I grew up way off of the grid. My home as a child during the early 1980s did not have its own phone line (we shared a party line with neighbors) and the bathroom, although it had a reasonably modern toilet, was not connected to the house; it was literally a modified outhouse. We lived far enough from city power grids that losing electrical power happened roughly twice every week, and it wasn't unusual to lose electricity for a week or so at a time.

My parents did not choose to have us live in this strict rural environment because of ignorance or sloth. My parents chose to have us live out there because it allowed us to become our own people without the auspices of society constantly pressing at us. We didn't hang out with the kids next door; we helped grow and raise food for the family. We didn't play Nintendo (much); we read profusely. We didn't listen to the latest music at the top of the charts (much); we had stacks of Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie and Jefferson Airplane on record.

No album has ever spoken to this experience quite like this one. That's what this album is really about: the freedom to live your life the way you want it, albeit in the framework of rural living in the Midwest at the start of the 1990s. It's an interesting concept of an album, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that a band close to implosion because of the massive creative forces within, a band that would directly split into two separate groups and launch two solo careers, would be able to pull it off. I hope that by the end of this writeup, you'll understand this picture, too.

This is the swan song of Uncle Tupelo. This is the album that describes my formative years. This is Anodyne.

A n o d y n e
Uncle Tupelo's final studio album

Release Date: October 5, 1993
Label: Warner Brothers
ASIN: B000002MMY

T r a c k   L i s t i n g

1.  Slate                            3:24
2.  Acuff-Rose                       2:35
3.  The Long Cut                     3:20
4.  Give Back The Keys To My Heart   3:26
5.  Chickamunga                      3:42
6.  New Madrid                       3:52
7.  Anodyne                          4:51
8.  We've Been Had                   3:27
9.  Fifteen Keys                     3:25
10. High Water                       4:14
11. No Sense in Lovin'               3:46
12. Steal the Crumbs                 3:43

S l a t e  (3:24)
Written by Jay Farrar

Do you want to hear six seconds of music that sounds like the birth of my soul? Listen to the first six seconds of Slate, up just until the second that Jay Farrar's mellow voice comes in. Listen as Jay's guitar and Jeff Tweedy's bass melt together and are led by Max Johnston's smooth, mellow fiddle.

Is this a song about a life with no meaning? Or is it about a life with ultimate meaning? What do you hear when you hear As a blind side, clean the slate?

Could carry that heavy load. I always admired my father's feats of physical strength. He could carry enormous loads on that wiry frame of his, carrying multiple bushel baskets of vegetables at once to the back of the truck to take to the farmer's market, while I would barely be able to carry one. I looked at him, saw him standing there shirtless, wiping his brow on the discarded tee shirt, then looking over at me and smiling as I tried my damnedest to get that bushel basket of cucumbers over to the back of the truck. He'd smile and say, "Let me help you with that, sir," and then effortlessly extend an arm and pick more than half the weight of the basket up and casually drop it in the back of the truck.

A worn out joke to keep the flies away. To some, porch etiquette is parochial and humorous, but I spent most evenings sitting on the porch, usually with my parents and a motley assortment of neighbors and relatives, or playing in the yard in the range of the porch light. Everyone would tell stories and laugh and drink a few beers or maybe a glass of wine or a shot or two of moonshine on Saturday nights. I would chase fireflies and keep them in a jar under the blankets with me that night, providing a visual of the afterglow of the mesmerizing evening.

Loneliness drinks the bitters. We made our own liquor down in the earthen cellar underneath the house. We had large vats of beer and wine brewing most of the time. My grandfather lived just down the road from us and he had a still which he had actually used during Prohibition; every once in a while, he'd make a batch of moonshine in it. I remember still that day in the cellar when I was about nine and my father was tasting a batch of bitter; he offered me a sip of the dark, aromatic, warm beer and I still remember the feel of it passing over my lips, then coughing it up as the taste was too strong for me.

I gambled once and won, never made a dollar. Our family was constantly betting with each other over various physical and mental feats, usually wagering non-monetary things because actual money was scarce. My mother used to throw batting practice in the backyard, and it was almost a rite of passage when I stepped up to hit a few balls. I missed my first three swings badly with gradually more agressive chiding from the pitcher, until she bet me a big hug (something I had an aversion to) versus something tasty that I couldn't make contact with the next pitch. She tossed one in there and as I pulled the bat past me, a loud crack could be heard and the ball flew over the roof of the shed, sending my brothers out to retrieve it. She watched them go, and then said, "That ought to be worth a piece of pie."

A c u f f - R o s e  (2:35)
Written by Jeff Tweedy

Some exposition may be necessary here. Acuff-Rose Music is the major holder of legacy country and western music dating back to the 1940s; remember, there is good country music. The company handles licensing and management for literally thousands of classic songs (everything by Hank Williams and most things by Roy Orbison, for example), but doesn't have a whole lot of modern "country pop" in its archives.

To be honest, I didn't understand this song at first. I was under the mistaken belief that Acuff-Rose referred to a type of acoustic guitar. The true meaning makes a lot more sense, and it makes this song into a clear exposition about how some music can unite people together.

Early in the morning, sometimes late at night There was scarcely a moment at my childhood home where you would not hear some music playing, starting with my father playing old Elvis Presley and Gene Pittney records in the garage at six in the morning until my older brother drifted off to sleep to Metallica and Quiet Riot in the middle of the night. Most families told their children to shut off that racket; on the other hand, we were always encouraged to play whatever we liked loud and proud, and new record purchases were met with delight by everyone in the house and usually would be played on the best stereo in the house once without any interruption. I still remember buying my first album that was my own: Peter Gabriel's So, which was allowed to be the only record playing in the house for the rest of the day.

Sometimes I get the feeling that everything's alright I attended a school in the nearest town; it was a small town, but most of the others there lived in town and knew each other and socialized after school together, so I was largely an outcast. I used to climb up onto the roof of the gym and read a book and see the others playing kickball together on the playground below. I often wonder if other children would feel rejected by that; I didn't. I knew that was where I wanted to be.

Name me a song that everybody knows We sang in the garden. We sang in the forest. We sang in the truck on the way to the market. We sang songs of hope. We sang songs of sadness. We sang because we could. We sang because we loved each other. We sang.

And I'll bet you it belongs to Acuff-Rose My grandfather could play any instrument you put in front of him, from the fiddle to the guitar to the banjo to the accordion, but it was his eldest daughter, my aunt, that had the stunning voice. The two of them used to perform at social gatherings, and I can still remember my aunt taking a Hank Williams tune and twisting it into something her own. Their rendition of Lovesick Blues was otherworldly; imagine a somewhat deep but very strong female voice on the opening line, Got a feeling called the blues / oh Lord since my baby said good bye.

Because everything cuts against the tide There are so many who have told me that the way I grew up was wrong. "You weren't properly socialized," they say. "Your parents forced you into poverty." "You weren't given any choices." These are all lies from people who weren't there. I learned who I was, and I learned that it's up to me to make my future self. I was given every opportunity to do this, more opportunities than children who whittle their lives away on Ritalin, eating at McDonalds every day and playing Nintendo, get.

T h e   L o n g   C u t  (3:20)
Written by Jeff Tweedy

What's the opposite of a shortcut? In a lot of ways, we spend our lives doing this without realizing it. We waste our time reading books on spiritual redemption and understanding when closing your eyes for a moment can tell you so much more. We burn time watching television when we could read a book and enlighten ourselves. We eat foods that are a shortcut to the grave when healthier, equally tasty fare takes only a bit longer to prepare.

So, why take the long cut? For the journey, of course.

I've been searching and you've been gone Our family spent a great deal of time during the summers doing bordeline commercial high throughput fishing on the Mississippi River. We would construct trot lines made out of string, which were essentially long strings with one hundred shorter strings attached to them, each shorter string with a hook on the end, and buoys on each end of the long string. Every day, we would bait literally dozens of these trot lines and run them into the river at dusk, and then raise them again at daybreak.

Out looking for the shortest path to the one that you're on I spent countless days in the garage, running through lines to remove tangles, baiting hooks and setting them aside to avoid tangling, and fixing anything that was broken. A record or cassette would always be playing in the background, filling the place with a gentle tune. Often, others would be outside dressing the freshly-caught fish; many of them would go from the river to the dinner plate in just a few hours. I ran those lines and watched the hours pass by me.

Now if it's to be, if you still believe My family did not go to church; both of my parents were agnostic, although my mother was a lapsed Catholic. Regardless, they both encouraged me to read the Bible and make up my own mind about religion, but I didn't receive any religious guidance from my parents one way or another. We didn't exist in this "handling snakes in church" mentality that many people have of the life I grew up in; religion was not a part of it (although snakes sometimes were; we would catch bull snakes and put them in the garden to keep rabbits and other veggie thieves away).

If you wanna take the long cut, we'll get there eventually The evenings after supper were usually times to "do your own thing." My parents usually entertained friends outside, and when I was very young, I would play outside; as I grew older, I spent much of my time reading on the front step. Both of my parents loved this, and as poor as we were, they would almost always find a way for books to find their way to me, often from second hand book stores. Most of the things I read were rubbish; it took me years to come around to figuring out the elements of prose that appealed to me.

G i v e   B a c k   T h e   K e y s   T o   M y   H e a r t  (3:26)
Written by Doug Sahm

This track stands out on the album for two reasons. The first is that it's the only song not written by the Farrar/Tweedy tandem; instead, it's by Doug Sahm, who wrote the tune in 1976 for the Texas Tornados album Texas Rock for Country Rollers. The second is that they actually found Sahm to sing lead vocals on the track, thus making the vocalization stand out as well.

It's a rather dark song about a relationship falling apart due to drug addiction, an issue that creeped into my childhood more than once.

Give back my TV; it don't mean that much to me We had a television that was basically unused during the summer months; we might turn it on in a rainstorm to see the weather, but that would be about it. We watched some television in the winter months, but usually we spent our time reading or listening to music or talking. Television was not our family center in any way; I don't think my childhood would have been that different without it.

Well, you got a friend named cocaine and to me he is to blame Without giving too much away, let's just say that marijuana was grown at one time on the property I grew up on, and marijuana use (not to excess) was completely condoned. Unfortunately, it was other drugs that often caused problems. One of my brothers, the one who was the next oldest after me, joined the armed forces during Desert Shield and came back with a bad cocaine addiction that just about killed him several times; the frightening part is that he's still not clean from it. My parents were pretty nonchalant about this; they encouraged him to get clean, but basically felt that it was up to him to do it.

He has drained life from your face Before he left for Saudi Arabia, we were very close. He was always the one who covered for me and did my part in running trot lines or weeding the garden or hunting when I was sick, and I usually tried to do the same for him. He was self-motivated and seemed to rarely sleep; he did things with me all the time and was basically the model older brother. When he came back, he was not the same person. We barely spoke at all, and he spent much of his time in his bedroom with the door locked. I have never been able to re-establish the connection we once had.

C h i c k a m u n g a  (3:42)
Written by Jay Farrar

Chickamunga stands out in sharp contrast to the relatively mellow sounds of the early part of the album, featuring corrosive guitar work from both Jeff and Jay in this rather dark tale of not being able to escape a life in a small town on one level and about guerilla warfare on another, it's a track that could appeal to both fans of Hank Williams and of Rage Against the Machine.

Fighting fire with unlit matches from our respective trenches My childhood was filled with a strong sense of self-reliance and a strong sense of rejection of government as an intrusive and often destructive force. It wasn't Ruby Ridge, but in some ways it was close. Most likely, we qualified for welfare and ADC, but we never applied. On the other hand, most of our economy was handled in cash, so we paid no income tax, either. The police rarely bothered to come out our way and were met with silence when they did. We were left alone, almost like our own independent state.

No authority can clean up this mess we're in When I was about eleven, a social worker came to visit our home, apparently to see whether or not the children were being treated properly. She made vicious comments about the fact that we were barefoot, that we didn't have electricity (the local electrical cooperative had yet to fix a knocked-down pole in the woods), and that all of the children were working furiously in the garden "like a bunch of slaves" (in her words; we were actually racing each other through rows in the garden, which was a game we regularly played). She gave this indignant speech about our horrible mistreatment to our whole family; we just sat there vaguely amused by this.

A miracle might point the way to solutions we're after and avert our chronic impending disaster So, for about a week afterwards, there was a great fear that the children were going to be sent to live in foster homes or something. My parents seemed pretty unfazed by this; my mother kept about her normal routines, while my father made comments about "taking care" of any government officials who would come onto the homestead. Sure enough, three social workers arrived on the property one day.

Chickamunga's where I've been; solitude's where I'm bound Now, it happened to be a stroke of luck that I was reading about sociology that day, and I had just been reading about Jean Piaget; remember, now, that I was an eleven or twelve year old kid in his bare feet sitting on the front step working on a motor, as I was actively trying to convert a bicycle to some sort of moped out of spare parts. This lady comes up to me and asks me if I am happy here, and I tell her that indeed I was. She asked me if I would be happy with another "mommy and daddy" who would take care of me better, and I said that I doubted that they would provide as much support for my cognitive development as my parents had. She suddenly got a very odd look on her face, and then said that I indeed would be better off in another house. I rolled my eyes at her and yelled for my father; when he arrived, I showed him that I had indeed reassembled the engine without a manual or any help at all. He smiled, looked at the lady, and asked her how I could be in such "terrible" shape if I had problem solving skills like that at age eleven. Needless to say, no one took me away.

N e w   M a d r i d  (3:52)
Written by Jeff Tweedy

Here we have a tale about a period in American history that is already largely forgotten. Iben Browning, a seismologist who is now considered to be a quack because of the methods he used for earthquake prediction, was very reknowned at the time for having stumbled upon an eerily accurate prediction about the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 that stopped the World Series. Dr. Browning followed this prediction with a very grave prediction of a huge earthquake (about 9.0 on the Richter scale) along the New Madrid fault line that ran through Missouri and Illinois just north of Saint Louis, Missouri. He even specified an exact date: December 3, 1990.

If a 9.0 earthquake had actually occurred on the New Madrid fault, it would have flattened our home and likely killed all of us, so the fall of 1990 was a time of some fear and paranoia. This song captures that fear that swallowed the states of Missouri and Illinois before we found out that the prediction was completely false.

There's a man of conviction and though he's getting old, Mr. Browning has a prediction and we've all been told The prediction came out like a bomb that August, and it pretty much shook everyone up at least a bit. We canned almost every vegetable we picked for several months, we stocked up on huge jugs filled with potable water, we stockpiled plywood for a shanty house and kerosene for a kerosene heater to help us survive the winter months without a house, and we had some earthquake preparation meetings with neighbors to make sure everyone would be safe in the event of "the big one."

Rivers burn and then run backwards; for her, that's enough It was the exclusive topic of that fall: what will happen when the big one hits? Will the Mississippi River run backwards, as some claimed? Will our house be flattened? Where's the safest place to be (we came to the consensus that the best place was as far away from trees and structures as possible)? The children played "earthquake" in the yard and I read On the Beach; everyone was thinking about this oncoming disaster.

Come on, do what you did; roll me under, New Madrid By the time the first of December rolled around, everyone was seriously on edge. We checked on the supplies every hour and kept the radios on to inform us if there were any signs that the big one was about to hit. For that week, we even had people stay up all night listening to the radio so they could wake the others in the event of the quake. It was paranoia and it was fear, and being about thirteen years old at the time made your nightmares full of the land rolling beneath your feet.

'Cause death won't even be still, caroms over the landfill, and buries us all in its broken back It didn't happen, though. Nothing happened, not even a tiny quake. By the eighth of December, people had taken to calling Iben Browning a nutjob and it further cemented my father's mistrust of modern science; he told me often that the great thinking people of today were inventing things, not making up theories, and Browning would reinforce this belief.

A n o d y n e  (4:51)
Written by Jay Farrar

Anodyne, the title track, is lyrically the simplest song on the album; it also stands out because of the radical tempo change in the middle of the song that seems to come out of nowhere to introduce the chorus but, at the same time, seems to fit.

Full moon from on high We did not live close to any large cities; in fact, the nearest town large enough to have a department store was about thirty miles away. You could go outside in the evening, look up at the sky, and literally see millions upon millions of stars. You could even make out the moon when it was a new moon, something I can't do where I live now. My father knew the names of hundreds of stars and dozens of constellations; we would lay out on the grass on cool summer evenings and stare up at the stars, and I would wonder to myself whether each of those stars had a planet like Earth around it, with a boy and his father laying out on the grass, looking back at our sun.

Across the board we lose again Another common recreation was checkers and chess, both played with the same wooden board. Countless hours were spent around the table on the porch, with two people deeply contemplating their moves and often a spectator or two observing. I was devastatingly poor at checkers but could usually win soundly at chess, so I would usually alternate games with the others who would play. By the time I started, the board was already deeply worn; the fact that the squares were made out of different woods was the only reason that that long-used board is still in use, even today.

Two fingers on the trigger can break the heart of any day Since we largely relied on our own means of acquiring food and fur for trade, hunting and trapping was a part of my experience growing up. To be honest, I never particularly liked to hunt, as I thought it was very unfair to the animals you were hunting; they had no way of firing projectiles back at you, so why is it appropriate to use guns? To trap, on the other hand, was a fine endeavor; most animals that you would trap would know it was a trap and thus try to find clever means of removing the bait that you would set for them. It felt much more like a fair competition between myself and the animal: could I devise a trap setup that would trick the animal, or would that wily raccoon outsmart me once again?

W e ' v e   B e e n   H a d  (3:27)
Written by Jeff Tweedy

This is a bouncy song of bittersweet cynicism about the music industry and how the whole idea of performed music is a complete sham. The song comes off like an Americana version of Johnny Rotten asking, "Ever had the feeling that you're getting screwed?" In the end, this song is about disappointment, when that near-omnipotent person you've built up in your mind is nothing more than an average Joe.

There's a guitar leaning on a Marshall stack; used to sound like the sun on the horizon I knew how different my life was from my friends who lived in town ten miles away. They would whittle away their summer days playing Nintendo in an air conditioned living room. I spent my days running lines or reading or trying to learn how to play a six string guitar or something. Sloth in front of the television was not allowed; you were either exercising your mind or exercising your body in some way. There was no pleasant coolness inside; the closest thing we had to air conditioning was a breeze that would sometimes blow through the kitchen.

Republicans and Democrats can't give you the facts Surprisingly, as isolated as we might have seemed, we were very politically active. My father would take everyone under eighteen with him when he went to vote, and he'd usually split his votes among the parties, figuring that a divided House and Senate would "make those bastards have to talk to each other." Overall, I think he was a Republican, in the sense that people who earned the money should do what they want with it; on the other hand, my mother was strongly a Democrat, mostly due to the pro choice stance since she was a fierce libertarian and voted for whichever major party was more libertarian on the big issues. They talked about and defended every vote they made, and by doing that, I understood the importance of voting.

Flashing the badges, just like the law of averages Police were often seen as more of a nuisance than anything to my family. We all leaned libertarian in terms of personal behavior; we wanted nothing else than to be left alone if we weren't bothering anyone. I think that the local sheriff's office was mostly willing to leave good enough alone, but whenever a new sheriff took over, there was usually a big dog and pony show of them stopping by and showing us their badges. I don't know, but I suspect there may have been some arrangements under the table to keep us from being harassed.

I know we've been had People would also assume that because we lived in such a rural environment that we must be terribly backward and ignorant, and thus we often received door to door salesman. My family's philosophy was that if anyone came onto the homestead to demonstrate or sell a product, we ask for the demo or sample, then tell them to get lost. This happened quite a bit when I was younger, but during my later childhood I think the door to door sales racket died for good. Or, maybe the salesmen came to realize that all they were going to take off of our property was a net loss.

F i f t e e n   K e y s  (3:25)
Written by Jay Farrar

This song comes off like something from a poetry slam set to music: it's spiky and desperate and yet still as blurry as a newly-taken Polaroid.

Finding out that it can escape you Whenever one of the children would move on, they would usually try for a clean break. One of them joined the military; another one simply moved across the country. When they would leave, the days following would be a very somber time, with lots of comments about how little things they did were missed, or how we didn't hear their AC/DC record any more, or how my mother had put out one too many plates for supper. It would be clear that something was missing for a while, but time would eventually heal the wound.

Been there, no luck at all, nothing left to lose When they would come back, it was clear that the rest of society had been a major shock to them. One came back a coke addict; another one came back with three scars and an unwillingness to say much of anything. They were accepted back to live there, but it was clear that they were somehow different and not really a part of the circle any more.

Strings that pull, strings that bend; this song and dance never ends I was deathly afraid to leave because I was scared that the same thing would happen to me. I made a clean break like they did, but I went to college instead on a scholarship I had earned. When I go back now, it is unquestionably different than it used to be; I am no longer a part of the circle.

H i g h   W a t e r  (4:14)
Written by Jay Farrar

This song talks about the 1993 Mississippi River floods that completely destroyed dozens of towns in July 1993 and filled every town along the river with a manic desperation to prevent the huge amount of water from pouring into their village. It tossed literally millions of lives into chaos through the heart of America.

The current drags to the bottom; a hemorrhage that moves us around The river was abnormally high throughout most of early 1993, which made us have to do vastly different things for fishing on the river. Our usual spots for catching fish no longer worked, and the fish didn't seem interested at all in our usual baits. The additional complication of huge currents also brought about frustration, and I remember a lot of long nights plotting out how we were going to catch fish that we desperately needed for both food and trading.

High water forever bringing us down The river topped the established flood stage for good on about June 21, 1993, and by the 25th or so, an organized effort was underway in the nearby town to save it from the quickly rising waters. We pitched in and helped, even though we weren't in any danger from the flood waters. The next two weeks were utter hell, as the men in our family worked in overlapping eight hours on, eight hours off shifts there, while my mother stayed at home and made sure everyone had a good meal and a nice bath when they got home. She was very much the hero in this; I think she adopted a short-naps-around-the-clock sleeping pattern for about two and a half weeks during the crisis.

You can't break even; you can't even quit the game What did we do? There were generally three tasks to be done: levee walking, sandbag filling, and sandbag transportation. Those filling sandbags had the most straightforward and most physically exhausting but least stressful task: all they had to do was fill sandbags full of sand, tie them shut, and pile them up for others to take. The levee walkers would walk along the earth mounds protecting the town, looking for soft spots and sudden leaks; they would each have a walkie talkie to talk to the others. The sandbag transporters had the most stressful job, I think; they had to keep their trucks full of sandbags and listen in on the chatter of the walkie talkies to figure out where any boils were, then quickly get there with sandbags before the leaks grew too large to control. If they didn't get there, the town would be gone.

Racing for the final word to come I spent most of my time filling sandbags and doing some night-time levee walking using a hardhat with a light on it. I worked eight hours on and eight hours off for two weeks, knowing that at any time the town could be flooded, knowing that if I slacked off for even a minute, there might not be a sandbag there when it was needed. It was insanely frightening, yet also inspiring; it was the first experience I had of a swirling mass of humanity coming together for a singular cause. No one complained about their job; we were all doing it. We were all united in a great fear, but also a great sense of belonging, that we all were one community and we all needed each other right now.

I can see the sand and it's running out We didn't win. On a colder than usual July day, as yet another rainstorm dumped water on us even as we scooped sand into sandbags, a huge chunk of the levee protecting the town blew away. There were three people standing on the levee when it blew; one was my brother. All three were knocked unconscious in the rush of water, but all three lived through it. I remember standing on the hills outside of the down, watching the village fill like a bathtub, and crying for the first time in years.

N o   S e n s e   i n   L o v i n '  (3:46)
Written by Jeff Tweedy

This song is about the huge problems in dating someone with a complete lack of self esteem or, for that matter, anyone with a trait that causes severe social strain.

You keep coming back I didn't want people that I knew from school to visit my home; it was so vastly different than theirs, and I knew it would be a massive embarrassment if I showed it to anyone. Thus, none of my friends from my public school days came over to my house, with one notable exception. Her name was Trisha, and at some point in 1992 we decided that we mutually liked each other better than friends.

And you don't know what I've been through First of all, you have to understand that I was the definition of social outcast. I was so far off the radar, even in my small school, that most of the people around me didn't even notice that I was there. The only other person that was that invisible was Trisha, and thus it seemed kind of natural that given a long enough period of time, we would gradually find each other. Trisha was a wispy girl with thick glasses and a penchant for flannel and a fiercely quick non-judgemental mind.

And it's all a part of our bad inheritance I never came around to inviting her to meet my family; she came herself. One day after school, she simply boarded the same bus as I was on, sat next to me, and then when we got to my stop, she got off with me. She apparently told her parents of this plan (her parents thought I was rather amusing but that I treated Trisha like royalty, so I must be all right), and so it was up to me to see what would happen.

Her first reaction to walking around the bend in the lane that led to my house wasn't the shock and revulsion that I expected, but a big smile. "I always figured you had to live in a big playhouse," she said, and she actually beat me to the porch. Within fifteen minutes, my father was teaching her how to dress a fish and she severely mutilated a few perch. A half an hour later, she tried the "Nestea plunge," which was basically a straight drop from the second floor to the first inside the house. An hour later, she joined us for dinner even after being told that she wouldn't like it: she ate stewed squirrel. After that, she came to the house all of the time, and I caught unprecedented amounts of harassment about her from my older brothers. She fit right in, and everything was magical and wonderful.

And there's no use in lovin' anyone who hates themself So, you might wonder whatever happened to Trisha. Well, within a year, she had died of leukemia. Her parents took her to several places to get treatment for her for the last few months of her life, so that little period of time where I found someone to accept where I was from without deriding me was brief. I never even looked at a female again until my college years.

S t e a l   t h e   C r u m b s  (3:43)
Written by Jay Farrar

The album closes on a somber note, with a song about the end of a relationship and what the uncomfortable later meetings are like. Given that this closes the final album of their career, and knowing that they would go on to a pile of solo albums, as well as Son Volt and Wilco... it just fits. They were to go on to other things that would be successful, but they wouldn't be Uncle Tupelo.

Apathy as your vocal cords cut out Unsurprisingly, there was no sort of saving for college done in my family, and I knew that if I was to even consider that possibility, I would have to do it myself. I applied for a lot of scholarships and got one, a big one, that was judged solely on academic standards. It alone paid for four years of tuition, room, and board at a state school. I was able to go to college, from a family where of my ancestors back three generations, my mother was the only one to graduate high school.

No more will I see you Leaving home was incredibly tough, and my early social interactions were a major struggle. I was too far away to visit my family with any regularity, so I spent three months on the campus of a large university after growing up the way you've seen described here.

Haven't we both been living the high life? It flows on the bottom I went back home for the following summer, and just like my brothers before me, it wasn't the same as it once was. The circle had broken and now I had moved on. I did the same things, ate at the same table, and slept in the same bed, but things were different now.

Better to steal the crumbs; it makes it easier to go When I left home for the last time, never to live under the roof again, I was about to drive out of the lane when my mother came up and tapped on the window. I rolled down the window and she smiled and said, "I think you might like these for the trip," and handed me several dozen strips of deer jerky. I drove back to the university, munching on the jerky, and wondering what all I had left behind.

This album tells the story of how I grew up to become the person I am today. It's about the kind of freedom that few people today get to experience, a kind of life that is slowly dying away.

This review was checked with special care with regards to E2 FAQ: Copyrighted Material.
CST Approved thanks to GrouchyOldMan.

An"o*dyne (#), a. [L. anodynus, Gr. free from pain, stilling pain; priv. + pain: cf. F. anodin.]

Serving to assuage pain; soothing.

The anodyne draught of oblivion. Burke.

⇒ "The word [in a medical sense] in chiefly applied to the different preparations of opium, belladonna, hyoscyamus, and lettuce." Am. Cyc.


© Webster 1913.

An"o*dyne, n. [L. anodynon. See Anodyne, a.]

Any medicine which allays pain, as an opiate or narcotic; anything that soothes disturbed feelings.


© Webster 1913.

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