Are You Ready For The Country

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  • 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."
  • The song was recorded in a barn studio on Young's ranch. David Crosby and Graham Nash sang backup vocals.
  • Waylon Jennings made this song the title track of his 1976 album. Released as a single, his version was a Country hit, reaching #7.

    In his rendition, Jennings changes the chorus from

    Are you ready for the country?
    Because it's time to go


    Are you ready for the country?
    Are you ready for me?
    Are you ready for the country?
    Ain't I a sight to see?
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