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Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)

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AIN'T LEAVIN' YOUR LOVE
AT MY WINDOW
BUCKSKIN STALLION BLUES
MR. MUDD AND MR. GOLD
MY PROUD MOUNTAINS


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GUEST 21 Jun 14 - 05:34 PM
catspaw49 03 Oct 08 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,pjhrn 03 Oct 08 - 11:45 PM
catspaw49 06 Feb 08 - 06:36 PM
Amos 06 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM
Amos 05 Feb 08 - 02:01 PM
Charley Noble 05 Feb 08 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,JTT 05 Feb 08 - 04:04 AM
Amos 04 Feb 08 - 11:46 PM
Franz S. 03 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM
Charley Noble 03 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Townes' Ghost 02 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 08 - 08:26 PM
Charley Noble 02 Feb 08 - 09:34 AM
Amos 01 Feb 08 - 09:25 PM
catspaw49 01 Feb 08 - 09:08 PM
Big Mick 18 Jan 08 - 10:10 AM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 08 - 09:22 AM
Amos 18 Jan 08 - 12:36 AM
catspaw49 17 Jan 08 - 09:51 PM
Charley Noble 17 Jan 08 - 09:27 PM
Rapparee 17 Jan 08 - 09:16 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jan 08 - 07:10 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 07:01 PM
catspaw49 17 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jan 08 - 05:38 PM
Charley Noble 17 Jan 08 - 05:09 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 03:56 PM
Rapparee 17 Jan 08 - 03:44 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jan 08 - 02:38 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jan 08 - 02:09 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM
Rapparee 17 Jan 08 - 12:17 PM
Big Mick 17 Jan 08 - 12:07 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 09:47 AM
Little Hawk 16 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 08 - 11:01 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jan 08 - 09:33 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jan 08 - 08:47 PM
Charley Noble 16 Jan 08 - 02:09 PM
Amos 16 Jan 08 - 02:04 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jan 08 - 01:25 PM
Amos 16 Jan 08 - 11:46 AM
Charley Noble 16 Jan 08 - 08:03 AM
Amos 15 Jan 08 - 10:12 PM
Rapparee 15 Jan 08 - 09:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 14 - 05:34 PM

The version above looks like the one EL Harris did. Van Zant's versions often varied. The main difference is the line "let him slip away". In the 1st chorus it is "let him hang around" inferring that Poncho was hanged". In the second chorus it is "let him slip away" inferring they let Lefty go because of his assistance. In the 3rd and 4th (final) chorus it is "let him go so wrong" meaning Lefty regretted what he had done.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 11:56 PM

I'm guessing here dear Guest that you haven't read this thread. After a certain point it becomes quite enjoyably silly but there's some good info including multiple links toone of Townes' interviews where he explains he has no idea exactly what the song is about or even that it might be about something he had no idea of.

Townes was a bit weird..........click here and see for yourself!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: GUEST,pjhrn
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 11:45 PM

I think with Pancho and Lefty Van Zant is addressing two sides of himself, and maybe by extension of us. And that Lefty perhaps betrays Pancho is a metaphor of the worldly part of ourselves betraying our creative or intuitive side. Or maybe not. But I don't think the song is about two guys named Pancho and Lefty.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 06:36 PM

Amos you fantastic son of a bitch!   I AM glad you refreshed this damn thing as I'd missed it I guess, somehow. Ya' done good but ya' know crap like this will eventually catch up with you and you'll turn into something hideous and appalling like a Californian or........................er,uh...............hmmmm.........too late................

Nice work anyway..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM

I am refreshing this for Spaw, damn his saggy butt.


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:01 PM

You're welcome Charley! Send a copy to everyone you know, and your luck will double and your hard drive triple in size.


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:43 AM

Amos-

Very nice to have this critique available for download, and very nicely executed.

It's vaguely reminiscent of the real thing, I suppose!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 04:04 AM

Yes, revolution and betrayal.

There's an interview with Townes Van Zandt on YouTube where he says that he *thought* it wasn't about Pancho Villa, but then discovered that one of Villa's sidekicks was called something that meant 'Lefty' in Spanish.

Townes Van Zandt was (a) an alcoholic, who spent a lot of his life in a haze, and (b) a Texas aristocrat, at one stage groomed by his family for governorship.

When he was growing up, he must have heard old men talking about the border wars of the Mexican revolution; old enemies talk in drink.

"He sank into his dreams" - the dream of revolution, of heroism.

I love the way that Van Zandt uses the objective correlative in the tight, spare writing - things like "for all the honest world to feel" making the 'honest' resound back from the world to reflect the naive heroism of Pancho.

The federales: I sense a certain sarcasm in "out of kindness, I suppose?" - as if to say, yeah, they say now they could have had him any day, but that's an empty boast from timid bullies.

"The dust that Pancho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth" - what a perfect expression of betrayal: after Pancho's gunned down, Lefty is no longer able to sing the honest blues; his betrayal chokes him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:46 PM

For those of you who care, here is an MP3 of the Ballad of Various Critiques found above, including verses on Franz, Mick, Little Hawk and Rapaire.

Ballad of various Critiques

Enjoy.


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Franz S.
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM

Well, I got a verse of my own for the first time since I was five or so. Can't beat that. Thanks, Amos.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM

But that often happens in a recurring nightmare!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: GUEST,Townes' Ghost
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 09:46 PM

That has already been linked and discussed earlier on the thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 08:26 PM

Seeing as this thread is still holding on, here is Townes Van Zandt talking about the song, and about a real life Pancho and Lefty, who let him go one time - out of kindness I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 09:34 AM

sigh...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:25 PM

Bob Dylan and Willie sing Pancho and Lefty

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 09:08 PM

Well Gang, I hated to reopen this can of panchoworms but I ran across another rendition on YouTube from a favorite guy of mine, Hoyt Axton. Very country and up tempo with some great steel work from the incomparable Pete Grant and Champ fiddler Byron Berline doing his thing on Mandolin! Check it out.........

Hoyt Axton---Pancho&Lefty

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 10:10 AM

The poets tell how it got absurd,
As Old 'Catters fought for the last word
They posted early and posted late,
'til the thread collapsed of its own weight
It drove ole Mick around the bend
He made a move, the thread to end
So this will be the final post
Out of kindness I suppose

So old grey 'Catters, stay away
For this thread has gone astray
let it die a peaceful death
Out of kindness, I suppose


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 09:22 AM

Yet a few grey Mudcatters swear,
Those who still have any hair,
They could have posted ever'y day --
Exceeding the Mother of all BS threads!


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 12:36 AM

Now Spaw sits on the outhouse floor
As he's done many times before,
Poor old man, he just feels wrong,
His mind all stuck on Pancho's song.
To ease the ringing in his brain,
He reaches up and pulls the chain,
The song goes round and round again,
And that's the way it goes...


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:51 PM

Aw the hell with 'em CN! We trashed the damn thread, not them! And if they're lurkin' they be some sick puppies, I mean like, I got somethin' they can lurk right here!

This song has sent me round the bend
The friggin' thread will never end
I'm still thinkin' in Pancho rhyme
Can't get the tune out of my mind
I hope Amos sends me some dough
I could use a grand, ya' know?
My life's hopeless doncha' see?
Think I'll go take a crap..........


Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:27 PM

For you lurkers who have been diligently following this discourse, it's time to chime in with your admiration and thanks for this grand and glorious thread. Know that it couldn't have happened without your attention!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:16 PM

After a while one begins to doubt if ANY version is real....


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:10 PM

You have it! ;-)

Hey, I've just been practicing "Pancho and Lefty" (the real version, I mean) on the keyboard here...sounds good.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:01 PM

I welcome forgiveness from all quarters, for all my sins whether real or inagined.



A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:49 PM

Or, if not, at least a reapportionment like where Amos sends us all some money in case his words go platinum...........Tell ya' what Amos, just send me a grand now and we'll call it square; you get all the royalties.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:38 PM

I am sure a rapprochment can be arranged... ;-)


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:09 PM

Amos-

Nicely done, with regard recognizing Big Mick's contribution!

Now make nice with Little Hawk and all will be forgiven, I'm certain sure.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:05 PM

Big Mick lives out on the road,
Carrying a heavy load,
Righting wrongs and fighting lies,
And helping workers organize,
But when the load, it gets too great,
Ole Mick doesn't hesitate,
He tunes in to the folkie's page,
And rests his weary eyes.

All the greedy bosses claim
They're smarter than a Big Mick's brain,
And they only give him what he wants,
Out of kindness, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:56 PM

Oh, I'm sorry, you misunderstood me. I never meant to imply it was sexual.


A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:44 PM

He's saying that he doesn't use his thumb, Amos.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:38 PM

My sexual proclivities are in fact quite different from what you surmise.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM

Well, I will admit that what you say is well-spoken, considering you have that thumb so far up there.


A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:09 PM

Ha! I simply enjoy playing with you now and then, Amos, as a cat plays with a cruddy old ball of string that he has long played with and has grown accustomed to savaging when he's bored. Having these little feuds and tiffs, these petty little struggles of ego, pretending it all actually matters....hurling carefully crafted verbal broadsides across ancient battlefields positioned on virtually worthless ground that no one really wants. It goes so well with the general zeitgeist around here, don't you think? ;-)


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:41 PM

Mister Mick,

Sir, you do me disservice -- I wasn't leaving your verse out, I was saving it for best and last.

But after Little Hawk's explsion of righteous indignation, it did occur to me to ownder whether or not you would rather be spared altogether.

Howver, if that is not the concern, since you are of deeper, more robust, more bullet-proof character, I will have your verse along shortly, as soon as I do a few corrections to the abbreviated user guide for the SR-60 cable locator.

A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:17 PM

A man without street cred is a pissed-off fella, and a pissed-off fella who sings Irish stuff is likely to take you out with a bodhran beater.

Better apologize, Amos. Crawl in the dust if you gotta -- there are better ways to go than being beaten bloody with a bodhran beater.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Big Mick
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:07 PM

Amos..... what really pisses me off is that there is no verse for me!!!!!! There went my street cred. thanks, hombre.

****chuckle****

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM

Don't worry, I wasn't planning to.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:47 AM

Actually, I don't think yours was better. I think you're just being jealous. Anyway, don't sing mine. It's not up to your standards, and I'd ghate for you to compromise yourself.

A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM

Two hunnert!!!


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 11:08 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 11:01 PM

I always aim mine upwards toward the gutter..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 09:33 PM

Say, let me amend the final line of my 1st paragraph in that last post slightly, to be fair...I might better have said it this way:

"It (your parody of Pancho and Lefty) engages in puerile characterizations of people you know personally (on this forum), while my song engages in social satire."

Your intent, of course, was humorous...as was mine. We aimed our humor at very different targets.


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:47 PM

Why, Amos? ;-) I'll tell you why. Because my lyrical alternative version, "Sancho and Hefty", is way better than yours is, and I'd rather sing it instead. Your version, as I said, has moments of brilliance here and there, but it doesn't hold up overall. It's got sections that are really weak, both in regards to imagery and metre. It has poor structure. It has clumsy wording. It engages in puerile character attacks on people you know personally, while my song engages in social satire.

You need to churn out far less material than you normally do, cut out the dross and refine your approach. I would not sing your version because it's embarrassingly bad in spots. If you were to edit out about half of it and clean it up some, then you'd have something worth singing.

And for you to accuse me of "hate-filled venom-spewing" when you would go so low as to write a line about me having my thumb up my ass....well, that's just downright laughable. ;-D You are being unobservant of your own penchant for low-minded crudity, sir. It does not become you.

To paraphrase the immortal Bobert: "That owl won't hoot."


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 02:09 PM

"Doctor, there's this tune that I can't get out of my head!"

"Now, son, calm down. Why not hum me a few bars."

"Oh, no! Now we'll both have to be quarentined!"

They say that songs can never kill,
Only people fit that bill;
They saunter up, adjust the mic,
And then they blow you outta sight!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 02:04 PM

I take it you didn't like your verse, Little Hawk.

This is the second time it has driven you into fits of uncontrollable hate-filled venom-spewing. Really, I believed all that was below a person of your elevated character, but clearly, your Dark Side entities are unimpressed with all your spiritual studies, and lurk ready to move in at the slightest provocation.

Ah, well. It is not my misery that really is in question. I really enjoyed writing those lines. :D

Why don't you make a recording of them? The chords are straightfoprward and your brilliant musicianship could make it sound really good.


A


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 01:25 PM

Your lyrics teeter drunkenly from flashes of momentary brilliance to blithering absentee idiocy, Amos, rather as a drunken budgerigar teeters back and forth from one foot to the other on his precarious perch just prior to taking a fluttering nosedive into the nearby trash basket or the toilet bowl...

May I pull the handle of the latter now and end your misery?


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Subject: >>The Ballad of Various Literary Criticisms
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 11:46 AM

The Ballad of Various Literary Criticisms


Old Pat was plain and sexual,
He warn't no inty-leckshual,
He liked to shout in terms obscene,
At people on the movie screen.
But down at Mudcat, on a break
Someone made a big mistake,
Asked Pat for a literary critique,
Something you should never do.

All the professorés swear
They'd heard of his repute somewhere
They only lost the footnote source
When the winds began to blow.

Now Charley, he a can't pick and choose
Every verse, like he useter do,
When Pat produced his grand critique,
It raised a bit of Charley's pique
It was all bullshit, smoke and phlegm
But that didn't matter much to him,
He started writing one himself,
An' we all know how that goes.

All the professorés swear
They'd heard of his repute somewhere
They only lost the footnote source
When the winds began to blow.

The critics all ignored old Pat,
And Charley's counterpoint fell flat
On grounds of insufficient charm
And post-deconstructionist alarm.
And Pat, he needs your prayers, it's true
But save a few for Charley, too,
He's writing guidebooks for the Zoo
For the tourists in the spring.

All the professorés swear
They'd heard of his repute somewhere
They only lost the footnote source
When the winds began to blow....
Oh, when the winds began to blow....



Franz was getting hot and sore,
Pacing up and down the floor,
Researching antecedents which
He found from 1934.
But Franz could not, for all his tryin'
Get the other guys to buy-in,
He swore Pancho Villa was the key,
But maybe it ain't so...

All the professorés swear
They'd heard of his repute somewhere
They only lost the footnote source
When the winds began to blow.
Ohhhh, ohh, the winds began to blow....


Ole Hawk, he stayed behind in school,
While they taught him not to drool,
Until they turned him out, alone,
To face the cold inside his bones.
He couldn't stand the cold inspections,
And grammar, text and style corrections,
So he dropped out in Canada,
Where no-one knows his past.

The poets sing about the threads
That he fucked up and left for dead,
And where he lives is bitter cold,
And that is how the tale is told.
But Little Hawk still gets his say
--he writes pedantic posts, by day,
They show the latest dusty trace
Of the thumb that's up his ass.

A few old professorés claim
They could have understood his brain,
They only had to run away
When the wind began to blow...

The talking turned to bold Rapaire,
And psychobabble filled the air,
He figgered high and he figgered low,
And what he meant, nobody knows.
He said that life was edible,
And said that Spaw was Oedipal,
Then he went off smoking drainpipes,
As the sun was falling low.

All the academics seem
To think they know what he tried to mean,
But they lost their lists of secret memes
When the wind began to blow,
Oh, when the wind began to blow

After all was said and done,
By the sorry light of a setting sun,
Charley Noble stood alone,
Harvesting the long thread home,
And as the sea was turning red,
Charley shook his noble head,
"They've all gone off to other things..."
But that's the way it goes.

A few old professorés claim
They understood the singer's brain
But they couldn't find the footnote source
When the winds began to blow,
Oh, woooah, when the winds began to blow...


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:03 AM

Some day, I predict, someone will mine this thread an' make millions, long after our ol' bones 'ave crumbled an' blown away as dust.

The ghost of TVZ might be amused.

The banner ads below feature "Pancho and Lefty Radio."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 10:12 PM

The talking turned to bold Rapaire,
And psychobabble filled the air,
He figgered high and he figgered low,
And what he meant, nobody knows.
He said that life was edible,
And said that Spaw was Oedipal,
Then he went off smoking drainpipes,
As the sun was falling low.

All the academics seem
To think they know what he tried to mean,
But they lost their lists of secret memes
When the wind began to blow,
Oh, when the wind began to blow


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Subject: RE: The Ballad of Pancho and Lefty
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 09:57 PM

Is there any significance to the fact the both "Spaw" and "Hawk" have the letters "aw" in them? Hmmmmmmmmmm.........


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