There is a haunting simplicity to American country music. The above ballad, performed by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, centers around the tragic lives of a Virginian mining family. The simple lyrics seem to transcend their thematic roots against the milieu of 1970's Vegas, to appear both compelling and timeless.
Nancy and Lee make a ghostly pair. Sinatra looks like a candy coated skeleton, slightly doped as she gazes out into the darkness, singing "momma is the world comin' to an end?" Lee is an apparitious cowboy with tired eyes. When he drawls "so this is how it feels to be dead" in his distinctive monotone, it is instantly believable.
The video evokes an indefinable mix of nostalgia and melancholia. It is a harking back to simple truths, in an age of failed idealism.
"Now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back." - Hunter S. Thompson