Projects - Ghost Town (2014-2016)

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Mount Pleasant Eliza Wren and Nord Anderson

by Haun's Mill
My parents bought a cabin in Mount Pleasant. I loved going down there as sort of a retreat from modern life, some place that was quiet, where you could think, walk in the woods, roast marshmallows and play guitar by the campfire.

I wanted to write a song in the murder-ballad storytelling style that I loved so much from my favorite songwriters (i.e. Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, LeadBelly, Woody Guthrie). For some reason, I thought this quiet little town in the middle of central nowhere would be a perfect setting for this type of song. I also liked the idea of titling it Mount Pleasant because it is such a generic name for a city (I think nearly every state has a town/city with the same name). This way, people across the country could connect with the place name and imagine this tragic story happening somewhere near them.

Jackson is the lead character who in an act of rage, murders his cheating lover, April, and her man. He then goes on the run, creates a disguise and moves across the country dodging the police, all the while being tormented by what he has done and the place where it happened. The police eventually track him down, shoot him, and his last thoughts are about how peaceful the town was before this giant mistake he made.

Exactly three years after I wrote the song a double homicide was committed in Mount Pleasant and Fairview, Utah. The female victim, Annette Young, was a former girlfriend of Donald Richardson, the murderer. Young's boyfriend, Martin Cannon, was murdered by Richardson shortly thereafter. Richardson was on the run for a couple of days but eventually ran out of gas and turned himself in to local authorities in Oregon. He is now serving life without parole.
By Nord Anderson