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Lillian, Egypt

The video is a light, but nice complement to a song that’s wool-dyed Americana. Other than the fact it’s catchy as hell and I’ve been listening to it for days, I have mixed feelings about its nostalgia. In four stanzas, boy meets Midwestern girl; girl goes to Hollywood; boy gets girl back (or doesn’t; the song is more ambiguous than the video)—the entire narrative is a cliche set in the early days of film for no other reason than to give it a scent of The Golden Age (like The Purple Rose of Cairo). I like the song, and I respect Josh Ritter a lot for how well he has studied his craft, but I think about it in much the way I like and respect sentimental novels: they strike the chord of sentimentality perfect enough to create awe and annoy me by their manipulations.