TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Singer-songwriter Corb Lund

Corb Lund is a country and western musician from Alberta, Canada. He’s been recording music since the nineties and just released a new record called El Viejo. Like his earlier work, it’s clever, plain spoken and beautifully produced.When Jesse first talked to Lund, back in 2010, it was at a folk festival up in Calgary – his hometown. Now, he joins us in the studio with his guitar to talk about the new album and play a few songs.

Guests: Corb Lund



Transition: Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

Music: “Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team—a fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m going to tell you about a singer. Maybe you have heard of him, maybe you have not. His name is Corb Lund. He plays country and western music. Western music, speaking geographically. There are songs about trucks and cattle and quite a bit of dark and biting humor. I’ll give you an example, a single from about a decade ago called “Bible on the Dash”. It’s a song about going out on the road on tour, getting pulled over, and one weird trick that Corb Lund says can get you out of just about any ticket.

Music: “Bible on the Dash” from the album Cabin Fever by Corb Lund.

You’ll obey my earthly laws

Yes, we did our best to quote some holy writ, chapter and verse

“What kind of music y’alls making?”

And we said Christian music, sir!”

He contemplated, thought about it, twirled his cop mustache

“Alright, you boys be careful now—just don’t drive quite so fast.”

It’s better than insurance, registration, or lying

It’s better than these fake IDs I keep on buying

It’s even better than an envelope stuffed with cash

Well, they always said it’d save me, that old Bible on the dash

Jesse Thorn: Corb Lund is a native westerner. He’s from Alberta, Canada. He grew up working on ranches there. He just put out a new album called El Viejo. Like his earlier work, it is clever, plain, beautifully produced. The title of the album is a reference to Ian Tyson. Tyson was an Alberta legend, both as half of the folk duo Ian and Sylvia, and as a western music solo star. He was also a friend and mentor to Corb. When I first talked to Lund back in 2010, it was at a folk festival up in Calgary. Now, we got him in the studio with his guitar and everything, so we will not only converse, but we will also hear a few of Corb’s songs. Can’t wait to get into it. Here’s my conversation with Corb Lund.

Transition: Thumpy synth with a syncopated beat.

Jesse Thorn: Corb Lund, welcome to Bullseye! I’m so happy to have you back on the show.

Corb Lund: Yeah. Thanks, Jesse. It’s been a while, huh?

Jesse Thorn: Yeah, you’re out there in Calgary. That’s where we first met. I was at the—we were at the Calgary Folk Festival, with folk music legend Roberta Flack headlining, as I recall.

Corb Lund: Yeah. That’s right.

Jesse Thorn: It was a good time! I think the record that you had out at the time was military history themed.

Corb Lund: Oh, that’s a while ago. Yeah, I was a Johnny Horton fan when I was a kid, so yeah. Sink the Bismarck and Battle of the New Orleans and all that, yeah.

Jesse Thorn: How far from Calgary did you grow up?

Corb Lund: About three hours. Our family ranch and our family farm are about three hours—two and a half to three hours south of here. We’re probably about four miles north of the Montana border as the crow flies. Our ranch is right beside Glacier Park, just on the northern side of the line.

Jesse Thorn: Does your family still have it?

(He confirms.)

What kind of farm?

Corb Lund: Cattle. We raise cattle. I mean, my grandfather’s generations were the last generation that only raised cattle. My dad had cows, but he was a veterinarian also. And I don’t have cows. I can barely have a dog. I’m on the—I’m never home. So.

Jesse Thorn: Did you work on the ranch when you were a kid?

Corb Lund: Mm-hm. Yeah, I grew up around cattle and riding horses. And my dad, like I said, was a veterinarian. So, I was pressed into service as a vet assistant at a young age. So, I’ve done all that gnarly stuff.

Jesse Thorn: Did you go out on calls with your dad?

Corb Lund: Yeah, yep. I’d carry stuff for him, mostly it was when I was quite young. So, you know, you go to a farmer’s barnyard or ranch someplace and, you know, castrate a bull or treat a horse for colic or float some teeth or—you know. So, he’d have me doing all kinds of things. I was unpaid, so I was—(chuckles) but yeah, I mean, I did a little cutting and all kinds of things.

Jesse Thorn: The third thing you said was float some teeth?

Corb Lund: Yeah. It’s like—

Jesse Thorn: What does that mean?

Corb Lund: It’s filing molars.

Jesse Thorn: Oh. (Chuckles.) Did you think when you were a kid that you were gonna grow up, move away, go to college, and get whatever the one-step-more-white-collar job than country vet is?

Corb Lund: No, no. I thought I’d be a cowboy with the rest of my family and raise cows probably. I entertained veterinary stuff for a moment.


But I think kids do that just because they look at their dad, but it was never really my bag exactly.

Jesse Thorn: You rode steer when you were a kid, right?

Corb Lund: Yeah, I rode steers. That’s like the kid version of bull riding, you know.

Jesse Thorn: I mean, (laughs) you won’t find me riding anything, so.

Corb Lund: Yeah, I thought that was normal when—I thought everyone just did that. ‘Cause you know, when you’re a kid, you don’t have anything else to compare it to. I just thought everyone did that. (Chuckles.) And then when I was in high school, I steer wrestled a little bit. That’s where you jump off the galloping horse and wrestle the steer. But I did that briefly. And then that was right around the time I got into Black Sabbath and stuff. So, that was a—music in my family was all—like, no one played music in my family. They were big Marty Robbins fans and Johnny Horton, like I said, and Kenny Rogers and Statler Brothers and, you know, the standard sort of ’70s country stuff.

But when I got into music, I found some friends in high school that were into metal and stuff. And so, that was a whole—I guess like growing up in a Western cowboy setting is probably exotic for some people, because they pay big money to go to a dude ranch. But to me, it just seemed like kind of normal and just day to day life. And so, I found rock music super exotic and interesting and a whole ‘nother universe. And so, I dived into that, much to the chagrin of my parents. And I was in a speed metal band for about nine or ten years, in the ’90s. But I was writing Western music all through that as well. But when I started making country and Western records, my family were a little more comfortable with it, because that was more up their alley.

Jesse Thorn: Did you think of yourself, when you became guy that listened to Black Sabbath when you were 15 or 16 or whatever—were you doing that because you were like, “Later for you, country chumps; I’m a rock and roll guy now”—was it an adolescent rebellion?

Corb Lund: Not consciously. Like, I never stopped liking cowboy stuff. I just really dug rock music. It was just really new and fresh and something I’d never heard before. It was this whole, exotic thing I’d never experienced, right? And in fact, some of the metal tunes we wrote in the ’90s—I wrote the lyrics to some of them, and some of them are experiments with, you know, grafting sort of Western lyrics with rock music. (Chuckles.) But it was interesting, because when I—like, the metal scene and the punk rock scene that I was part of was super indie, do it yourself, underground, fight the man, antiestablishment, anti-corporate kind of a scene. So, my songwriting was—the DNA of my songwriting approach was forged in a situation where you’re encouraged to be as strange and unique and find your own voice as you could.

And when I started writing Western songs or country songs or roots songs, whatever you want to call it that I do now, I brought that with me. Because that’s the only way I knew how to write songs. So, if I’d have gone straight from the farm and the ranch into country music, I’m pretty sure my music would be a lot more straight-ahead, down between the ditches. But because I was immersed in a real indie metal punk rock scene for 10 years, the stuff I write now—it has a sense of irreverence and rebellion baked into it. And it’s a really interesting thing, I think. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be the judge of that. Other people should. But to me it’s interesting, ’cause it’s a mix of like western traditional cowboy themes but always with a sort of irreverent twist.

Jesse Thorn: Was there punk rock at your high school?

Corb Lund: No. ‘Cause I grew up in a really small town, so when my friend and I—and in fact, the initial rock music I was exposed to was like the more—if there was such a thing—the more mainstream metal of the day, like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and that kind of thing. And then when my friend and I would come up, who I started playing guitar with at 14 or 15—when we would come to a bigger place like Calgary, which is a mid-sized city, we would get the whiff of something indie and underground, because you’d see those crappy gig posters posted on the lamp posts with paste. Or you’d go to a weird indie record shop.

And we could see there was another world out there besides the small-town stuff we were exposed to. And so, we slowly, slowly absorbed that. And then I eventually went to Edmonton, which is another city north of us, here in Calgary. I went to jazz school, because they didn’t have an Iron Maiden school. (Chuckles.) But I went to music school at the jazz school, and that was useful. But we got really enmeshed in the indie punk rock metal scene there, and that’s kind of where I formed my first band.

Jesse Thorn: Can you rip six solos if you want to?

Corb Lund: I’m not that much of a lead player. A little bit. I have my moments. (Chuckles.)

Jesse Thorn: Do you ever just like hang out in the house with a Flying V and just tap for fun?


Corb Lund: I don’t tap, but I do have a Flying V in the house. (Laughs.) You know what’s cool? I’m taking guitar lessons from the guitar player from Megadeth right now.

Jesse Thorn: No!

Corb Lund: And this is a strange story. He’s a great—he’s a wicked guitar player, named Timo; he’s from Finland. And I was taking—I took a couple lessons from him before he was in Megadeth. He’s in some other metal bands in Europe; one’s called Wintersun. But it’s super modern, technical metal. And then I reached him through a guitar technique forum I’m part of online, and then he gave me a couple of lessons. And then he kind of disappeared for a while, ‘cause he got the gig playing lead guitar with Dave Mustaine in Megadeth. Because I guess their lead player had retired. So, he’s pretty busy now, but I get the occasional lesson. It’s awesome.

Jesse Thorn: I love this! Tell me more about what you’re talking about on the guitar technique forum.

Corb Lund: It’s nothing to do with like note choice or style or whatever. It’s just sheerly—at least the stuff I’m focused on is sheerly technical stuff, like real inside baseball stuff, like hand position and wrist motion and finger position and that kind of stuff.

Jesse Thorn: Even more to get into with Corb Lund. Stick around, it’s Bullseye from and NPR.

Transition: Thumpy synth with a syncopated beat.

Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest is Western singer Corb Lund. His new album is called El Viejo.

Well, I want to hear you play a song. And you brought a few songs with you, including some songs from your new record, El Viejo. But there’s an older song on here that I thought might be a nice place to start, because it’s sort of a ranch song called “S Lazy H”. Tell me about where this song came from.

Corb Lund: Yeah. Okay. This song—I tell people, this is kind of about agricultural estate planning, really. Because it’s a really common story in the West where there’ll be a family ranch that’s a generational ranch. And then the kids start fighting about who gets the money when they split it up, and it gets chopped up, and then it disappears. So, this song is—the S Lazy H is a brand, you know, like a cattle brand. Out west, we sort of call our ranches after our cattle brands, like the Bar X or the—you know, the Rafter C or whatever. It’s the Cal brand, you know? Anyway, S Lazy H is a good friend of mine—my childhood friend’s brand. And the setting for this song is kind of from his life. Like, he’s got a sister that went out east to go to school, and he wanted to be a pilot.

But happily, their ranch is intact. I just used his sort of life as a setting. But the truth part of it is sort of a story I’ve heard over and over and over that happens way too often out here.

Music: “S Lazy H” from the album Things That Can’t Be Undone, performed live by Corb Lund.

Well, I was born in this valley

On this ranch I was raised

I learned to lope, rope, and dally

On the S Lazy H

Well, the roots of my people

They run deep on this place

I am sixth generation

On the S Lazy H


When it came to the future

I never gave it a thought

If there were broncs to be broken

Endless steers to be caught

Well, my youth, it was carefree

For the work was my play

And what I loved would always be there

On the S Lazy H


I had one beloved sister

A few years younger than me

Before a sole cowboy had kissed her

She left for school in the east

Me, I might have gone to college

I might have liked to fly planes

But my dad needed help

To run the S Lazy H


So, I worked there alongside him

Put a lot of years in this place

And I gained appreciation

For the lines on his face

And when Mom had grown older

And when Dad passed away

It fell to me to look after

The S Lazy H



By now my sister, she had married

A sharp attorney back east

We didn’t see eye to eye

But I did my best to make peace

What did they see when they looked over—

Over the fence one fine day?

They saw a whole lot of value

In the S Lazy H


So, after thought and assessment

The court awarded them half

And no cow-calf operation

Carries that kind of cash

Well, I worked through the numbers

Worked them every which way

Yeah, I went through the numbers

Oh, and boys, I’m afraid

I had to sell 40 sections

Of the S Lazy H


Sometimes right isn’t equal

Sometimes equal’s not fair

There will soon be rows of houses

On that ridge over there

Many lifetimes of labor

Will be all but erased

So, shed a tear and look skyward

God help the S Lazy H


The last few years were a struggle

But I gave it my best

And I tried to go forward

On the land that was left

Well, I have lived with the sorrow

And I will die with the shame

For now the bank owns what’s left of

The S Lazy H

(Song ends.)

Jesse Thorn: Corb Lund, that was so beautiful. Thank you so much.

Corb Lund: (Chuckles.) Thanks.

Jesse Thorn: I used to work at a place called the Trust for Public Land, and one of the big things that they did—you know, they worked to—basically, to convey land into mostly public ownership, but one of the things that they did was agricultural easements. And of the reasons that people who had farms would sell easements on their farms—which is to say, agree that their land would only be used for agricultural purposes—

Corb Lund: Yeah, you can’t subdivide it and stuff, right?

Jesse Thorn: Yeah, exactly. One of the reasons was that very reason—that, you know, somebody would be retiring. And the question was how do you get enough cash together to move it to the next generation without just selling. You know?

Corb Lund: Yeah, that’s right.

Jesse Thorn: It’s like a family house if a family house had cash flow issues, you know?

Corb Lund: Yep. That’s exactly right. I’ve done some work with the Nature Conservancy up here. Do you guys have the Nature Conservancy down there? It’s probably a similar deal.

(Jesse confirms.)

And you can still keep it in the family with an easement like that, but you just can’t break it up, and you can’t subdivide it, and you can’t—you know—break up the land and plant potatoes or whatever. You have to keep it in its natural state.

Jesse Thorn: One of the greatest forces for land conservation in the United States is hunters.

Corb Lund: 100%.

Jesse Thorn: But in the West, there’s a lot of people whose living comes from resource extraction. I know that’s something that you’ve worked very hard on in Alberta. What’s the—


What’s going on there in terms of using natural resources for money purposes?

Corb Lund: It’s a complicated issue. And I’m not naive enough to think that we can get off oil and gas tomorrow, because we can’t. People think we can, but our plastics are made of oil and gas, and our food supply is very intimately tied to oil and gas, and plastic is oil and gas, and heating our homes, and all that. So, it’s a complicated issue. I think it’s probably—energy is going to be the issue of our time and our next generation’s time.

But there’s a particular issue here in Alberta that I’ve been really vocal about. I always preface this by saying, A) I’m not anti-resource, but I think each project has to be looked at it on its own merits. And B) I’m not partisan, politically. I hate all political parties. (Chuckles.) And most politicians generally across the board. But having said that, there’s been a plan to introduce open pit coal mining here, in our Rocky mountains. And it’s a really dumb idea. There’s nothing in it for Albertans, and all the companies doing it are foreign companies, and all the coal is going to Asia, and it’s going to ruin our mountains and potentially ruin our water. And we’re in the middle of a multi-year drought here. And so, we’ve been very vocal about the government’s decision to—they quietly rescinded the policy that prevented this a couple of years ago without telling anyone, like on a Friday afternoon in the dark and before a long weekend, hoping to not get any media coverage.

Anyway. I have never been involved in politics in my entire career, and I never plan to be again, but this is a very local issue. And I’m not flying in from Hollywood on a jet. This is water that I personally drink, my friends and family personally drink, our livestock drinks. Yeah, it’s right in my backyard. So.

Jesse Thorn: You made most of this record just sitting in a room, right?

Corb Lund: Yeah, yeah. This is my tenth record of original material, plus all the rock band records and some covers records. So, the longer I do this, the less enamored I am with fancy studios with black leather couches and pictures of the Beatles on the wall. I like really funky environments, like basements and living rooms and stuff. And today, like mobile recording gear’s pretty attainable. And it’s more about the vibe, right? And I’m also sick of—I’ve never really tried to make like really shiny, layered, professional sounding—quote/unquote, “professional sounding” records. I like organic, raw sounding stuff, so we really went for that this time.

And there’s no electric instruments whatsoever; it’s all acoustic, and it’s just the four of us in a circle playing everything live. Like, there’s very, very little layering. It’s all just one, two, three, go and hit record.

Jesse Thorn: Why’d you choose to do that?

Corb Lund: Just for the humanity of it, like the more raw it is, the better I like it these days. Like, the more organic and real it is. And I’ve toured with my band for so many years that I’m—not to pump our own tires, but we’ve played so much together, we have the ability to do that. Like, not all bands are capable of laying stuff all down live in one take. But we’ve done a lot of that, and we really did a lot of work on the songs in rehearsal beforehand. So, we’ve found that it’s more organic that way. And at the end of the day, like art in general—especially music—it’s communication, right? And people don’t care about how pristine stuff is and how perfect the kick drum sounds. People don’t care about that. At the end of the day, they care about a human or a group of humans communicating something to them.

So, I think that the more raw and the more organic—and I keep using those words, but the more natural sounding it is, I think it reaches people more. At least—that kind of thing reaches me, at least.

Jesse Thorn: My guest on Bullseye is Corb Lund, and this is “Redneck Rehab” from his new record, El Viejo.

Music: “Redneck Rehab” from the album El Viejo performed live by Corb Lund.

Folks like us, we couldn’t afford

Long vacations at the Betty Ford

Momma says I’m gonna have to tough it out here

Grinding my teeth and grinding my gears

I just got five more weeks to go

In redneck rehab, whoa, whoa, whoa


Redneck rehab, locked in a shack

A single wide trailer for a month and a half

Redneck rehab, Momma got mad

And now I gotta kick speed before Daddy gets back


Well, Hot Shoein’ Tom says, “I got your fix

The first one’s free, here try some of this”

One bump for work and two to party

The hay’s all cut, and the colts are started

Up for days in the Georgia pine

Chopping wood and chopping lines



Redneck rehab, locked in a shack

A single wide trailer for a month and a half

Rеdneck rehab, Momma got mad

And now I gotta kick speed before Daddy gets back


I didn’t waste none of my time on liquor

I climbed on a pony a whole lot quicker

Stepped on coke and bathtub crank

Prescription pills and purple drank

Up for days, ‘til the fun all ended

Now the mare ain’t broke, and the fence ain’t mended


Redneck rehab, locked in a shack

A single wide trailer for a month and a half

Redneck rehab, Momma got mad

Redneck rehab, locked in a shack

A single wide trailer for a month and a half

Redneck rehab, Momma got trashed

Now she gotta kick speed before Daddy gets back

(Song ends.)

Corb Lund: Something like that. (Chuckles.)

Jesse Thorn: We’ll wrap up with Corb Lund in just a minute. When we come back from the break, he will talk more about his relationship with the late Ian Tyson, who might be Alberta’s proudest son. It’s Bullseye from and NPR.


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Transition: Thumpy synth with a syncopated beat.

Jesse Thorn: Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m talking with singer-songwriter Corb Lund. He is a western musician based in Alberta, Canada. He’s had dozens of albums, won a bunch of awards, including a Juno. He has a new record out called El Viejo. Corb joined me from a studio near his hometown where, as you have been hearing, he performed a few songs for us. Let’s get back into our conversation.

You lost a good pal and a mentor relatively recently in Ian Tyson. Can you tell me a little bit about what he meant to Western music in Alberta?

Corb Lund: Yeah, Ian Tyson’s a Canadian songwriter. He passed away last year at 88, I think. And he was a big folk star in the ’60s as part of a duo called Ian & Sylvia. And he wrote a lot of big songs that were recovered by big artists—like Johnny Cash has recorded his stuff and John Denver. And there’s a live version of Garth Brooks playing his stuff. And notably, Neil Young recorded a version of his song, “Four Strong Winds”. And, so yeah, he’s an internationally renowned songwriter, but he’s also one of the main, modern neo-traditional cowboy—authentic cowboy songwriters. And if you grew up as a ranch kid in Alberta into music, Ian Tyson loomed very large around here. And I’ve discovered he’s loomed very large all through the western US as well.

But he—so, that’s the background on him. But then, you know, it was probably inevitable that we would meet, because we both play western music, and we’re both from Alberta. But I met him—I don’t know—20 years ago? In Calgary here. I was part of an Ian Tyson tribute show. I was playing with a number of other artists covering his music as part of a concert. And he came to the show, and we met. I was pretty scared. ‘Cause I mean, it’s always intimidating to meet heroes, but he also had a reputation of being a little crusty. So, I was pretty nervous to meet him. But he had heard my record, and he was nothing but a sweetheart to me. And he was a really good friend for many, many years. And we toured together and recorded together. And I just lost him last year.

Jesse Thorn: When you were a kid, did you think he was cool or corny?

Corb Lund: He was just part of the fabric, you know? I didn’t really think about it. Yeah. I thought he was cool. It was just ‘cause he was singing rodeo songs and cow songs and stuff. Yeah. He’s never been—yeah, no, there’s never been a time throughout my life where I’ve thought he was corny, no. He was very hip. Like, for a Western songwriter, he had a lot of really interesting chord choices and quite a wide harmonic vocabulary.


And he was really literate. He was a walking encyclopedia of the West, that guy.

Jesse Thorn: Do you want to play the title song from your new album?

Corb Lund: Yeah. The new record’s called El Viejo, which means old man in Spanish. That was our nickname for Ian. And yeah, this is—most of my songs take months to write. Like, I chip away at them a little bit every day. This one came together pretty quickly. And the melody is based on a guitar riff I’ve been playing backstage for years. So, this is “El Viejo (For Ian)”.

Music: “El Viejo (For Ian)” from the album El Viejo performed live by Corb Lund.

El Viejo, friend of mine

I think you left us just in time

They’re out of vodka, no more wine

I think you left us just in time

You know I hate to see you leave

But it ain’t no secret you believed

You was meant for earlier days

Wilder times and a freer range

So, old compadre, Lord, I know

You was likely glad to go

I hope it’s easier in time

For those of us you’ve left behind


They ain’t dealing blackjack down at Stockmen’s in Nevada anymore

And they’d wanna pay you six to five, but that ain’t hardly worth playing for

All’s I seen was slot machinеs from wall to wall, the whole casino floor

Nobody hitting 17 playing against the dealer, that’s for sure


Mi amigo, mon ami

Elko blues, indeed

You know we did the best we could

But the shine was off the wood

We played up most all of your songs

But with you and Don and Baxter gone

Well, that sure leaves some boots to fill

And I’m not sure we ever will

But on a slightly brighter side

The Outside Circle guys

Well, they’re still tearing up the Star

And Capriola’s ain’t that far


They ain’t dealing blackjack down at Stockmen’s in Nevada anymore

And they’d wanna pay you six to five, but that ain’t hardly worth playing for

All’s I seen was slot machines from wall to wall, the whole casino floor

Nobody hitting 17, and worse yet, the Commercial’s closed its doors

Nobody hitting 17 playing against the dealer, rest assured


El Viejo, friend of mine

I think you left us just in time

(Song ends.)

Jesse Thorn: Corb, that’s a beautiful song.

Corb Lund: Thanks. Yeah, it’s funny, because it came quite a while after we lost Ian. And I knew I’d probably end up writing something. And I tried a couple times, and it was pretty hackneyed and kind of goofy and kind of corny. And then I was sitting around one day, and that one just kind of poured out of me. So, I guess the subconscious was at work, you know.

Jesse Thorn: Is there an Ian Tyson song that you’d like to sing?

Corb Lund: Yeah, there’s an Ian Tyson song that’s probably—I’ll play his most famous one if you’d like that. This is the one that Neil Young made famous. And it’s funny, because as a kid at summer camp, this was actually printed out.


You know, typed out and photocopied, along with “Sloop John B” and, you know, “Kumbaya” and stuff. And I had no idea, as a very small child, that this was actually a song written by a contemporary Albertan, but.

Music: “Four Strong Winds” from the album Four Strong Winds by Ian & Sylvia, performed live by Corb Lund.

Four strong winds that blow lonely

Seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

But our good times are all gone

And I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way


Think I’ll go out to Alberta

Weather’s good there in the fall

I got some friends that I can go to working for

Still I wish you’d change your mind

If I asked you one more time

But we’ve been through that 100 times or more


Four strong winds that blow lonely

Seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

Well, our good times are all gone

And I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way


If I get there before the snow flies

And if things are going good

You could meet me if I sent you down the fare

But by then it would be winter

Nothing much for you to do

And those winds sure can blow cold way out there


Four strong winds that blow lonely

Seven seas that run high

All those things that don’t change, come what may

Well, our good times are all gone

And I’m bound for moving on

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way

I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way

Jesse Thorn: Thank you, Corb.

Corb Lund: Yeah, we’re all real proud of that one, as Albertans. That’s probably the best name drop Alberta has ever had in a song.

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckles.) It’s almost like a national anthem. I think the Folk Festival ends with that song every year. Right?

Corb Lund: It does. It does. Yeah, at the Edmonton Folk Festival, it’s a tradition. Yep.

Jesse Thorn: Well, Corb Lund, I sure am grateful for your time. Thank you so much for talking to me.

Corb Lund: Yeah, it was a blast! Thanks for having me.

Jesse Thorn: Do you want to sing one more song before we go?

Corb Lund: Yeah, sure. This is a song called “Getting’ Down on the Mountain”. It’s about the end of the world.

Music: “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” from the album Cabin Fever performed live by Corb Lund.

When the oil stops, everything stops, nothing left in the fountain

Nobody wants paper money, son, so you just as well stop counting

Can you break the horse, can you light the fire?

What’s that, I beg your pardon?

You’d best start thinking where your food comes from

And I hope you tend a good garden


Getting down on the mountain, getting down on the mountain

Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down

I’ll be getting down on the mountain


When the trucks don’t run, the bread won’t come, have a hard time finding petrol

Water ain’t running in the city no more, do you hold any precious metal?

Can you gut the fish, can you read the sky?

What’s that about overcrowding?

You ever seen a man who’s kids ain’t ate for 17 days and counting?



Getting down on the mountain, getting down on the mountain

Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down

I’ll be getting down on the mountain


There ain’t no heat, and the power’s gone out, it’s kerosene lamps and candles

The roads are blocked, it’s all gridlocked, you got a shortwave handle?

Can you track the deer, can you dig the well?

I couldn’t quite hear your answer

I think I see a rip in the social fabric, brother can you spare some ammo?


Getting down on the mountain, going to ground on the mountain

Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down

I’ll be getting down on the mountain


When the oil stops, everything stops, nothing left in the fountain

Nobody wants paper money, son, so you just as well stop counting

Can you break the horse, can you light the fire?

What’s that, I beg your pardon?

You best start thinking where your food comes from

Better hope you tend a good garden


Getting down on the mountain, going to ground on the mountain

Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down

I’ll be getting down on the mountain


Getting down on the mountain, getting down on the mountain

Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down

I’ll be getting down on the mountain, getting down on the mountain

(Song ends.)

Jesse Thorn: Corb Lund, thank you again so very much.

Corb Lund: Yeah, thanks! It was a lot of fun.

Jesse Thorn: Corb Lund, folks. His new album is called El Viejo. It’s out now on New West Records. You can stream and download it wherever you listen to music. It’s great.

Transition: Bright, chiming synth.

Jesse Thorn: That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California. Here at my house, I’m still working on my backyard studio/office. And boy, are there a lot of different colors of white paint. I went with Cottage White. If you’re interested, that’s paint number W3-3. “It’s a color with unmistakable honey gold notes, like a picket fence in a bucolic setting reflecting the sun or the golden meadows surrounding it.” Almost exactly the same as all of the other whites.

Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producers are Jesus Ambrosio and Richard Robey. Our production fellow at Maximum Fun is Daniel Huecias. We get booking help from Mara Davis. Special thanks this week to Pete Irwin at 6 Degrees Sound in Calgary, Alberta for recording Corb Lund. Our interstitial music is by DJW, also known as Dan Wally. Our theme song is “Huddle Formation” by The Go! Team. Thanks to The Go! Team. Thanks to their label, Memphis Industries.

We are sharing all kinds of stuff lately on Instagram, @BullseyeWithJesseThorn. Follow us there. I am personally on Instagram as well. @Put.This.On. I think that’s about it. Just remember, all great radio hosts have a signature sign off.

Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

(Music fades out.)

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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