Irish-born Americana artist Danny Burns cut Steve Earle’s yarn about a trio of American mercenaries headed South of the Border to join Pancho Villa. The man himself takes the second verse. Steve released this on his 1995 acoustic masterpiece Train A-Comin’, which marked his comeback from his extended vacation in the ghetto. This version cranks up the Tex-Mex vibe.
Me and Bill there we both come from GeorgiaMet Hank out in New MexicoWe’re bound for Duranqo to join Pancho VillaWe hear that he’s payin’’in goldI guess a man’s got to do what he’s best atAin’t found nothin’ better so farBeen called mercenaries and men with no countryJust soldiers in search of a warAnd we’re bound for the borderWe’re soldiers of fortuneAnd we’ll fight for no country but we’ll die for good payUnder the flag of of the greenback dollarOr the peso down Mexico wayWhen this war is over might go back to GeorgiaAnd settle down quiet some whereI’ll most likely pack up and head south for ChileHeard tell there’s some trouble down thereAnd we’re bound for the borderWe’re soldiers of fortuneAnd we’ll fight for no country but we’ll die for good payUnder the flag of of the greenback dollarOr the peso down Mexico way
We’ve got us a sequel to Wind River.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
“Wind River: The Next Chapter will see terror rise on the Wind River reservation as a series of ritualistic murders remain unsolved. The FBI enlists Chip Hanson, a newly minted tracker for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to get in the middle of a desperate and dangerous fight between the authorities, a vigilante and the reservation he calls home.”
Sheridan is not involved as either writer or director, which is not surprising given how many irons he has in the fire.
Mi compadre Craig Rullman scouted up a fascinating BBC story on the grinding Battle of Bakhmut. The fighting in that town has turned into a World War I-style attritional slaughter — and a Great War-era weapon is doing its work there:
In a timbered gun position below ground, the cold rain drips through the roof onto the dirt floor, and there, peering out into the bare landscape, is a Maxim belt-fed machine gun with stout iron wheels.
“It only works when there is a massive attack going on…then it really works,” says Borys. “So we use it every week.”
And this is how the battle for Bakhmut is being fought, as winter turns to spring in 21st Century Europe. A 19th Century weapon still mows down men by the score in the black Ukrainian earth.
3:04 “It’s a Maxim machine gun — 120 years of history of killing Russians.”
Since the war began, Ukrainians have invoked the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (a soldier of the Great War). The soldier profiled in the BBC story goes by the handle “Dwarf.” He’s a LOTR fan and, well, he does look like one of Durin’s folk, doesn’t he?
They’ve been calling the Russians “orcs” since Day One. As Politico notes:
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” novels, orc are the vicious foot-soldiers who serve the Dark Lord Sauron in his quest to rule Middle-earth. In Ukraine, an “orc” is a member of Russia’s invading forces, who have been looting, pillaging and terrorizing in service of President Vladimir Putin.
In Tolkien’s books, Mordor is Sauron’s evil realm; in Ukraine, Mordor is slang for Russia.
Chas Clifton says
The Ukrainians have modified some of them:
Oh, man… I want to shoot that.
Quixotic Mainer says
Muddy trenches and maxims… Yikes. Everything old eventually becomes new again!
One of these soldiers has a patch Blackbeard flag. (5.39)
“Mercenary Song” has the bones for the making of an excellent limited TV series or movie.
Oh hell yes…
Ugly Hombre says
Thats a great Steve Earle tune about the Gringo Mercs. I have a CD with the “Merc Song” somewhere in the rude hut- the cover by the Irishman well done! Not that long ago you could have had a Cerveza listened and learned from someone who rode with Pancho.
One of the men who rode with Villa and lived to tell the tale was E.L. ‘Al’ Warner, he went on to be a fast gun in Arizona shooting sports- 60’s and 70’s. He shot his Colts without theatrics no goofy over crouching or TV antics just fast and accurate. He was well versed in the practical use of the Model P Colt.
Al Warner, was a friend of Jim Martin’s. Jim is a master SAA gunsmith and shooter lives in Arizona. Jim shot with Rod Redwing, Cooper and the other giants in the early days. Warner rode with Villa in the first days of the revolution. He was active in the shooting sports in Arizona with Jim and some of the other early practical pistol and western pistol shooters. No one knew much about Warner exact dates when and where he was in Mexico etc. Evidentally he was a non-talkative type. When he came back from Mexico he had money. At some point Mr. Warner put a new .45 Colt barrel and cylinder in his .44 .40 Colt that he carried into Mexico. And then used the gun in the shoots. He did that as the clubs would only let people use club provided .45 Colt ammo in the matches. Mr. Warner had no family and his friends laid him to rest after he passed on. Jim was left his Mexican carried Colt’s .44 .40 cylinder and barrel. Jim fitted them to a favorite 1916 born Colt of his as a remembrance of his friend. Jim also has a trophy that Al left him from a high level pistol match that Al had won.
Warner told Jim more than once;
“I like the way you shoot.” “Whys that Al”?
“You handle your Colts like we did in the old days.”
I believe it. Jim stays on target.