Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Song Lyric of the Day (Neil Young, on ‘Mother Nature on the Run’)

“There was a fanfare blowin' to the sun
That was floating on the breeze
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the 1970s.”—Neil Young, “After the Gold Rush,” from his LP of the same name (1970)

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Neil Young’s third solo album—one that many observers see as the best of his career. The most enigmatic of its 11 songs might be the title tune.

This was supposed to be part of a soundtrack Young hoped to compose for an aborted project by actor Dean Stockwell about a tidal wave sweeping over Southern California. Linda Ronstadt (who later covered it, with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, on their “Trio” CD) recalled, “I would listen to Neil singing that all the time on the road. I would think, ‘This is the future.’”

Certainly, that line about “Mother Nature on the run” feels less like trippy vision than reality in 2020.

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