Josh Ritter appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on Jan. 29 with author/Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks, who wrote the book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.
It was a fascinating discussion of that point where war and music cross, political protest through song. Ritter spoke of being wary of writing anything that sounded like a traditional anti-war anthem. Instead, he said, “most of the things I write are about confusion.” It’s an interesting view, a less obvious and more thoughtful approach: “All of Animal Years is about America. … I love this place, but I do belive it’s important to question it. … How do you respect those sacrifices while at the same time questioning the necessity of them?”
Ricks apparently is a huge fan of Ritter and listened to the Animal Years while writing the final two chapters of his book. He also outed Ritter by saying that Ritter listens to Shakespeare while he runs.
Anyway, Ritter performed Girl in the War and Thin Blue Flame. I captured Girl in the War via streaming audio. But I’d recommend listening to the whole interview.
By the way, I have Bows + Arrows to thank for introducing me to the greatness of Josh Ritter.