Under scrutiny, "Are You a Ready for the Country?" is a much stranger and more mysterious song than it initially sounds. On the surface, the song sounds like a simple expression of enthusiasm for rural life, asking listeners if they're ready to go out to the country. The lyrics hide weird images, though.I was talking to the preacher
Said God was on my side
Then I ran into the hangman
He said it's time to die
And what the hell does "lefting and then righting, It's not a crime you know" mean? The answers to all this have never been answered, and given Young's fondness for mixing stream-of-consciousness nonsense into his lyrics, it's possible that it doesn't really mean anything at all beyond what listeners place there with their imaginations.
Young had a history of attacking the American South in songs like "Southern Man
" and "Alabama
," so that, is a possibility. If so, though, he keeps his cards much better hid here.
Maybe, as John Mendelsohn of Rolling Stone has stated, it's just "an in-joke throwaway intended for the amusement of certain of Neil's superstar pals."