The Grateful Dead El Paso Lyrics

Music: Marty Robbins

Played by Bob Weir with the Dead regularly from 1970. He also played it a couple of times with Kingfish in the mid 70s, as well as more recently with Ratdog and Weir/Wasserman.

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Night time would find me in Rosa's cantina (note 1)
Music would play and Felina would whirl

Black as the night were the eyes of Felina
Wicked and evil while casting a spell
My love is strong for this Mexican maiden
I was in love, but in vain I could tell

One night a wild young cowboy came in
Wild as the West Texas wind
Dashing and daring, and drink he was sharing
Wicked Felina the girl that I love

So in anger
I challenged his right for the love of this maiden
He dived with his hand for the gun that he wore
My challenge was answered in less than a heartbeat
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor

Just for a moment I stood there in silence
Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there
I had but one chance, and that was to run

Out through the back door of Rosa's I ran
Out where the horses were tied
I picked a good one, he looked like he could run
Jumped on his back and away I did ride
Just as fast as I could

From the West Texas town of El Paso
Up through the badlands of New Mexico

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless
Everything's gone, in life nothing is left
It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death

I saddled up and away I did go
Riding alone in the dark
Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me
Tonight nothing's worse than this pain in my heart

And at last here I am on the hill overlooking El Paso
I can see Rosa's cantina below
My love is strong and it pushes me onwards
Down off the hill to Felina I go

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys
Off to my left ride a dozen or more
Shoutin' and shootin', I can't let them catch me
I've got to make it to Rosa's back door

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side
It's getting harder to stay in the saddle
I'm getting weary, unable to ride

But my love for Felina is strong and I rise where I've fallen
And though I am weary I can't stop to rest (note 2)
I see the white puff of smoke from their rifles
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest

From out of nowhere, Felina has found me
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side
Cradled by two lovin' arms that I'll die for (note 3)
One little kiss and Fellina goodbye

(1) I originally thought it was "Rosie's cantina" not "Rosa's." But Henry Brier pointed out to me that "Rosa's" was much more likely for West Texas, and various Marty Robbins sites indicate that is the correct version. I've also seen "Rose's" on some lyric sites.
(2) in the version on "Ladies and Gentlemen ... the Grateful Dead", Bob Weir forgets this line and repeats "My love is stronger than my fear of death" instead.

"It wasn't until I saw Bobby at the Felt Forum that I finally got to him and told him he was singing the song wrong. All those years he sang the wrong words. He didn't know, he never listened. I knew the song pretty well, the original Marty Robbins version, but he just didn't listen. ... At the very end of the song he was singing 'Greater my true love in arms that I'll die for.' And that's not the words. The words are 'Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for.'

[Bobby said] 'Man, thanks a lot. You're right.' And there he sang it right at the Forum. He waved at me [as if to say] 'Yeah right, I finally got it right.'"

See also:

Motöhead Go To Hell Lyrics
paginas de la vida Lyrics