War’s The Cisco Kid

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War’s The Cisco Kid

War's The Cisco Kid

Jazz Rock

The song was written by group members Thomas Allen, B.B. Dickerson, Harold Brown, and Charles Miller. The song is on their 1972 album The World is a Ghetto. In 1973, the single then went to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the R&B Chart. It went all the way to #1 on the Canadian singles chart. It remains their highest-charting song. The album sold more than one million copies and was awarded an RIAA gold record.

Cisco and Poncho mentioned in the song are the two cowboys from the 1950s TV Western program The Cisco Kid. Some dialogue from the TV show is included in the background of the song at one point.

The Cisco Kid and Poncho

Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo played The Cisco Kid and Pancho, in the TV series.

War was originally called Eric Burdon and War. Burdon was the ex-lead of the British group The Animals. He and record producer Jerry Goldstein worked with Howard Scott and Harold Brown, who had a group called The Creators, in Long Beach, California, to form a band whose members loved playing all kinds of music. They fused rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, and reggae into a fun mixture. Personnel at the time of “The Cisco Kid” included Howard Scott (guitar, percussion vocals), B.B. Dickerson (bass, percussion, vocals), Lonnie Jordan (organ, piano, timbolies, percussion, vocals), Harold Brown (drums, percussions, vocals), Papa Dee Allen (conga, bongos, percussion, vocals), Charles Miller (clarinet, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, percussion, vocals), Lee Oskar (harmonica, percussion, vocals). Burden left the group in 1971. There were many other changes, but the group continues to tour and perform.

Here are the lyrics to “The Cisco Kid” by War:

“Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
He drink whiskey, Poncho drink the wine
He drink whiskey, Poncho drink the wine

We met down on the fort of Rio Grande
We met down on the fort of Rio Grande
Eat the salted peanuts out of can
Eat the salted peanuts out the can

The outlaws had us pinned down at the fort
The outlaws had us pinned down at the fort
Cisco came in blastin’, drinkin’ port
Cisco came in blastin’, drinkin’ port

They rode the sunset, horse was made of steel
They rode the sunset, horse was made of steel
Chased the gringo last night through a field
Chased the gringo last night through a field

The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine”

For another song by Eric Burdon and War: “Spill the Wine.”

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by.

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