LYRICS: If I could start again & erase the years, don’t know where I’d begin, but I’d try to find a rhyme in all my reason, but it only feels like treason when there’s no country for old men, how can we start again with no place to begin? When there’s no country for old men. If I could turn back time, to fast-forward or rewind, I don’t know what I’d find? But I’d try to find a rhyme in all my reason, but it only feels like treason when there’s no country for old men, how can we start again with no place to begin? When there’s no country for old men, for old men.
INTERPRETATION: “I always liked to hear about the old-timers. Never missed a chance to do so. You can’t help but compare yourself against the old-timers. Can’t help but wonder how they would have operated in these times…”
~Ed Tom Bell (No Country for Old Men)
How does one justify ethical objectivity within a societal hierarchy that has foregone moral absolutism in favor of subjective relativism? In a meta-ethical sense, the moral objectivist is an old-timer, out of place within the modernist paradigm of subjectivism; a citizen without a country.
INSPIRATION: I wrote No Country immediately after seeing No Country for Old Men, the Coen Brothers’ exceptional film adaptation of the brutal Cormac McCarthy novel by the same name. The combination of Cormac’s bleak philosophical themes & the Coen’s methodically layered presentation make for an unshakable experience. Lyrically, I wanted to echo McCarthy’s threading theme of displacement, coupled with a sparse instrumental minimalism to parallel the film’s vacuous moral/physical landscape.
INSIGHT: The primary acoustic guitar/vocal track was recorded together live in a free-time meter, as to further emphasize the motif of structurelessness. The acoustic guitar chord voicings are also minimal, holding down only two strings per chording to yield dissonant expressions. The drum tracks were recorded last, playing against off-tempo measures to reiterate tension. We chose not to filter out any hiss or room-noise from the live tracking, adding to the soundscape’s arid ambience.