This is probably Townes Van Zandt's most recorded song. My problem with the song is I don't understand it. Perhaps that is why I pointed towards Cowpie.

There are many wonderful, and powerful images.

Pancho was a bandit, boys,
His horse as fast as polished steel,
He wore his guns outside his pants,
For all the honest world to feel.

What a set of lines. There is no doubt here what he's talking about.

I know I am sometimes lyrically dense. I often tend to think a telephone pole is just a telephone pole (and sometimes I like my songs that straight forward).

I know Pancho is Pancho Villa, the Mexican bandit king (or patriot, depending on your point of view). So was Lefty someone I should know?

Entrancing melody as well. So, I understand the attraction of this song, I love to sing along, but I just don't know what it is about. I don't perform songs, that I don't understand, so this one is not in my repetoire.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Dave T
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 10:03 PM

I don't think Lefty anyone specific Roger. There's lots of Leftys around; more than there are Panchos. I always figured the song was contrasting two different paths taken by people who start out from similar circumstances. Both were their mama's favourites, both went away and sank into their dreams; their dreams were just different. Because of that one became a legend, the other simply faded away but doesn't deserve our prayers any less. Maybe I'm lyrically dense too, but I just like the contrasting imagery created by the song. The music, at least the way Townes van Zandt sings it, adds to the overall mood.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Gunny
Date: 03 Sep 98 - 11:43 PM

Perhaps we'll find out the meaning of the song if they ever finish the darn movie (reportedly starring John Clark Gable and Tyrone Power, Jr.).


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 12:12 AM

Poncho, I think was the only son, left home as a kid after killing one of the rich ranchers who he labored for when the man tried to rape his 13 yr old sister in front of their mother. From the sounds of the song, I take it that Lefty had betrayed Poccho, but that seems doubtful, he was ambushed long after he became a farmer (the dust he bit?) & given up on revelotion & politics. The Mexicains Feds would most likely feel favor towards him & let him slip away, he fought in 2 revolutions & a civil war & always championed the poor as did his comrade Zapada (sp?), most others would eventually forget the poor that they started out fighting for. Depending upon what side of the border you came from would shape your opinion of outlaw or hero, but before his raids into the US he was very much a friend to the north untill the US turned on him. We used Poncho Villa as a reason/excuse to train our military, prior to the upcoming war, on the fields of Mexico. The song seems more like a nice romantic picture of a forgotten, fallen, aging hero than a factual account of anything, yet it's still a great song. Another song I always think of with this is (Willie Nelson ?) "Seven Spanish Angels". Barry


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 09:46 PM

I love "Seven Spanish Angels" as well, Barry. For me, on both of these songs, it hasn't got a hell of a lot to do with whether they are factual. The writers just crafted great lyrics which are wide open to the interpretive type of singing I like to do best. To me, there is nothing liked sitting with a group of people, singing these types of songs and watching them sink into the tale you are spinning.

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Sheye
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 11:52 PM

Two all-time great pieces. Gotta plug The Highwaymen's first album here. Many tales of a young country and it's growing pains. Shreds of social comment strung together with excellent melodies. Biased note: Cash is one of my heroes and Kristophers Kristofferson stole my heart when I was barely out of diapers.

Sheye


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Sheye
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 11:53 PM

Man, I hate it when I see typos after I hit the GO button, especially in names... Can you fix it Joe?? PLEEEEEASE!!


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 98 - 02:41 AM

There, is that better, Sheye?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Sheye
Date: 05 Sep 98 - 10:30 AM

Thanks Joe!! How many cookies are we at now? I'm thinkin' several dozen!

The planets are now realigned accordingly and we have avoided major catastrophe... "And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

Sheye


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,LEJ
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 01:20 PM

I have recently picked up, on Jed Marum's recommendation, Townes Van Zandt's Rear View Mirror Album, and I think its terrific. I really like Tecumseh Valley, Tower Song, To Live's To Fly, and Pancho and Lefty, and I'm in the process of learning to play them. Townes is the kind of singer I like, not skilled or polished, but he sings from his soul.

I revived this thread because of the interesting theories advanced pertaining to the song's meaning. I don't believe that the two characters are related to any particular real historic figures, but stand as examples of the lives of two rebels- one who lived brazenly and died heroically and young, the other who scratched by to survive and grow old. I think Townes saw himself in the Lefty character, unaware that his death would give him his own aura of myth. Its an irony that I think Van Zandt himself would have enjoyed.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 02:01 PM

My take, FWIW, is that this Pancho was not Villa, but a modern fictional archetype. Additionally, it seems to me that Lefty is the subject of the first verse; a white boy gone on the road from the Midwest, ending up at loose ends south of the border. The subtext is that Lefty turned Pancho in to the Federales, resulting in Pancho's death, in exchange for which Lefty got the bread to leave Mexico and go back to Cincinatti. Probably looking for Spaw.

A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: JedMarum
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 02:36 PM

I am a Townes fan. When I was in college I worked the radio station and found two or three of his records (in the pile of stuff no one listened to) and was floored with his song writing. Been enjoying his stuff ever since.

Mick, I sing Pancho and Lefty too, even to my Irish Pub audiences, on occasion (ain't been kicked yet). I also sing Tecumseh Valley - sometime with Eammons Kitchen - same thing, it ain't exactly 'genre' for the Irish crowds, but they always seem to respond!

LEJ - I was floored when I heard Lyle Lovett's version of "Won't give you lungs to me, mine are collapsing..." (sorry don't know the name of it). Townes' version is raw, hard, filled with pathos - Lyle's is rockin' hard, powerful but smooth.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Matt_R
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 02:47 PM

Exacly how I had interpreted it, Amos. I ADORE the song.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,LEJ
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 02:56 PM

Well, Jed, that song is in fact called Lungs, and was based on Townes' struggle with (I think) lung cancer. Didn't he die post-op as a result of mixing pain-killers with alcohol?

Amos...an interesting take, Lefty as Judas. It sure gives the song a different meaning.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Kim C
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 03:53 PM

This is a great song - haven't done it myself much since getting into the living history stuff. I always was struck by the line about "he wore his gun outside his pants" - it's such a great double entendre, equating one's manhood with his gun... but also bringing to mind that back in the old days, many towns had ordinances forbidding the wearing of pistols in the city limits. Doing so was a blatant violation of the law... just like you'd expect from somebody like Pancho.

I'm not sure these are any specific people, either... it's just a good story. They can be anybody you want them to be.

I used to worry that I wrote too many sad and mournful songs. Then I realized Townes made a living off of it and I didn't feel so bad anymore.

Another of his songs I really like is Tecumseh Valley.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Melani
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 01:43 AM

The Seven Boy Heroes, if I'm not mistaken, were very young military cadets who died defending Chapultepec Castle from the U.S. Marines during the Mexican War. (The Halls of Monteczuma) I think they did something like jump off the top wrapped in the Mexican flag to keep the enemy from getting it. There is a street in just about every town in Mexico called The Seven Boy Heroes.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:17 AM

Amos, I always felt that Lefty ambushed Pancho for reward money, or robbed the robber, so to speak{where he got the bread to go, ain't nobody knows}, and it was Lefty the Federales let go out of kindness, not Pancho.At least that's how I feel when I sing this wonderfull song, which I learned from listening to the goddess herself,Emmey Lou. Mike Bennett


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 09:51 AM

hmmm - I always presumed that "the Federales let him go out of kindness," was irony. The Federales might have told you they could've captured him - that it didn't need to be left to a bounty hunter - but they just didn't capture him, maybe out of kindness (something for which they were probably not known).


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 11:47 AM

Yea,Jeb,that works too,so many layers, only one song. Do you think Van Zandt wrote it like that, or was it clear to him, and we're not sure? Mike


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 12:19 PM

No, it wasn't kindness that made it safe for Lefty to make it back across the border. Anyone who has been in country knows the rep of the Federales; kindness is not a word you hear used. It was a payoff. They didn't let Pancho slip away, now did they? They gunned him down in the desert....Or, it could be that Lefty ambushed him as a bounty hunter; that would also fit. Part of the beauty of the song is these little indeterminate points

A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 12:36 PM

I sing this one regularly, as I mentioned above.

Jed, a lot of songs don't necessarily fit the genre, but the Irish have a love of a tale well told. Examples: Deportees was one of Paddy Rileys greatest hits, and is sung by many Irish singers. I maintain this is because the experience of the border jumpers in the late twentieth/early twenty first century is so similar to the Irish experience. Another example would be The Dutchman. We, because of our bardic tradition, just love a tale well told.



Mick


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: leprechaun
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 12:59 PM

An Irish song which seems to reflect the contemporary plight of the Mexican diaspora is "The Back Door," from Cherish The Ladies. I know my ancestors had to sneak into the United States without seeing the Statue of Liberty, but that was nearly a century ago.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Matt_R
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 05:31 PM

The only version of Pancho & Lefty that I know is by The Poozies. The way I sing it is how they do. Sounds really good with the harp and accordion. Love the Poozies.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,LEJ
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 05:56 PM

You ought to give Townes a listen, Matt. I think you'd like him.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 08:02 PM

Townes is the kind of singer I like, not skilled or polished, but he sings from his soul.

Not skilled??? Well I only saw him the one time at Cambridge Folk Festival (I mean I only saw him there - I made sure to see him every time he appeared, once I'd seen him the first time) - and I'd never heard of the man before. He was skilled all right.

This song, I can't see it being Pancho Villa - this Pancho is not a general, he's a loner, and it's a pretty common name. Great song.

Any song is capable of going down well with an Irish crowd, if it's a good song. What generally happens then is that people think it's an Irish song all along. (eg Wild Rover, I live not where I love, Fiddlers Green...). This'll probably end up being called the Ballad of Frank O'Phelan.)

But where Mick said "I agree that it is more of a "folk" song than it is a "country". it got me thinking, what does that mean when you get down to it. So I'm just popped out to start up a thread called What is Country? as a change from What is Folk. Seriously, I'd like to untangle it.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,Bob T. { The Other One }
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 05:26 PM

Re Pancho & Lefty, Seven Spanish Angels, if it sounds good sing it, don't analize it to death.I just appreciate the talents of Mr Van Zantz and the messengers, Willie Nelson and that blind piano player that does such a great job with Mr. Nelson on Seven Spanish Angels


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: ddw
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 08:51 PM

That's Ray Charles, Bob....

Don't know how I missed this thread in its past lives, but found it an interesting read now. Points out how dense I can be sometimes.

It had never occurred to me that there were interpretations other than that Lefty turned Poncho in to the federales and went to Cleveland on the payoff cash. It also never occurred to me that the Pancho was Villa, since there is no idication of anything extraordinary about him, either as outlaw or rebel leader — he seems just a run-of-the-mill outlaw, albiet one "honest" enough to not rely on concealed weapons.

My take is that Van Zantz was making the statement that an honest outlaw is a better man than a sneaky little stool pigeon and he leaves Lefty rotting away in the Mistake-on-the-Lake with his conscience gnawing away at him.....

just my take....

david


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 10:47 PM

Here are a couple more great outlaw songs...

Jesse With the Long Hair Hangin' Down (Steve Earl?)

Romance in Durango (Dylan)

- LH


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Troll
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 10:50 PM

I always saw Lefty as turning in his friend, Pancho, for tiewed as sour grapes. They couldn't catch him so they saved face by claiming they didn't want to.
Crackin' good song in any event.

troll


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 05 Oct 01 - 09:11 AM

Yesterday on Folk Roots/Folk Branches, Mike Regenstreif played a superb duet of Townes Van Zandt and Freddy Fender doing "Pancho and Lefty." Freddy Fender sang some of his part in Spanish.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,frankie
Date: 05 Oct 01 - 04:34 PM

"The dust that Pancho bit down south,
Ended up in Lefty's mouth."
One of the best lines I ever heard anywhere. I love E.L. Harris' version but I think Van Zandt did the best one on a live album somewhere, at Gruene Hall I think. f


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Mudlark
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 01:04 PM

I just heard on NPR this morning that 2 new TVZ albums have been released....one a collection of his work by various artists, including Nancy Griffith, and the other a live club recording with his buddies (who were in the radio studio talking to Scott Simon about VanZ), who's names I've suddenly drawn a blank on. Anyway, both albums sound well worth having...


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 02:27 PM

I haven't seen/heard it yet, but the two buddies are Guy Clark and Steve Earle. Guy Clark was talking about it with the Mike Regenstreif on Folk Roots/folk Branches last Thursday.

There is also another "new" one called "Texas Rain," an album of duets with Townes and a bunch of others. As I said in an earlier post, Mike played the version of "Pancho & Lefty" from it with Freddy Fender.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,peter cyril
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 03:11 PM

how about the chords to pancho and lefty....I would love to have them...

peace, Peter


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Trapper
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 03:51 PM

The URL for the chords are listed in the THIRD post in this thread....

- Al


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 04:20 PM

Redundantly, I agree w/ Amos et al.

Aside to Roger in Balt.--as Melani explained, the 'or something' is Chapultepec (=Grasshopper Hill) Castle, which during the Mexican War was fortified and is now a museum, very worth seeing by visitors to Mexico City.

The problem with a lot of the labored interps is this. MAYBE P. Villa was the inspiration for Pancho in "P&L." Very extremely maybe, the Seven Child Heroes (Ninos Heroes) were inspiration for "7 Spanish Angels." Even if they were, the resulting songs were so completely reshaped by Willie, Townes et al that there's no point trying for one-to-one correspondences.

If anyone mentioned Emmylou Harris' cover of P&L, I missed the mention. I think it was on "Luxury Liner."

CC


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:50 PM

Townes tells an amusing story about how he came to write 'Pancho and Lefty' in the live version released on 'Rain on a Conga Drum' Torn and Frayed Records, Frayed CD1. It involved him having a 3-day gig in Dallas but being forced to stay at a rundown motel 50 miles from Dallas because all hotel rooms within 50 miles of Dallas were filled as a result of Billy Graham and an Indian guru both 'playing' Dallas on the same 3 days. He said Graham attracted about 500 thousand young Christians and the guru about 250 thousand young gurus and he had '7 winos from downtown'. There was nothing to do in the motel so he vowed not to move from a chair until he had written a song. Fortunately, 'Pancho and Lefty' came floating in the window. He said he always thought of Graham and the guru as co-writers, but he never heard from them. No mention of Pancho Villa. The recording was made at a live concert in Berlin on 25 October 1990.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:39 PM

Stewie - a Guru does not attract 250,000 "young gurus" to his meetings. The word Guru means a fully developed spiritual teacher, one who has achieved Self-realization. There are a tiny number of such people in this world at any given time. If there were 250,000 of them in the world, the world as we know it would be transformed beyond anything most of us can presently imagine. The word "Guru" means "dark-light"...e.g. the light that shines in the darkness. (Generally, I might add, the darkness does not comprehend it at all...if it even notices it...the dark is generally far too busy accumulating money and seeking worldly gains of one kind or another...or satisfying basic physical desires. Those are the things the ego just naturally does. Not that it's evil, it's just very limited in its viewpoint.)

Hence, a Guru does not attract young gurus, he attracts spiritual seekers, spiritual students, that type of thing. In time, through study and discipline, a tiny handful of those people attain to the point where they themselves can be termed a "guru". I'd say less than 1/100 of 1 per cent of them make it that far in a given lifetime, which is not to say that the others are wasting their time, as long as they progress part way along the path. Any progress is still progress and will not be wasted or lost.

The Indian tradition regards the life of the soul as eternal, although physical life is transitory. The soul returns again and again to physical existence until it attains Self-realization (God made real in an individual consciousness...the original Self that lies beneath the outer temporary ego brought forth into full conscious awareness and expression...the Divine fully manifested in a living being...those are ways of expressing it).

A follower of a guru can be termed a Sadhak (spiritual seeker, worker and student)...but he is not himself a guru at that point.

I've met exactly one fully fledged guru in my whole life so far, among the uncountable thousands of people who have crossed my path...and I've met a handful of people who were clearly progressing reasonably well toward a higher consciousness, but had a way still to go.

And, yes, there are some phony gurus out there, just like there's counterfeit money out there. I've heard of more than a few of those and I've seen how they misuse their influence on the credulous who follow them.

Like I said, I've met exactly one real one. How did I know he was real? It was plainly obvious. Period.

- LH


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:48 PM

Lighten up, Little Hawk. I didn't mean to offend you. I should have put 'young gurus' in quotes because that is how Townes put it - he was telling a funny story about how he came to write a song.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,VanGo
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 12:19 AM

Is it possible that the story behind Poncho and Lefty is not a tale of two friends, but of one man. It never states that the federales got him, only that he met his match, and noone heard his dying words... Perhaps this is because he hung up his guns, retiring from his outlawry.

It seems to me that all the signs point to this.. The dust that Poncho bit ends up in Lefty's mouth.. meaning Poncho's "death" gave life to Lefty

Add to that Lefty's leaving on the day Poncho was "laid low", and the federales saying they could've taken him anytime...this sounds like someone who never did something, but still wants to sound important.

Just my 2 cents

VanGo


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Uncle Steve
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 02:20 AM

Apropos of absolutely nothing... my fried Jerry Rau, a folk singer in Minnesota, tells the story of sitting across a cafe table from Townes when he was scratching down those words. That's the way it was. Anybody know of Jerry? He's been kicking around for plenty a year, used to hang out with Bill Staines and Nanci Griffith.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: GUEST,Kernow John
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 04:13 AM

The words have got me hooked. Where can I get to hear this in the UK? The record shops over here when I mention Townes say who?
Regards KJ


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 07:43 AM

The song appears on several of Van Zandt's records: "Rear View Mirror"; "The late great Townes Van Zandt"; "Live at the old quarter"; "Live and obscure:" "Rain on a conga drum"; "The masters"; "Documentary", and "A far cry from dead".  There may be even more by now.  Most of them are listed at amazon.co.uk, which might be your best bet.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Jack The Lad
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 07:01 AM

I bought the Double album "Townes Van Zandt- Anthology 1968-1979" in the UK- in a record shop- can't remember which. It cost 15.99 and is on the Charly label CDGr 207-2. It was in the Country section- Lots of his best including P&L and Tecumseh Valley, Lungs etc Cheers, Jack The Lad


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: fox4zero
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 10:48 AM

The only version that I have heard was Willie Nelson when he did a concert in Torrington CT about 6 months ago. He sand it very clearly 'cause I could make out most of the words, which was not true of most of the rest of the concert.

As to the "guns outside of his pants"...when I was stationed in Alaska in the mid 50's it was illegal to carry a handgun concealed. It was perfectly legal to wear a handgun in a holster on your hip (exposed). As a matter of fact, I once traded a shotgun for a brand new Colt Super .38 Auto that a Deputy US Marshal took off a seaman who had a "bulge" under his jacket.(I wish I kept that gun, it was a beauty). I believe that the same was true in the "old West"....that it was illegal or against the "ethical" code to carry a concealed gun. I believe the implication is that Lefty (the cowardly lowlife) carried a hideout gun.

My interpretation (for what it's worth) is that Lefty (the cowardly Gringo) either shot his pal Pancho (definitely not Villa) in the back, or set him up for the Federales who did the shooting). The bread which enabled him to flee to Cleveland (serves him right) was his 30 pieces of silver. [I concur with ddw on this]

Troll, I concur: The Federales "we could get him any ol' time" was, I agree, sour grapes.

Guest Frankie, Itis a beutiful poetic line: The shared "dust in the mouth" bit represented Lefty's eternal guilt over his betrayal of a buddy.

Stewie, do you need any bandaids as a result of the avian attack of a small raptor? I guess it's better than being shit upon by pidgeons. My father always said (among many other sage quotes) "Never look up with your mouth open" and "It's a good thing that cows can't fly". I believe that the latter was lifted from the classic:

Little birdie in the sky You dropped something in my eye. I won't swear and I won't cry, But I'll be glad that cows can't fly.

Regards to all, Larry Parish


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