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Flashback To Marty Robbins' Signature Song That Broke The Charts

Marty robbins Songs | Flashback To Marty Robbins' Signature Song That Broke The Charts | Country Music Videos
Photo credit: AMD Inc.

One of the pioneers of country music, Marty Robbins, picked up a guitar and told a story of a Wild West cowboy who fell for a latin lady. 

Raised in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, Robbins left home at just 17 to serve in the Navy during World War II. To pass the time, he practiced guitar and tried his hand at songwriting. While stationed in the Pacific Ocean, he discovered a new love for Hawaiian music. 

Returning home after the war in the late '40s, Robbins explored his musical talents more and played at local venues until he landed a radio show hosting job in Phoenix. One of his shows featured Little Jimmy Dickens and following the introduction, the two hit it off. Not too long after the appearance on Robbins' show, Dickens helped him score a recording contract. 

Robbins debuted his first single, "I'll Go On Alone" in 1956 at No. 1 and became well-known for his performances on the Grand Ole Opry. As his successes mounted, Robbins would see four more No. 1 singles before he stormed the charts with "El Paso" in 1959. 

The signature track of this leading country artist was released in October 1959, but wouldn't see critical success until later that year when it nailed the No. 1 spot on December 20th, 1959. Robbins also earned a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording for the song. 

Check out one of Robbins' famous theatrical Opry performances of his signature tune in the video below!


Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Nighttime 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 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 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 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 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, then Felina good-bye

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