Monday, August 17, 2015

Romance in Durango

Lovers on the lam
In Mexico can't avoid
Their persecutors.

"No llores, mi querida, Dios nos vigila, soon the horse will take us to Durango. Agarrame, mi vida, soon the desert will be gone..."

This curious song, delivered in an oddball time signature at that, feels like it came straight out of the Sam Peckinpah songbook. Like some curious combination of "The Getaway," "The Wild Bunch," "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," this song from the 1976 album "Desire" is about two lovers and one guitar and a horse, on the run from some unidentified bad guys who want to kill them. They're wandering through Mexico with the chilies drying in the sun, he and Magdalena. He sells his guitar to the baker's boy for some food and a hiding place, but says he'll get another. Don't worry, honey, he says, they'll go to Durango and leave the desert behind and dance the fandango. They travel past the Aztec ruins, and dream of church bells and the moon. He remembers his crime, but vaguely: did he shoot that guy in the cantina? No matter, it's happened, and we can't change the past. They plan to watch a bullfight and drink tequila in the old village of their ancestors, who rode with Pancho Villa into Torreon. They'll get married in the little church, and get dressed up, and then they'll have a reception watched over by God "with his serpent eyes of obsidian." But calamity strikes. His pursuers find him and shoot him from a distance. Wounded, he gives his gun to his sweetheart and bids her to aim well because they might not survive the night.



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