San Andreas

Album: Dirt Road's End (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Anthony Crawford of Sugarcane Jane describes this song as "special" because it showcases Neil Young's influence on him. The Alabama-based singer and guitarist spent over 30 years playing guitar for the renowned musician. Crawford was inspired to write "San Andreas" when he was staying at Young's house in Northern California. "I can recall getting on the airplane to fly home after one of my trips out there," Crawford explained in his Songfacts interview. "I was just looking out at the runway as I was leaving San Francisco airport and thinking about the place."

    Crawford revealed to us his thought process regarding the tune. "I was just somehow comparing the fear that I had of an earthquake to the beauty that I was able to experience while being there," he said. "It was the yin and yang kind of thing - Okay, well, your biggest fear is here but you're experiencing one of the most beautiful places on the planet - as far as the way it affected me as a person."

    He continued, "But I just think that because of the contrast that it has and just the big wide open sky at night - where Neil Young lives is so magnificent. No wonder the guy writes the best songs, or at least at one time he did, living where he lives. About two or three miles over a hill and you're on the Pacific Coast. You then go the other way and you just have the most beautiful rolling California hills. You then can go in another direction and you're right in the middle of these sequoias, which are massive trees. It just had it all. It was just the most magical place to be was on his property, and, specifically, where I was sleeping. I would just get up and look at the stars. You could see a satellite go by. You just never knew what was up in that sky. The sky was just deeper than anywhere that I'd ever been.

    So somehow I was comparing the energy that I felt of like - Oh, God! If one of these trees fell on me, I'm dead! When I go out there, I still always know that looms. But so does a tornado down here in Alabama. Fear is fear. I think fear is crippling and I don't like to even dance with fear anymore. Fear, not sudden calamity, is my whole thing."
  • The lyrics in the chorus display the conflicting emotions Crawford was feeling:

    Though sometimes she may get angry
    Break a dish, shake a tree, crack the road
    It's a small price to pay for heaven on Earth
    San Andreas
    San Andreas Fault Line
    San Andreas Fault Line

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