Saturday Night Music: The El Paso Variations

Between my friends Craig and Kim Giesecke’s recent stay there and the fact that The Bridge is set there, I have El Paso on my mind. That, in turn, means that I have major earwormage. Here are three-count ’em three-renditions of the classic Marty Robbins tune:

This final version is the oddball of the lot. The Old 97’s + some random video game. (Kevin) Spacey, man:

2 thoughts on “Saturday Night Music: The El Paso Variations

  1. Oh, now you’ve done it.
    El Paso comes in two versions, one of which is more than a minute (and has eight lines redacted from the shorter version) longer. It’s the first song in a trilogy that spanned Marty Robbins’ career; the middle song, Feleena, came out several years after El Paso, and the final song, El Paso City, was IIRC his last top 5 country hit.
    The little place called Rosa’s — though his biographer denies he ever stopped in during his drives home to Arizona from Nashville, for three Christmases in a row in the 1950s — is still there, a stone’s throw off I-10 West (allegedly old US 80 ran right by it) … It’s a little rock-front adobe building, like a lot of buildings constructed from the 1900s to the 1980s, in El Paso; they serve beer and burgers and have a little dance floor and a big jukebox.
    Out the back door, there’s a ditch and a fence and Sunland Park Raceway, which is in New Mexico — and where a lot of the horses look like they could run. If it’s Old Mexico you’re heading for, it will take you a little longer to get there — it’s actually about a quarter mile to that border, depending on which bend in the river you cross, and the closest one’s actually obstructed by an electrical substation now. For a year, my son lived within two miles of it; I got to actually see the place in person the night before we finished moving him out of El Paso to Abilene.

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