Like all great folk songs, Will Adams’ “The Border Wall” is both subtle and powerful. The quiet acoustic track and its corresponding video deliver vastly different views of one the great polarizing issues of this time in American history. The result is a sobering statement on the wide disparity of opinion and conviction between those in favor of an open border, and those opposed.
Musically, “The Border Wall” is a simple arrangement of acoustic guitar and vocal with no additional adornment or accompaniment. The beautifully recorded and performed finger-picked guitar sets the scene for Adams’ quiet, almost whispered vocal. Through most of the track he sings from the perspective of an immigrant, telling tales of the toll aggressive border security has taken on real people. The message is clear in the chorus as he sings, “Tear that blood stained border wall down.”
The video views the border wall from the other side, both literally and figuratively. Shot documentary style, it is as stark and simple as the audio track. In this case though, the reality of the wall is seen from the perspective of a lone Texas militia man. He patrols the border in a golf cart, armed with a single handgun.
As is the case in most social discourse in our modern world, viewers of “The Border Wall” video will probably see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. I suspect that is the point. Art is subjective. However, by any interpretation this is a beautiful and compelling piece of work.