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Sunday, February 10, 2008

"I will keep on singing": Neil Reacts to Reaction

Neil's recent comment that music can't change the world has been met with a pretty strong reaction from around the world.

Many argue that music can change the world while others argue that it never has and never will.

Apparently the reaction to Neil's quote has moved Neil to respond directly on his site N Y Times. Neil writes a post titled "A Song Alone":
"No one song can change the world. But that doesn't mean it's time to stop singing.

Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song.

This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people's fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am.

My friends write to me don't give up. I am not giving up. I know this is the time for change. But I know that it's not a song. Maybe it was. But it isn't now. It's an action, an accomplishment, a revelation, a new way. I am searching for the people's fuel. Will I find it? Yes. I think so. I don't know why I may have been chosen to help enable a discovery of this magnitude. I know I can only write a song about it when I find it. Until then I can write a song about the search or spend all my time looking. But a song alone will not change the world. Even so, I will keep on singing."

Yes, please, keep on searching. And keep on singing Neil.

Berlin Film Festival, 2/8/08 - Photo by Stephan "Moonshiner"


At 2/10/2008 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a little parody of McCain and Huckabee & Cheney Bush Possee ...

Ya never know ... but we're gonna need to be called off the ledge on tha one ...

At 2/10/2008 04:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I am searching for the people's fuel. I don't know why I may have been chosen to help enable a discovery of this magnitude."

??? The people's fuel?? Sorry but what is he talking about? And he's chosen? By who?

At 2/10/2008 05:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Slightly Confused,

Don't be.

It's Neil Young. Not Albert Einstein.

Your's truly.

At 2/10/2008 05:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not McCain and Huckabee even though I think John Fogerty already covered that one recently.

At 2/10/2008 11:05:00 PM, Blogger art said...

"Back in the old folky days,
The air was magic when we played."

It's not the song that can change the world, but sometime the singer can. And the above line illustrates that the playing can color the context in which the song was born. "Ohio" didn't stop the War, but people were and are inspired by the lyric, and it's their influence that changes the world. It's the realization that "we are the people we've been waiting for" that brings change. Neil Young can think or say whatever he wants, but the "air is magic when he played."

At 2/11/2008 08:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Neil,
You have spoken quite eloquently about your creative process, about how important spontaneity and intuition are. Creative activity, like music, can also lubricate the gears of creativity, perhaps in the head of that scientist you're talking about, or in the head of a young scientist to be.


At 2/11/2008 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, You think he spoke eloquently or are you being sarcastic? I understood the connection he was trying to make about our survival as a species & scientific discovery, but it's always hard for me to understand what he's saying until he puts it in a song ... then I get it.

Do you think he has a learning disability? Maybe dyslexia or something?

At 2/11/2008 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sarcastic. I was thinking of other interviews, when he has been quite clear about how he doesn't try to force creativity, how he knows to let it flow when it's there, etc. He is pretty far from being any precise academic, that's for sure. He's an artist, he's a dreamer, he can be both impulsive and calculating, also woefully inarticulate at times.


At 2/11/2008 04:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Neil might be saying that we have reached media / message overload, that we're numbed by the sheer volume of stuff that's out there. It's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff (apologies to thrasher) - where can one find a message to change the world...

The basic problem was summarized quite adroitly in Granpa's Interview...

"That guy just keeps singing, can't somebody shut him up, I don't know where for the life of me he comes up with that stuff."

At 2/11/2008 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Information overload is correct it can't be kept up with in a song, on the news, in a War, in a iPod or whatever. The memory cells in our brains are being exceeded by the giga -bytes in our hard wired life and therefore nothing sticks.
I believe that Neil is speaking to a meta-physical transcendence based on spirituality that will reverse this trend and allow people to feel again. When you feel again, you dance and you can really love and that my friends creates change.

At 2/11/2008 10:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

best photo of neil ever

At 2/11/2008 10:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does that t-shirt say?

At 2/12/2008 03:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin Lav's comment "When you feel again, you dance and you can really love and that my friends creates change" made me feel whole again. Thanks ...

At 2/12/2008 03:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hetersexual Masses is on the t-shirt ... it's an autobiographical song Pegi wrote about her days when she worked as a barmaid ... the shirts are available on Neil's web site ...

At 2/15/2008 09:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

music could change the world when there were groups of people that stood for something and were on the same wave length, music was a way to get a message out about changing the world, the mass was enough to demand and create change, now people do not stand together or for anything, mostly against each other and everything that does not profit the individual, the people of this world are very selfish, and until there can be a common bond such as "spirituality" among people music will not change a thing.

At 2/21/2008 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Sounds like someone is a little burned out after 'Living With War'


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