I was first introduced to this song after downloading one of Pitchfork’s 100 best songs of whatever year. So, I definitely can’t claim any originality in liking it, as I often seek to do.
It’s a beautiful song, one that I didn’t like very much at first. The lyrics can be a little boring, and the chorus is a little hokey with it’s “whow whow whow whow whow”. The synthesizer, muted keys, and muted solo guitar remind me of an intro to an old folksy 70’s television show. To be more specific it reminds me of the intro to Twin Peaks.
Ah the intro to Twin Peaks: haunting, mysterious, and sentimental like the last slow dance to a gaudy prom somewhere in the Midwest. Maybe once you watch Twin Peaks the intro is even more significant. The repetition of the saws at the saw mill, the hidden evil lurking in human nature that’s reflected in the solemn wood-paneled living rooms of David Lynch’s surreal American landscape.
The phrase “county line” is comforting, and implicit of the ordinary and the subdued. A county line is a restriction, familiar to American pathos.
Those small towns that John Cougar Mellencamp sings about, and David Lynch probes, are the perfect mixture of isolation and longing that force the majority of us to run away to cities in search of fame, money, and convenience. Something to distract us from the slow and quiet monotony of nature. It’s in those small places that the American Dream fails to penetrate, because it doesn’t matter. Instead, things are more primal, and there is less to cement perception into the comfortable foothold of a reality peppered with traffic lights and grocery stores.
Anyway, there’s just something about these two songs that really move me. I would love to know more about what went into writing them.