Bonnie Prince Billy

  • Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

Perhaps some of you have already heard this NPR piece on the spate of earthquakes that have shaken Faulkner County since natural gas well fracking began a couple years ago.


It was produced by Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions as part of their Song+Stories series, described on their website as “a total experiment in collaborative storytelling, that blends carefully-crafted documentary tape with original songs written as an integral part of the story’s narrative.”

The piece on the Arkansas earthquakes – titled “The Natural State” – was paired with “Mother Nature Kneels” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, a.k.a. Will Oldham.


Oldham’s song is interspersed between clips of Faulkner County residents discussing their personal earthquake experiences, as well as observations about the pros and cons of the natural gas boom.

You can listen to the song on the NPR site or here:


Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “Mother Nature Kneels” by

This isn’t the only Arkansas-Oldham connection. The tireless, beyond-prolific troubadour made mention back in December of plans to possibly record in Little Rock. That seemed like a bit of a red herring, although you just never know with Oldham. According to legend, during an early ’90s performance at JR’s Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville, an autograph-seeking fan handed Oldham a copy of his “Ohio River Boat Song” single mid-performance, only to watch as Oldham lit the thing afire and then stomped it out.

Then there was this little gem (which sold out in a matter of hours), released on former Arkansan Hunter Mack‘s Gold Robot Records label, featuring two Oldham compositions with lyrics by Mack’s cousin, John Harmon, formerly (and probably futurely) of War Eagle.