By John Whipple
Every year, our family would take the day’s long drive to my grandparent’s farm in Western Missouri. It is from these experiences that drought draws its blood. The song speaks to what my grandfather understood and what so many of us now don’t. He started that farm in the 1920’s and used the land to raise cattle. After he retired, the new owners of that land tore down the house and started to grow corn there. The clay soil was far from ideal for corn but I guess he reckoned he could pump fertilizer into it until it would support that crop. It was this sort of arrogance and disconnect that this song speaks to.
My grandmother played the organ for local dances and silent movies. It let this blood flow through as I performed the organ parts. The video is constructed with old family movies. My father was an enthusiastic filmmaker. I remember being blinded by the terrible lights that were required to expose that slow speed tungsten film. When those films were finally digitized some of the film had deteriorated as organic films do. I found that the deterioration complemented the themes of our increasingly deteriorated relationship with our natural world.
Some folks think that we control the Sky.
They are wrong.
It’s only the wind.