Furr – Blitzen Trapper

Listen Here:

This song was actually the title track from their album in 2008. I only just ran across them in recent months. I love the sound and feel of this song. They have this great soul to their music which has both a folk and country feel but fits the indie label as well.

Lyrics here, more below:
Yeah, when I was only seventeen
I could hear the angels whispering
So I drove into the woods
And wandered aimlessly about
Until I heard my mother shouting through the fog
It turned out to be the howling of a dog
Or a wolf, to be exact
The sound sent shivers down my back
But I was drawn into the pack and before long
They allowed me to join in and sing their song
So from the cliffs and highest hills
Yeah, we would gladly get our fill
Howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn
And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong
For my flesh had turned to fur
Yeah, and my thoughts they surely were
Turned to instinct and obedience to God

You can wear your fur
Like a river on fire
But you’d better be sure
If you’re making God a liar
I’m a rattlesnake, babe,
I’m like fuel on fire
So if you’re gonna get made
Don’t be afraid of what you’ve learned

On the day that I turned 23
I was curled up underneath a dogwood tree
When suddenly a girl
Her skin the color of a pearl
She wandered aimlessly, but she didn’t seem to see
She was listening for the angels just like me
So I stood and looked about
I brushed the leaves off of my snout
And then I heard my mother shouting through the trees
You should have seen that girl go shaky at the knees
So I took her by the arm
We settled down upon a farm
And raised our children up as gently as you please

And now my fur has turned to skin
And I’ve been quickly ushered in
To a world that, I confess, I do not know
But I still dream of running careless through the snow
Through the howling winds that blow
Across the ancient distant flow
To fill our bodies up like water till we know

You can wear your fur
Like a river on fire
But you’d better be sure
If you’re making God a liar
I’m a rattlesnake, babe,
I’m like fuel on fire
So if you’re gonna get made
Don’t be afraid of what you’ve learned

So I could look at several things in this song. One would be the look at God as something that required no thought. Something you would only believe if you had no intellect to speak of. And later on the reference changes to say you would turn your back on God if you weren’t this way. I found it most interesting that the obediance to God is tied lyrically to losing taste for judging right from wrong. A shot, I think, at organized religion.

The mother appearing as wolf is odd. But I think this may be a view to someone who lost their mother and feeling that she is talking through nature. A want, a hope, wishful. It seems he views her from a place of base instinct, probably due to the young age to lose a parent.

Ultimately for me this is a story of innocence and growing up. At 17, running wild and free, like and animal. And at 23, feeling love for the first time and becoming a human being. I love that journey the song takes. And I love how the music here really enhances the story.

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