Neil Young Performs "When God Made Me" on "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast"
On last night's "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast" Neil Young performed the song "When God Made Me" from the forthcoming Prairie Wind CD.
Similar to the performance of the song at the Live 8 Benefit concert in July, the lyrics of "When God Made Me" seemed to be poignantly prescient.
Did he give me the gift of voice
so some could silence me?
Did he give me the gift of vision
not knowing what I might see?
Did he give me the gift of compassion
to help my fellow man?
When God made me.
(Complete lyrics and analysis for "When God Made Me".)
And just as Young's performing of John Lennon's "Imagine" for the 9/11 "Tribute" and the new song's debut at Live 8 concert, the performance has incited passions.
Here's a comment posted on Thrasher's Wheat by Peter V.:
"A beautiful song, lyrics and melody, which embodies the heartfelt surge that is mounting in America's conscience to challenge the overbearing sentiments of the religious right that have been choking the compassion of this country. This song fills my heart with hope that once again we will know that the power of God is love."
And Goodlife said:
"Hearing "When God Made Me" caused me to flip on the computer and "google" looking for the lyrics. I am a believer ... but not a part of the fundamentalist right. This is a song which touches my inner spirit. I hope many will hear its message, and think deeply about who they are underneath the encumberances of their everyday life."
Of course not everyone is pleased when rock stars venture into the debate on religion. Tim Graham posts on NewsBusters:
"Are rock stars trying to give us lectures as they sing on hurricane-relief benefits? Last night's mega-channel concert featured Neil Young sang his song "When God Made Me." The lyrics clearly show Young thinks that the problem with religion is that God tends to favor people who believe he exists. That, and religion is the reason for too many bloody wars. Some compare it to John Lennon's "Imagine," but Lennon wants no God, and Young just thinks He might be a Unitarian Universalist."
From Church of the Churchless:
"The way I see “When God Made Me,” it offers a glimpse of how much better religions would be if their focus was on asking questions that didn’t have ready-made dogmatic answers.
I’m going to make it the Church of the Churchless theme song."
More on the Shelter From the Storm Concert and broadcast photos.