Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

On the Edge of Common Sense: The legend of bad guys

Baxter Black Published on 30 August 2013

The West was peppered with bad guys whose conduct was misunderstood.

Yet today we treat them as heroes, like they were a Robin Hood.



We tend to portray them as victims, who, through no fault of their own

Grew up to be convicts and perverts, but hey, they were raised in a broken home.

They’d rob from the wealthy, it’s storied. They’d plunder and steal for a lark.

Then pass out gift boxes on weekends to orphans and nuns in the park.

They’d burn down a village but were sorry, and regretted things done even worse.


Darlin’ Nell got caught in the crossfire; they cried as they lifted her purse.

They never intended to hurt folks, but accidents happen, they do!

Now we speak of them all with compassion, ’cause bad guys have feelings, too.

We sing of their legends in ballads; we lift up their deeds in a song

And although it sounds so romantic, to me it seems dreadfully wrong.

’Cause Pancho Villa was a narcissistic bag of sheep pellets. So was Billy the Kid.


Jessie James became a hero for the foul evil deeds that he did.

The bandit Joaquin was a horse thief; Claude Dallas a cowardly swain;

The Sundance Kid was a scumbag who got his thrills robbin’ the train.

The Godfather made folks an offer he said they couldn’t refuse.

If they did, he’d take them out swimming, wearing their concrete shoes.

Bonnie and Clyde were both psychos; Pretty Boy Floyd was a rat.

And Pancho Villa was a narcissistic bag of sheep pellets, but I guess I done told you that. PD