T Nation

Strong Words 09/03/05


"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." Last words of Pancho Villa

I thought this was an interesting choice of "Strong Words": these don't seem like "Strong Words" but makes the guy sound rather pathetic.

What do you think?

Edit: Villa was a General in the Mexican Revolution. Here is another quote from him: "If I ever catch you again, I will kill you." ? (Pancho Villa would capture U.S. soldiers and spare them by cutting one of their ears off, and he said these words upon releasing them.)


Maybe he was just caught off guard by the grim reaper, no time to prepare a speech. Everybody wants some kind of legacy or last words to echo through history. He got screwed. It's also kind of funny that whoever he told that to didn't do what he said.


In a way he still got what he wanted. Pretty profound words I think.


Francisco Villa was assasinated in 1920 when he was going into a town near his ranch. The ambush had been set up by Adolfo de la Huerta, who feared he might take up arms again. He had disbanded his army during the Mexican Revolution in return for guarantees of being left alone. He had survived at least three previous attempts, so he knew that he coulld die at any moment. He (along with Emiliano Zapata) is widely considered as one of the very few true heroes of the Mexican Revolution, so it is only fitting that he would wish to make his last words meaningful (maybe something like "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" - Emiliano Zapata).


Here are some good final words from another revolutionary:

Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well--let 'em wait.

-Ethan Allen (1738-1789)

Ethan Allen was a U.S. patriot and leader of the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution. Allen's last words were a deathbed response to an attending doctor who attempted to comfort him by saying, "General, I fear the angels are waiting for you."


Sense of humour at the end.

What else could you do? I think its more valid and shows more about the man then some defiant macho quote.


I realize and accept the fact that not all leaders' last words have been awe-worthy and meaningful, but i don't think that telling the people at your deathbed to lie for you to make you sound admirable is the way to go. I suppose we can learn a lesson from this: only have loyal persons at your side when death is knocking on the door, and/or have a cool quote ready!



it's a touch of reality. a significant man didn't have anything significant to say moments before his demise. kinda shows how regular he actually was, and implies how regular other significant men actually are...contrary to popular belief.