Turtles All the Way Down

The post I intended for today is taking longer than expected, and I can’t seem to get started on my backup idea (the time change and chilly weather have me in hibernation mode). So instead, here’s my current favorite tune, Turtles All The Way Down, by Sturgill Simpson, from his 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music:

I first heard this during the closing credits on Hulu’s Reservation Dogs (episode 8, season 2), and it really caught my ear. And mind. Such great lyrics. (Here’s a non-official version with the lyrics.) Enjoy!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

10 responses to “Turtles All the Way Down

  • Wyrd Smythe

    I listened to the album the tune came from, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, and enjoyed it. But I generally like country-rock and a lot of plain country. (My criteria for music are generally: [1] good melody, [2] good rhythm, [3] good arrangement. I don’t care much about genre.)

  • Anonymole

    I’m glad you posted the lyric’d version. Couldn’t understand a thing he said, otherwise. “Reptile aliens made of light.” Love it!
    And the turtles all the way down, that’s Hindu? Some Eastern philosophy at least, right?

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I think turtles appear in multiple mythologies, the Hindu among them. It was Terry Pratchett’s popular fantasy series where I first encountered the notion of a flat Discworld sitting atop four astronomically sized elephants (eyes the size of oceans) that stand atop a world-sized space turtle. I was surprised when I found out that’s a legit Hindu myth! Pratchett didn’t invent it, just brought it to wonderful and laugh-out-loud life.

      The “turtles all the way down” thing supposedly comes from an interchange (often attributed to William James) after a lecture where a woman has the immortal punchline, “It’s no use, Mr. James — it’s turtles all the way down.” The Wiki page gets into the details.

      • Lady from Manila

        I just dropped by your Main Index even though I’ve been having the busiest week because my memory keeps telling me in all certainty this isn’t the first time you’ve used the title. I’m in reminiscing mood, I guess 🙂. Couldn’t find, however, what I was looking for. But there’s no doubt I read the expression “Turtles All the Way Down” first from you, Wyrd.

        To answer your question in your most recent reply to me: No, I haven’t had the chance yet to watch the movies you’ve mentioned. I envy you for having had that opportunity. I’ll be honest to admit I had to prioritize Western action movies due to time constraints. I’m counting on many years ahead of me to be able to see all the great films you’d recommended.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “Turtles all the way down” is a useful concept that I’ve invoked many times over the years. But, yeah, as you saw, I’ve never used it in a post’s title before. That song gave me the perfect occasion.

        Wow, I didn’t realize you were so busy you don’t even have time for movies!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Hope you had a nice Christmas, Marj! Have a Happy New Year!

      • Lady from Manila

        Hi Wyrd! What a pleasant surprise to receive yuletide greetings from you again after a very long time. Merry Christmas 🎄 and a Happy New Year, too!

        I’ve been taking advantage of the holiday bustle to distract me from feeling somber out of my personal loses this 2022. Yet I always look out for new posts from you and read every bit my mind is able to comprehend 🙂. Renewing my online connection with you is one of my few consolations this year and I’m truly thankful to have you around.
        Enjoy your day and do take good care. God bless you, my friend. ❤️

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I know you’ve had a tough year. Hopefully 2023 will make up for 2022. (Get to be my age, and that it’s going to be 2023 kinda blows me away. There was a time 2001 seemed the distant future.)

  • Matti Meikäläinen

    Thanks! I listened to it a couple of times and it got under my skin—fascinating lyrics.

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