Sons of Anarchy concluded its remarkable seven-season run with an epic, wrenching final seven-minute sequence on Tuesday, and now the show's original swan song, "Come Join the Murder," is available to stream exclusively on Rolling Stone.
The sprawling ballad was was recorded by Sons of Anarchy's in-house band, the Forest Rangers, and sung by Jake Smith, a.k.a. the White Buffalo, while the lyrics were penned by the show's creator, Kurt Sutter. (You can preorder Songs of Anarchy, Vol. 4, which is due out in February and features the single, here.)
"As a fan of the show, it was an honor collaborating with Kurt and Bob on this," Smith told Rolling Stone. "The song is conflicted, disturbing, and beautiful, much like the show itself. I hope the fans enjoy it."
Sons of Anarchy music supervisor (and Forest Rangers leader) Bob Thiele Jr. also spoke with Rolling Stone about the bittersweet challenge of writing and recording "Come Join the Murder," and the song's surprise folk influence.
"[T]he challenge was not to be too anchored in the melancholy," Thiele Jr. said. "We know what's gonna happen and sad as it is, there is a triumphant surrender that Jax embraces in his final moments. Rather than stay in the minor key of the verse, I chose to frame the chorus in a major key which underscores Jax's decision to chose his own final destiny. The moment is no longer weighed in sorrow. When I was writing the song, cycling through the chorus, I kept hearing the strains of Peter, Paul & Mary in my head. Lord knows why, but there was just something sing-songy about the words and melody. It just seemed so contrasting (and yet perfect) to the finality of our narrative."