"The Temptation of Adam" is a love song between two people who are squirreled away in the subterranean levels of a missile silo. The man is tempted to launch the missiles and start World War III just so he can stay below ground with his partner and so that their love could last. As he tells Marie, "There's something tells me things just won't work out above/ That our love would live a half-life on the surface." It's really no wonder that the man is tempted so.
It's hard for me to pick a favorite line, as there are so many wonderful ones from this haunting song. I particularly love the words from the third stanza,
We passed the time with crosswords that she thought to bring insideI can just see them there, that wicked grin on their face after what he'd said. I imagine all of the long hours the two spend together, first getting to know one another, then onto flirting and romance, with doubt on the heels. It's tragedy. It's romance. It's an excellent example of how brilliant Josh Ritter is.
'What five letters spell apocalypse?' she asked me.
I won her over saying W-W-I-I-I
Oh we smiled and we both knew that she'd misjudged me.
We could hold each other close and stay up every night"The Temptation of Adam" is played on a down-tuned guitar (one full step for you savvy ones out there) with some 50's era sounding horns and strings in the background. The video below is actually an acoustic version, but the startling black & white video is perfect for the tone of the song.
Looking up into the dark like it's the night sky
And pretend this giant missile is an old oak tree instead
And carve our name in hearts into the warhead
Josh Ritter is one of my favorite artists out right now, and a large part of that is due to the wonder he produces with every song. A natural balladeer, his stories hit a part of me that not many others can do. I hope you give "The Temptation of Adam" a shot and see if you like it. If so, definitely check out the rest of the guy's catalog. You won't regret it.