Reptile aliens, Jesus, cosmic turtles, and country music

sturgill-simpson-album-metamodern-sounds-in-country-music-2014From country singer Sturgill Simpson's a bizarrely psychedelic video for the ballad "Turtles All The Way Down," seemingly about a strange innerspace where "reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain."

The graphics were generated by Scott Draves' Electric Sheep software, and the track is from Simpson's latest album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music. (Thanks, Jake Dunagan!)

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  1. I now submit to you the real reason for marijuana prohibition: Independent critical thinking, and the loss of any sort of real hold on free-minded people.
    The lyrics to "Turtles all the Way Down" by Sturgill Simpson

    I've seen Jesus play with flames, in a lake of fire

    That I was standing in
    Met the devil in Seattle
    And spent nine months inside the lions... den 
    Met Buddha yet another time
    And he showed me the glowing light within
    But I swear that God is there, every time I glare
    Into the eyes of my best... friend 
     Says my son, it's all been done
     Someday you're gonna wake up old and... gray
     So go and try to have some fun, showing warmth to everyone 
     You meet and greet... and cheat along the way
    There's a gateway in our minds that leads somewhere out there
    Far beyond this plane 
    Where reptile aliens made of light
    Cut you open, pull out all your pain 
    Tell me how you make illegal
    Something that we all make in our brain
    Some say you might go crazy
    Then again, it might make you go... sane 
     Every time I... take a look... inside that old and... fabled book 
     I'm blinded and... reminded of...
     The pain caused by some old man in the sky
     Marijuana... LSD... psilocybin... DMT...
     They all changed... the way I see... 
     But love's the only thing... that ever saved my life 
    So, don't waste your mind on nursery rhymes or fairy tales of blood and wine 
    It's turtles all the way down the line 
    So to each their own til' we go home... to other realms our souls must roam 
    To and through... the myth that... we all call... space and time
  2. MikeR says:

    Thanks for writing them down, I was beginning to wonder if I was making up my own random (weird) lyrics.

    This really belongs as a Eurovision entry - possibly sung by a Transylvanian transvestite.

  3. Yep, Sturgill Simpson's a cosmology fan. Here's a good interview with NPR.

    In it, he directly discusses this track on the current album.

    So there are these kind of obscure references, but you say it's an album about love. Point me to a track or a lyric that you think illustrates that.

    Well, in "Turtles," for instance, there's a line: "Marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, DMT, they all changed the way I see / But love's the only thing that ever saved my life." I think there's a lot of negativity in the world that stems directly from belief. And I think the main purpose, or at least from my observation and what I've learned about myself — I used to be a pretty negative, angry, self-destructive human being, and once you get to the root of why those things are taking place, it helps you to understand a little bit more about things you see on the news every night. I guess all I was trying to say with the record is just we should just be nice to each other.

    In high school he was busted for drug dealing. I think he probably partly did it to act out against his dad who was a narcotics officer. Simpson also says that the album is about love, not drugs.

    And without saying one way or the other that I do believe or don't believe in this or that, or that I've found answers here or there, really, the record's just about love. And even though there are some pretty blatant references to certain naturally occurring entheogenic compounds on the planet, I wasn't really saying, "Hey everybody! Go out and eat 10 grams of mushrooms and you'll understand life."

    If you read the earlier lines in "Turtles" you'll see that it's speaking against trying to find happiness through religion or drugs. (They'll change your perception, but might not give you an honest view of the world.) Simpson thinks we exist on multiple plains of existence, and that's written into his music. A really interesting guy.

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