We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ah - my favorite Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson collaboration. The Pancho and Lefty video on Youtube is worth while watching - it's very well done.
A terrific example of the narrative story in song, Lefty sells out Pancho (who fought with the Republican gold miners) to the Federales to get the money to go back to Cleveland. "He only did what had to do." The Federales lie about the old days, Pancho is dead, and Lefty wastes away: "The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold." The brilliance is that the three sides never meet; their interaction is entirely inferred with the sole exception of the Federales - "All the Federales say - they could have had him any day - they only let him slip away - out of kindness I suppose".
Not my favorite version of the song, but it is a song I am fond of. Townes could definitely write 'em. One time Charlie Parker was asked why he was listening to C&W songs on the jukebox: "The stories, the stories." The story of Pancho and Lefty is worth the telling.
Willie and Bob covered a Townes Van Zandt song. Here is Townes covering a Rolling Stones song: Dead Flowers. It speaks to the skill of the Stones as musicians that they wrote a song that sounds as if Townes wrote it.
Townes Van Zandt wrote dozens of songs just as fine as Pancho and Lefty, and he himself recorded the song many times, live and in studio. He really was a remarkable writer and performer, and he provided the raw material for so many other performers to produce their own inspired versions of his songs. I'm always discovering another cover of his songs, often by unexpected artists, that proves the value of his work.