Turtles All the Way Down (song)

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Turtles All the Way Down Song

"Turtles All the Way Down"
Single by Sturgill Simpson
from the album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
ReleasedApril 8, 2014 (2014-04-08)[1]
GenreCountry, psychedelia
Sturgill Simpson
Dave Cobb
Sturgill Simpson singles chronology
"Living the Dream"
"Turtles All the Way Down"
"The Promise"

"Turtles All the Way Down" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Sturgill Simpson. It was released in April 2014 as the second single from his album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.


The song title, also in the lyrics, is a reference to "turtles all the way down", a lighthearted term for the concept of Anavastha from Indian philosophy, which states that there is no underlying basis, or ground, for existence. The song lyrics are about, in part, the psychedelic experience as brought on by drugs including marijuana, LSD, psilocybin and DMT. References are made to encounters with Jesus, the Devil, the Buddha, and reptile aliens. The songwriter's mortality, and the life saving effect of love, are also referenced.[2] The musical form is that of a country music ballad.

Critical reception

In his review of the album, Thom Jurek gave the song a positive review, praising both the production as well as Simpson's vocals and saying that "The track features Cobb's nylon-string guitar, the wafting tapes of a Mellotron, electric bass, acoustic and electric guitars, and sharp drums framing Simpson's lyrics that refer to Jesus, the Old Testament, Buddha, mythology, cosmology, drugs, and physics, before concluding that "love's the only thing that ever saved my life," making it a glorious cosmic cowboy song.[3]

Rolling Stone ranked the song No. 4 in its article "25 Best Country Songs of 2014." It praised the lyrics, saying that ""Turtles All the Way Down" is many things. Part twisted travelogue ("Met the devil in Seattle and spent nine months inside the lion's den"), part half-baked philosophy seminar ("Our souls must roam to and through that myth we call space and time"), "Turtles" serves as Simpson's grand mission statement for the rich storytelling and sentimentality that define this promising new artist."[4]

Music video

The music video was directed by Graham Uhelski and premiered in April 2014.[5]

In television

The song was featured on FX's The Bridge.[6]

The song was featured on HBO's Watchmen in the season 1 episode "Little Fear Of Lightning."[7]


  1. ^ "Sturgill Simpson: Turtles All the Way Down - Music on Google Play". Google Play. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "God, Drugs And Lizard Aliens: Yep, It's Country Music". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Sturgill Simpson, "Turtles All the Way Down" - 25 Best Country Songs of 2014". Rolling Stone. December 17, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "Sturgill Simpson's Interdimensional 'Turtles All the Way Down' Is Psychedelic as Hell [Fresh Vid]". Nashville Scene. April 17, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Logan, Buddy (August 26, 2014). "Sturgill Simpson Music to be Featured on FX's 'The Bridge'". Radio Texas Live. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ "Watchmen Soundtrack". Tunefind.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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