Popular Songs About Legends

Glenn Frey and Don Henley, the two composers of the hit, have admitted that the song was not based on any of the legends of the Old West. Still, there are plenty of songs which do mention famous people associated with that theme, and here are ten.

1.Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie

Dylan was probably inspired by this song from his folk idol, for the title character performed similar deeds to those of Harding.

2. Frank and Jesse James by Warren Zevon

These two legendary brothers are the subjects of a song that appeared on Zevon’s self-titled album, released a few years before he hit the Top Ten with “Werewolves Of London” and Excitable Boy.

3. John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan

This title track to the follow up of Blonde On Blonde reveres an outlaw akin to Robin Hood, who takes from the wealthy while offering financial assistance to poor sharecroppers.

4. Ballad of Billy the Kid by Billy Joel

Piano Man is the album most associated with the pop legend, and this is just one of the classic tunes which it spawned.

5.Bronco Bill’s Lament by Don McLean

This track from his self-titled follow up to American Pie serves as a sort of musical companion to the classic E.E. Cummings poem “Buffalo Bill’s Defunct,” which discusses the degrading transformation from an actual cowboy to one who merely acts as one.

6. Roy Rogers by Elton John

Reginald Dwight identified the singer before he adopted his now famous pseudonym, and the subject of this song from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road had the birth name of Len Slye.

7. Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt

The folk songwriter exults the West hero from Mexico, Pancho Villa.

I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford) by Elton John

The man in the sub title is the James Gang member who shot and killed Jesse, thus serving as the epitome of the betrayal of a so-called friend.