Townes Van Zandt
John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997) better known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American singer-songwriter. He wrote numerous songs, such as "Pancho and Lefty", "For the Sake of the Song", "Tecumseh Valley", "Rex's Blues", and "To Live is to Fly", that are widely considered masterpieces of American folk music. His musical style has often been described as melancholy and features rich, poetic lyrics. During his early years, Van Zandt was respected for his guitar playing and fingerpicking ability.
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(all songs by Townes Van Zandt, unless otherwise noted)
- Pancho was a bandit boys
His horse was fast as polished steel
Wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dying words
That's the way it goes
All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him hang around
Out of kindness I suppose
- Pancho and Lefty (1972)
- If I needed you, would you come to me?
Would you come to me and ease my pain?
If you needed me, I would come to you
I'd swim the seas for to ease your pain
Well, in the night forlorn, oh, the morning's born
And the morning shines with the lights of love
And you will miss sunrise if you close your eyes
And that would break my heart in two
The lady's with me now since I showed her how
To lay her lily hand in mine
Loop and Lil agree, she's a sight to see
A treasure for the poor to find
- If I Needed You (1972)
- Days, up and down they come
Like rain on a congadrum
Forget most, remember some
But don't turn none away
Everything is not enough
And nothin' is too much to bear
Where you been is good and gone
All you keep is the getting there
To live is to fly
Low and high
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the sleep out of your eyes
- The name she gave was Caroline
Daughter of a miner
Her ways were free
It seemed to me
That sunshine walked beside her
- "Tecumseh Valley"
- The promise in her smile shames the mountains tall
She can bring the sun to shining.
She can tell the rain to fall.
It's been a long time, Mama, since I heard you call my name,
Ah, been a long time since I heard you call my name
I got to see my Colorado girl again
Be there tomorrow, Mama, don't you cry
- You have to blow off your family. You have to blow off comfort. You have to blow off money.... You have to blow off your ego. You have to blow off everything except your guitar.
- Rolling Stone #1079 (28 May 2009), p. 64.