I don’t know what inspired Townes to write this song, but he wrote in it 1969 when he was 25 years old. He was diagnosed as manic-depressive in the early 1960s and fought alcoholism and drug abuse his entire life, so maybe he foresaw what was coming. Townes was a brilliant songwriter, and could actually sing pretty well when he was young, but substance abuse took its toll on his voice and his body. He was five years younger than I am now when he died in 1997.
Edit: Apparently Townes wrote Waiting Around to Die earlier than I thought, as it was on his 1968 debut album. Also, Townes was six years younger than I am when he died on Jan. 1, 1997.
Was he a local performer Darron because I don’t remember hearing about him? At that time I was heavily into the folk scene, listening to and learning songs from Ian and Sylvia, Dylan, Mississippi John Hurt, Buffy St. Marie, Tom Paxton et. al.
Townes wrote Pancho and Lefty, among other songs. His songs have been covered by Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Steve Earle and dozens of others. Yeah, he was a regional performer, but you’ve heard his songs.
Yeah, I remember this song! Man, Emmylou sure does it justice! That brings back memories. I used to play in a band with a Texan named Joe Dobbs who played Texas swing style fiddle. It sounds like one of the songs he used to play.
I will never, ever get tired of hearing Pancho and Lefty. I’m glad y’all enjoy it too. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that song around the campfires at Kerrville. The first time was Townes signing it at Camp Moco Verde, right after I heard Peter Yarrow sing Blowin’ in the Wind.