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The True West?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:24 pm
by Moshe
Of all the mythologizing songs about the wild west, I suspect that Tom Russell's' "He wasn't A Bad Kid When He Was Sober" comes closer to the truth.
Unfortunately I could not find the lyrics on line, but this song is brilliant lyrically, as well as its driving tune.
"Make them heroes in a song/ swap the right stuff with the wrong" the lyrics run, commenting on the way the west was re-written to make heroes & good guys of some nasty psychopathic killers.
"He had anger issues/ you understand/ at 14 years he killed a man/he wasn't a bad sort of kid when he was sober
"Racist, sexist/moved to Texas/ passed a dozen worthless checks/killed three men & made it across the border/not a bad sort of kid when he was sober".
As the song goes on a picture builds up of the sort of psychopathic, cold blooded killers that we came to know and love as Jesse James, Billy the Kid and so forth.
""Build the legends when they die/ like buzzards made in an apple pie/ create the myth & crust the details over".
And, so the legends of the wild west were born.
Numerous movies, songs and books were make of these "legends".
But I suspect this Tom Russell song is closer to the unpalatable truth.
The Outlaws, the Eagles & many more drew on the myths of the west.
This song may give an idea of what it was really like.

Re: The True West?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:09 pm
by kev
I've read a great series of books by Larry McMurtry which are supposed to show a fairly accurate picture of part of the western story (one of the books is "Lonesome Dove", which was very well received when it was made into a TV series [not as good as the book though!]). They're pretty brutal stories, with various historical characters weaving in and out of the main story. Well worth a look.

Re: The True West?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:59 am
by Moshe
When I was a kid I used to like "The Lone Ranger".

I'm sure that had very little to do with the real west!

Re: The True West?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:43 pm
by Svitlana
It is a pity that removed the link