I wrote an article every month this past year in which I shared my thoughts on classic country ballads that told the stories of tragically lost love. To jog our musical memories, here is the list with the links to those blog articles.
January – Marty Robbins – El Paso and Feleena
February – Faron Young – TheYellow Bandana
March – Willie Nelson and Ray Charles – Seven Spanish Angels
April – Marty Robbins – San Angelo
May – Billy Walker – Cross the Brazos at Waco
June – Billy Walker – Matamoros
July – Marty Robbins – Running Gun
August – Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
September – Marty Robbins – They’re Hanging Me Tonight
October – Lefty Frizzell – Long Black Veil
November – Johnny Cash – Give My Love to Rose
Here we are in December, and we’ve reached the
series finale of country ballads of lost love.
My end-of-year blogging gift to myself and to
you, my faithful readers, is to end the year on a positive musical note. I’m
leaving us with a happy ever after feeling with these two songs that tell the
stories of how two couples found a way around seemingly insurmountable
obstacles to make it to their Happy Ever After.
The two songs are Saginaw, Michigan and Meet Me Tonight in Laredo.
Saginaw, Michigan was Lefty Frizell’s sixth and final number one U. S. country chart hit in 1964. The song was released in November 1963. Bill Anderson and Don Wayne wrote the song.
Saginaw, Michigan tells the story of the son of a poor fisherman in Saginaw, Michigan
who falls in love with a rich man’s daughter. Her father forbids her to have
anything to do with our young fisherman. But our young man is resourceful, and
he takes off for Alaska to find a fortune in the gold mines. When his hopes of
finding gold are crushed, he concocts a scheme to return home under the guise
of having struck it rich. The wealthy man is a greedy fool and
he asks Will you sell your father-in-law your Klondike claim? The
deal is made and the wealthy man goes to Alaska to dig for the nonexistent gold.
It serves him right and no
one here is missing him
Least of all the newlyweds of Saginaw, Michigan.
To reference a quote from Hannibal Smith, I love it when a happy
ever after plan comes together. ;-)
This next song is my favorite classic country song as well as my favorite Marty Robbins song.
Meet Me Tonight in Laredo
Mabel Cordle and Ronny Robbins wrote Meet Me Tonight in Laredo. Marty released it on The Drifter album in July 1966.
This song tells the story of a woman who meets a wild Comanchero by chance one night in Laredo. We get the idea right away that she’s in love with this man, because people tell her he had lived the outlaw life and if she hooks up with him her life will consist of nothing but toil and hardships and heartaches and tears.
Meet me tonight in Laredo.
Wait ‘til the moon’s hanging low
Meet me tonight in Laredo
We’ll soon be in Old Mexico
They slip away through the darkness and ride deep into Mexico to begin their lives together.
The hands that once held a six gun are holding their baby tonight.
My gosh, but I love this song. I love it so much, in fact, that I wrote a novel based on the lyrics. The novel is The Comanchero’s Bride.
This is the scene in which the woman meets the Comanchero one night in Laredo…
The pause between songs interrupted her private ponderings, and Elizabeth realized Domingo Valderas was walking straight toward her across the dancing area. So intense was his gaze, it was clear she was his intended destination. Pleasant anticipation knotted inside her. His self-assured, swaggering gait suggested an earthy vitality she’d never encountered in any other man.
His ornately adorned black charro jacket hugged his broad shoulders and the ends of his midnight-black hair brushed the collar of the red shirt that opened low on his chest revealing a patch of dark curly hair. His flashy calzoneras hung long over his boots, and a black poblano dangled down his back by a cord around his neck. The silver conchos dotting the wide, black leather gun belt strapped around his narrow hips caught and reflected the wavering torchlight with glimmering sparkles. With each arrogant step, the rhythmical jingle-jangling twirl of his large-rowelled Mexican spurs against the stone plaza held her, enthralled, as a moth drawn to the flame.
“Buenas noches. I am Domingo Raoul Valderas y César, recently of Monterrey, Monclova, and Saltillo by way of Santa Fé and all locations in between. My friends call me Mingo. Your name, señorita?”
His English was strong and clear, although heavily accented with a deep, languid tone that washed over her, caressing her with intimate familiarity. This man was desire personified, and her body responded where words failed her.
His expression took on feigned alarm at her continued silence, and he swept his free hand histrionically to his chest. “No! Do I hold false hope…Señora? Tell me my heart will not be broken to learn that you belong to another.”
Thanks for sticking with me all year on this series endeavor. See you all in January 2024.
Until next year,
writing through history one romance upon a time