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Gettin’ Down on the Mountain

This is one of the last songs I wrote for the record. I usually have a few like that, that sort of pop up near the end of the writing process, and they’re often some of the better tunes. Creativity is strange and elusive thing. But this song started with the main, dumb little guitar riff that I’ve been playing as a finger warm-up for years.  I have lots of little riffs that my hands automatically play when I’m sitting around.  So that sort of morphed into the sinister vibe that this song has.  It’s funny, lyrically I started the song a few years ago and it was about partying in a ski town during a music festival we play every year in Colorado.  It was originally “…gettin’ down in a mountain town, gettin’ down on the mountain….”  But things took a turn for the darkness and it ended up being about disaster preparation and the possibility of a societal meltdown, which is much in the news these days.

Planning for that sort of thing isn’t entirely foreign to rural people to begin with, because it’s pretty common in the country to have some food, water and clothing stored up in case of a blizzard or a tornado or some other natural occurrence.  I remember being totally snowed in at the ranch with my grandpa when I was about four years old, and eating nothing but steaks and canned mushrooms for a week.  So from there it’s not a big stretch to jump into full-on disaster prep.  The way I look at it, we all pay lots of money every year for insurance against that are much less likely to happen than an oil or power shortage or a currency meltdown. And the beauty of buying non-perishable food, ammo, clothing, supplies, etc is that they don’t lose value over time. If anything they increase in value, so to me it’s just an exchange of one sort of currency for another.

Interestingly, Mormon people are old school preppers.  I’m not sure it’s actual church doctrine, but it’s definitely a strong suggestion from the leadership that all members have a supply of food on hand at all times, just in case. Either one year or two, I can’t recall the protocol.  Mormon ladies are the bomb when it comes to discussing food storage and emergency food preparation.  It’s a huge cultural thing for them, and they’re really good at it. I’ve learned as much from them as I have from the crazy Montana style militia men/ammo hoarding/’best-calibre-if-you-could-only-have-one arguing guys on the survival forums.

Grant’s baritone riff is kinda the bomb, too.

7 Comments

  • My brother is a "city enthusiast" shall we say and was trying to convince me that condos are the way of the future, I beg to differ.. I reminded him about the 3 day power out in toronto years ago, he was stuck in an apartment building and I was at the cottage and didn't even know until almost a day later, I like to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner on the bbq! short power outs on the island were normal so most were always ready for it.

    • Actually I wasn't in an apartment, I was in a house. We were just fine without our modern conveniences, and had fun. Meanwhile you used more gas (and emitted more carbon) driving to the cottage and back than I do in a year, since I don't have a car and rarely take cabs.

    • I took a bus and caught a ride with some locals to the island, Granted it would have been a long walk otherwise, though i have wanted to ride my bike too. have you listened to the song by the way? i don't feel some of it can't be argued but I'm sure you'll find a way 🙂 while yur at it listen to the whole album 🙂 and more. corby is a history buff and may interest you…

    • oh and don't forget to read corbs explanation of the song, the reason i posted my comment…

  • Pingback: Country Boss | Boss Lady in conversation with Corb Lund…

  • I just recently got into your music, Corb. I think it is really cool that you posted this explanation of what the song means to you. I'm a musician / singer / songwriter of sorts myself, and it is rare to hear someone express the kind of thing you did in that song.

    I live in Dallas, TX, in the 'burbs, but make it a point to keep plenty of stored water, food, off-grid means to cook it, and a bit of ammo as well. And I enjoy learning to do things the way our grandparents and great-grandparents did, and the way some people still do in remote areas.

    To me, it is just like keeping a fire extinguisher or alarm, or car insurance. It costs little (actually saves money, as inflation kills cash and only increases the value of goods), and is good insurance.

    Drop me a line if you end up in Dallas.

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