The Course of Reason

Music Monday: Josh Ritter - “Thin Blue Flame”

January 16, 2012

I remember the first time I heard Josh Ritter. I was sitting in my car listening to World Cafe with David Dye on my way home from work, not paying attention to the artist he was interviewing for the day. As always, the artist was allowed to play one last song. Sitting in my car delaying the trip inside, something caught my ear. First it was just the mention of “god”—I seemed to have become acutely sensitive to these types of words in songs—then I listened more, noticing it appeared to be an uplifting song about embracing reality, acting with compassion, as well as a ballad critical of God. 


With a quick google search of “twists of a script”—I’m not sure why this was that line I choose to remember—it was revealed that the song was called “Thin Blue Flame” and became even more awesome upon further examination. The song is from his 2006 album The Animal Years.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

I was lucky enough to see Josh Ritter, in Ani Defranco’s old church nonetheless, this summer and found that he has added quite a few new songs to his set lists that run along the same lines, such as “Galahad” and “Harrisburg”. I strongly encourage picking up a few of his songs or albums, you won’t be disappointed. So expect a few more songs of his to be featured on future Music Mondays.  

As always, if you get a chance, send your suggestions for future Music Mondays to me at, leave a comment below, or @tweet us at @CFIOnCampus. Your suggestions, along with future and past songs, may end up in the official Course of Reason Music Monday Grooveshark playlist or Spofity playlist, that anyone can listen to.   



About the Author: Cody Hashman

Cody Hashman's photo
Cody Hashman is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Psychology, where he was the co-founder and president of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers.




Guests may not post URLs. Registration is free and easy.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

The Council for Secular Humanism's magazine (available at is called...

Creative Commons License

The Course of Reason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

CFI blog entries can be copied or distributed freely, provided:

  • Credit is given to the Center for Inquiry and the individual blogger
  • Either the entire entry is reproduced or an excerpt that is considered fair use
  • The copying/distribution is for noncommercial purposes