Greil Marcus in his book "Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century" reflects on the traditional American ballad "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground" and its rendering by Bascom Lamar Lunsford:
Now what the singer wants is obvious, and almost impossible to comprehend. He wants to be delivered from his life and to be changed into a creature insignificant and despised. He wants to see nothing and to be seen by no-one. He wants to destroy the world and to survive it. That’s all he wants. The performance is quiet, steady, and the quiet lets you in… You can imagine what it would be like to want what the singer wants. It is an almost impossible negation, at the edge of pure nihilism, a demand to prove that the world is nothing, a demand to be next to nothing and yet it is comforting.