The Pop Culture Playlist tells the story of fictional characters through music, revealing motivations and personal choices. This edition focuses on Clay McNab from the Tales Of The Frontier series. An infamous witch hunter and complicated man, McNab has dedicated his life to exterminating the supernatural from The Frontier by any means necessary.
Here’s a list of tracks that describe the life of Clay McNab.
Broken Cowboy by the Dead South
The colours deceive me
As I see grey
Oh, you’re cutting me down with those
Cold words you’re saying
Then you called me brother
But this can’t be so ‘cause you
Slander my name anywhere the wind will blow
Well I am a broken cowboy
And I don’t feel right no more
‘Cause I’m a broken cowboy
Yes, I’m a broken cowboy
As a Quester, McNab has earned a reputation for hunting monsters and witches. It also cost him a great deal and left him feeling bitter about his fate.
Broken Cowboy is a good song for highlighting McNab’s lot in life. In addition, it connects to the muscle wasting disease that he suffers from. The older McNab gets, the harder it is to grip his weapons and it’s left him a shell of his former self.
Hell Is Coming With Me by Poor Man’s Poison
Through the years, McNab has developed a particular hatred for witches, earning him the nickname of The Hammer Of The Witches. Fully devoted to his task, McNab has captured, persecuted and ended the lives of many witches and that attitude has carried on into old age.
Hell Is Coming With Me sums up the righteous fury of The Hammer Of The Witches. He doesn’t forgive or forget and he’ll rain hell down on anyone who’s foolish enough to get in his way.
The Bullet by The Devil Makes 3
McNab is the kind of man who’s spent most of his life moving from one fight to the next without stopping. He’s a gunslinger and a warrior who’s most comfortable in the thick of battle and he understands that to live by the gun is to die by the gun.
The Bullet is a fitting song, capturing McNab’s recklessness.
Living On The Sand by Colter Wall
Keep that gun locked away
Locked away, boy
Well you know you’re an angry young man
Going in town with six rounds
You’re sure to be hell-bound
That house you’ve got is built on the sand
This song has a mournful quality that echoes back to McNab’s youth. As a young man he had a wife called Lenora who he loved and then lost, which motivated him to join the Questers and lead a life of vengeance.
All these years later, McNab can reflect on the body count he’s left behind and wonders if it was all worth it. He wonders if everything he’s built has been made out of sand.
Too Old To Die Young by Brother Dege
‘Too old to die young’ is a phrase McNab is familiar with. He’s one of the last few gunslingers and Questers of his era and recognises that his time is coming to an end. The world around him is advancing and he’s resistant to change.
The song encapsulates his recognition that he’s on borrowed time.
Gunslinger’s Glory by The Dead South
Going around every day as I shoot away
Taking them on down to their knees to pray
Make my way up to the top
Rise into the word
Being a gunslinger is a glory
Goddamn it’s good
Gunslinger’s Glory is a song for McNab’s youth. In the early days of his Quester career and before he was The Hammer Of The Witches, McNab was a boy with a chip on his shoulders and had something to prove.
He idolised his mentors in the Questers and vowed that he would be the best damn gunslinger of them all.
My Fair Lady by Kaleo
Can you always tell a sinner
From a saint if he’s the same?
And if your thick skin growing thinner
Have you found someone to blame?
She said, “You need not worry, child”
“Now is not the time”
Then she kissed me on the forehead
And turned my water into wine
My Fair Lady represents the transience of McNab’s character. He’s a rover and a rogue who’s always on the move, filling the void in his life with alcohol and women.
Underneath it all, he’s longing to find his purpose again. The self-loathing he feels at being consumed by his hatred of the supernatural weighs him down.
The Curse Of The Fold by Shawn James
The story of Clay McNab could be a cautionary tale to some. He lost himself to revenge and became resentful of how his life turned out. He recognises that he turned into a monster in order to fight monsters and he accepts the worst and the best parts of himself.
The Curse Of The Fold reflects his complex nature.
Troubadour by George Strait
Sometimes I feel like Jesse James
Still trying to make a name
Knowing nothing’s gonna change what I am
I was a young troubadour
When I rode in on a song
And I’ll be an old troubadour
When I’m gone
The final song to sum up the saga of The Hammer Of The Witches, Troubadour tells the story of a man who’s stayed true to the person he’s always been. And there will never be another like him.
Troubadour is the kind of song that’s indicative of an era and McNab’s identity as one of the last gunslingers of his generation.
You can follow the adventures of Clay McNab in AT THE DEAD OF DUSK, which involves him transporting a young woman across dangerous terrain to complete a job that’ll set him up for life.
Along the way, McNab faces down countless horrors, teenage angst and the darkest parts of himself. Buy the novella today!