There’s something about this song that is very much of its time and place. Released in 2006, The Animal Years by Josh Ritter is steeped in political disgust and spiritual malaise. Nowhere are those feelings more pronounced than on the penultimate track, the anti-war strummer, “Thin Blue Flame.”
Yet, like the best political songs of Dylan and his ilk, there is also a timelessness in the anger and frustration expressed. We tend to stick by the president when he’s ‘our guy’ and eviscerate him when he’s on the other side, no matter what he does. But sometimes righteous anger isn’t about political parties, but about an entire system that fails the people. That kind of frustration is universal (and unavoidable).
Which is why songs like this will always exist.