How could I forget?
Western skies feel like Dewar's and Percoset
The 1870s
Never ceased now we steel ourselves in the same valleys

They say that little chapel still stands outside of Wellington
The last parishioner passed years ago, gone and forgotten
Old gods don't need people to believe in them
I know, I know

Tell me if I'm wrong
Does this tunnel smell like dynamite and railroad work songs?
Graves of our ancestors
Dug up for the galleria
, cowboy hats and dreamcatchers

When the horse walked through the frontier town beneath a setting sun
The rider had been dead for days from guns or consumption
Feral animals remember freedom
I know, I know

Bandits on the bridge
This park and ride tastes like federales on the ridge
News from the CDC
Talk of a new strain of smallpox, fever dreams and gaps in memory

When the bullet train pulled into the last Front Range station
The conductor had been dead for hours, nothing to be done
These days machines don't need humans to function
I know, I know, I know, I know


From Nadalands - The All Souls' Day EP (January 17, 2020)

Plagues This song was written in the summer of 2019 and recorded in November of that year, just before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The plagues in question include the mysterious new infection afflicting the narrator, settler colonialism in the Western U.S., the commodification of a mythical "Wild West," and European diseases such as smallpox that combined with violence to kill roughly 90% of the Native population.

Dewar's and Percoset Late 20th Century Scotch whiskey and opioid pain pills mirror the whiskey and opium of the 19th Century, as portrayed in "gritty" neo-Western films and series such as Tombstone and Unforgiven.

The 1870s The city of Fort Collins, Colorado, was incorporated in 1873, during the oft-romanticized but genocidal era of the "Wild West."

never ceased The narrator of this song suffers from temporal disintegration and synesthesia, such that he confuses the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries as well as the senses of smell, hearing, and taste.

steel The metal of armament, as in Jared Diamond's deeply flawed Guns, Germs, and Steel, but also the implication that alcohol and opioid users "steal" their own life as they embolden themselves

Wellington Wellington is a town of 11,978 people just north of Fort Collins, Colorado.

old gods The theme of old gods who are no longer worshiped as they once were is central to Game of Thrones and American Gods. Both series feature English actor Ian McShane, who stars as a foul-mouthed bar owner in the neo-Western series Deadwood.

graves of our ancestors dug up for the galleria Bay Street Emeryville, a shopping complex in Emeryville, California, was constructed on a sacred Ohlone burial site.

cowboy hats and dreamcatchers Classic symbols of the commodified West.

consumption Victims of another plague, tuberculosis patients were often recommended to seek the dry air of the U.S. Southwest. Due to a BCG vaccination administered while living in the UK as a tween, Lindenbaum tests positive for the tuberculosis skin test. "Consumption" of the West would include the "cowboy hats and dreamcatchers" above.

bridge/ridge This couplet evokes Bruce Springsteen's Steinbeck reboot "The Ghost of Tom Joad," a Southwestern tale that was covered by Rage Against the Machine.

federales Mexican Federal Police or U.S. federal law enforcement agency officers, most famously shouted out in Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty" and classic Western films. TVZ was born in Texas and lived for several years in Boulder, Colorado. Like the narrator of this song, TVZ suffered from memory loss as well as alcohol and drug addiction.

CDC The U.S. Center for Disease Control, based in Atlanta, appeared in Steven King's The Stand (which focused on Boulder, Colorado, where King lived at the time) and zombie series The Walking Dead, among countless other contagion thrillers.

bullet train This chorus takes place in the future, since high-speed passenger rail did not exist in Colorado at the time of writing.