El Paso

I used to listen to a lot of western-ballad songs when I was growing up. This a modern interpretation of one of my favorites, a song called El Paso by Marty Robbins.

If you haven’t heard it give it a listen- It’s a beauty.

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso…

I fell in love with a Mexican girl.

Nighttime would find me in Skeeter’s Cantina,

The jukebox would play and Rosita would twirl.


Blue like the skies were the eyes of Rosita,

I found myself lost as they casted their spell.

My love was strong for this Mexican maiden,

I was in love but in vain I could tell.


One night a suited young man busted in, flashing a bright shiny badge…

Running with libation, he yelled “Immigration”,

And tackled Rosita, the girl that I loved.


So in anger I challenged his right to arrest the young maiden;

Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.

My challenge was answered, in less than a heartbeat

The ICE agent lay dead on the floor.


Just for a moment I stood there in silence,

Rosita cried at the deed I had done.

Many thoughts ran through my mind as I stood there;

As Rosita screamed I decided to run.


Out through the backdoor of Skeeter’s I ran, then drove away in the dark…

Maybe tomorrow a bullet will find me,

Tonight nothing’s worse than this pain in my heart.

10 thoughts on “El Paso”

    1. Haha I feel like our fathers would get along. When I was growing up, my dad used to blare his Marty Robbins CD in the living room at least once a week. I agree, there are some great stories out there about west Texas towns and gunfighters. We have such a rich cultural history in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jacob, I love this song so much I wrote my own lyrics to it as an open mic poem tribute to Marty Robbins. It’s great that the song has (rightly) stood the test of time and is still giving its gold to thousands, hopefully millions Jilly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Jacob, sorry for the much too long delay in posting my spoken word tribute to Marty Robbins. Soon after it was written I had the great privilege of performing the poem at The Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, London.

        Marty Robbins

        Out in the West London town of South Harrow
        I was brought up, just an ordinary girl
        Our radio stood, very big in the corner
        I thought Tony Hancock lived inside its walls

        I got to my teens and one warm night in summer
        I turned a dial and found Radio Lux
        I heard someone sing about Mexican sweethearts
        and souls that were sold for a couple of bucks

        And there in the West London town of South Harrow
        I fell for a far-off American boy
        As he sang of his lover and Rose’s Cantina
        his voice cut my heart, like a blade made of joy

        He was my hero, he’d fight for my honour
        He’d aim for the stars, he would die for my love
        I am well aware this was just in his lyrics
        but the magic was cast and it never wore off

        I dreamed that a hero would come and collect me
        and that he would love me, defend me and more
        If some handsome young stranger tried ever to steal me
        my hero might lay him out dead on the floor

        I watched and I waited, made sure I was ready
        for when my hero knocked on my front door
        The years drifted like gun smoke and somehow or other
        I lost track of whatever I’d been waiting for

        Oh, I met some heroes, and several contenders
        came by, but they didn’t have what Marty had
        My sister found one, and so has my daughter
        Any gambler will tell you that those odds ain’t bad

        On a warm night in summer we’ll drink wine in our garden
        and they’ll let me play one of Marty’s great songs
        It’s always El Paso, and my husband will tease me
        but safe in my heart Marty’s where he belongs

        Out in the West London town of South Harrow
        I fell for a far-off American boy
        As he sang of his lover and Rose’s Cantina
        his voice cut my heart, like a blade made of joy

        Written by Jilly Funnell January 2012 and included in “Taking the Mic”, a selection of performance poems published by Sugar on the Bee to raise funds for Frimley Park Hospital Charity to provide the best possible care for patients over and above that provided by NHS Funds.

        Best of wishes, Jacob,


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jilly,

        This is probably the most amazing and creative revisioning of Marty Robbins I’ve ever seen! It’s crazy, how the longing echoes the one in the original song. The man in El Paso loves the maiden for her craft and falls in love. And you in turn fall in love with the artist who can paint those pictures with song. The level of storytelling and emotion woven in are a credit to your writing. Frankly I was blown away. I hope one day to be able to write something like this.


        Jacob Edwards


  2. Jacob, I have been off this site far too long, just revisited today and found your wonderful response to my poem for Marty. You have truly made my day and I apologise for taking so long to tell you. Best of wishes from England, Jilly


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