HomeEntertainmentMusicOutsider Anthems: ‘Gettin’ Down on the Mountain’ by Corb Lund

Outsider Anthems: ‘Gettin’ Down on the Mountain’ by Corb Lund

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

To say that we’re living in strange times would be an understatement. For many, the last couple of years has felt like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone. As a result, countless people are wondering just what it would take for the fecal matter to truly hit the fan. Furthermore, they’re thinking about what it would take – and mean – to become utterly self-sufficient.

No other song truly captures that thought process like Corb Lund’s “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” and that’s why it’s this week’s Outsider Anthem. Where “A Country Boy Can Survive” celebrates the simplicity of rural life, this track looks at those same values and skills through the lens of a collapsed society. Not only that, but it will also make you think about your skillset. At the same time, it’s a catchy, toe-tapper of a song with some great guitar work and an instantly-recognizable bassline.

Corb Lund included “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” on his 2012 record Cabin Fever. However, the song seems like it could have been written through the lens of current events and societal fears. Lyrics like “Can you break the horse; can you light the fire? / What’s that, I beg your pardon? / You’d best start thinkin’ where your food comes from/ and I hope you tend a good garden,” made this a must-have for the Outsider Anthem series.

Corb Lund: Western Heritage Through a Modern Lens

Corb Lund grew up in rural Alberta, Canada in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and comes from a long line of ranchers and rodeo people. Often, his music reflects his cowboy roots. Songs like “Horse Poor,” “Cows Around,” and “Never Not Had Horses” will no doubt resonate with those who live life on the range. However, there is more to Lund’s music than cowboy songs.

About his approach to music, Lund said, “There are people who do Western music, and they kind of freeze-dry it museum style. I don’t do that at all. I’m interested in expressing myself currently. Which is actually what it feels like to have six generations of cowboy heritage thrown into the crazy 21st-century urban setting.” Lund says that he loves the traditional country style and uses it. However, he says, “I approach it with abandon and irreverence.”

Asking the Big Questions

Corb Lund’s “abandon and irreverence” is evident in this ballad of survival. However, the song does ask some important questions while examining the hardships that would come if things ever go sideways. Can you light a fire, track a deer, dig a well, or tend a garden? All of those are endlessly useful skills to have. This would be even more true if we lost the conveniences of modern life.

Just about any songwriter could bring those things into focus. However, Corb Lund’s songwriting transforms these hypothetical questions and stark warnings into Western poetry. At the same time, the musical stylings of the Hurtin’ Albertans, Lund’s backing band, create an incredible, up-tempo backdrop for the lyrics. In short, Lund and the gang deliver the total package here.

Listen to Corb Lund

If you like “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” you should check out more of Corb Lund’s music. I would suggest  “Bible on the Dash” which features Hayes Carll and “Drink It Like You Mean It” both of which are also on Cabin Fever.

“Bible on the Dash”