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Song of the Night: “El Paso”

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heisenberg_hatIf you haven’t seen the last episode of Breaking Bad, you may want to stop reading now. I spoil more than the name of a song in what follows.

Seeing that Marty Robbins tape land in the seat next to Walter at the start of the episode caused me to throw down a little fist pump, because I knew which song was going to come on right away and because the connection between “Felina” and the music hit me immediately. I should have thought of it the second I read the finale’s title a week ago, but it was probably better that the realization came during the show.

Most people have probably looked the song up by now, but if not, check out the lyrics and the song below. With a little imagination, they line up with the plot almost perfectly.

For what it’s worth, I thought the ending was perfect too, or as perfect as it could get following the craziness of season four. Writers and fans complaining that the conclusion was a little too “neat” or “safe” should take the time to think about what happened in the last four episodes, and how little Walter actually accomplished before checking out.

He managed to save his family from Lydia and the Aryan Brotherhood, but Hank died in the process, he lost his son, his wife, and his daughter, and insured that his legacy will be that of a criminal that abandoned his family. Neither Skyler nor Walt Jr. will ever know that Walt is behind Gray Matter’s future donation, Walt Jr. will never know that Walt didn’t pull the trigger on Hank, and then there’s the whole trail of death and destruction Heisenberg left behind in his desperation. A trail that Walt paved because, by his own admission, he enjoyed it. He was good at it.

Walt half-won in the end, but only because he didn’t go out 100% Heisenberg. Some tiny part of his family-man’s-self remained. Enough to help him poison one person, threaten two more, and kill most of the rest. What is neat or safe about any of that?

But enough ranting – that’s just my two cents. I enjoyed the show and the ending and this song has been stuck in my head all night and day.

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;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep 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,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina, the girl that I loved.

So in anger I challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
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 caught a good one.
It looked like it could run.
Up on its back and away I did ride,
Just as fast as I could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the bad-lands 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 onward.
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.
Shouting and shooting I can’t let them catch me.
I have to make it to Rosa’s back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
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,
Though I am weary I can’t stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
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 loving arms that I’ll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.


Author: Laughter

I like music and philosophy. And baseball.

One thought on “Song of the Night: “El Paso”

  1. Pingback: FeLiNa | TAM SGN

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