|Image via La Wik|
But sometimes the stories are epic, like something out of Homer or the Chansons de Geste. If this is your bag, baby, then you typically only have two choices: Opera, or Country.
This song could have been sung around a campfire of Caesar's Legions, or on a Viking Longship, or in Valley Forge. It is but the latest addition to the timeless list of Epic Poetry that has come down through the ages. Gilgamesh knew this song. So did Roland. The words and tune change, but the song remains the same.
Songs like this don't get much air play these days. They are seen as a quaint relic of a less enlightened past, not useful for the cultural elites and their dreams of a transformed society. That's why they need to be played.
Highwayman (Songwriter: Jimmy Webb)
I was a highwayman. Along the coach roads I did ride.The words and tune change, but the song remains the same.
With sword and pistol by my side.
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade.
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade.
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five.
But I am still alive.
I was a sailor. I was born upon the tide.
And with the sea I did abide.
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico.
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow.
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed.
But I am living still.
I was a dam builder across the river deep and wide.
Where steel and water did collide.
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado.
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below.
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound.
But I am still around.
I'll always be around, and around, and around, and around, and around.
I fly a starship across the Universe divide.
And when I reach the other side,
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can.
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again.
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain.
But I will remain.
And I'll be back again, and again, and again, and again, and again.
But Patroclus, overcome by the stroke of the god and by the spear, drew back into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate. But Hector, when he beheld great-souled Patroclus drawing back, smitten with the sharp bronze, came nigh him through the ranks, and smote him with a thrust of his spear in the nethermost belly, and drave the bronze clean through; and he fell with a thud, and sorely grieved the host of the Achaeans. And as a lion overmastereth in fight an untiring boar, when the twain fight with high hearts on the peaks of a mountain for a scant spring, wherefrom both are minded to drink: hard panteth the boar, yet the lion overcometh him by his might; even so from the valiant son of Menoetius, after he had slain many, did Hector, Priam's son, take life away, smiting him from close at hand with his spear.
- Iliad, Book XVI