A Request for "Harvest Moon" in Dublin
A recent letter from Gavin in Ireland:
Some time ago I saw your post from 6 January 2009, including a letter from Steve in Brisbane regarding Harvest Moon. Steve’s letter, his request for Harvest Moon and Neil’s generous inclusion of it on the list at Brisbane, combine to make a partly sad but mostly wonderful story. I saw this story as I was surfing the web looking for some way to get a letter or note through to Neil Young to make almost exactly the same request for his concert in Dublin on 21 June 2009.
Since that time, it is clear to me that Harvest Moon holds a special place in so many people’s hearts for all sorts of reasons. It must truly be amazing for an artist like Neil to know that kind of emotion can get tapped into by such a simple, yet beautiful song.
I was in touch with you previously, but way before the European Tour started. With the Irish date coming close on 21 June, I felt now was the time to touch base again, and this is the reason for my request.
In circumstances very similar to Steve’s girlfriend, my father, Joe, was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2008. Joe had been an accomplished doctor, retiring 6 years ago to enjoy life (still young, at that stage just 59). He was an artist, a singer, a writer and loved to play his guitar for us at family gatherings. Neil’s music was part of a wide variety of stuff that Dad was into, and he particularly liked the Unplugged set of tunes as does the rest of the family.
Following Christmas, sadly Dad’s health deteriorated and he passed away on 2 March 2009. Faced with removal and funeral plans, we endeavoured to get as much of Dad’s life and loves into the services. We chose Harvest Moon as the requiem song at the funeral, which was amazing. After a few really hard days it was totally uplifting to carry my Dad out of the church to the Unplugged set of Harvest Moon. Everyone was so lifted by this, it was unforgettable and one of the most special events we will ever have. Many people said to us afterwards how amazing their experience was also, and how unusual it was to listen to that song under those circumstances. Even two of ‘Papa Joe’s’ grandchildren, Andrew and Rory, have become Neil Young fans as a result of the furore.
In the following days, we made plans to keep my Mum, Avril, busy and well looked after. We noticed the recently announced Neil Young concert in Dublin and knew that it was something we had to do. I got tickets for the whole family and made all the arrangements. Later, I noticed that the date of the concert, 21 June, is Father’s Day in Ireland. We are now planning a major weekend of events, top of the list being the concert at the O2 in Dublin.
Like Steve, I feel there is something fated about these experiences; something that I can’t explain but fills my heart with happiness. I am sure that Neil gets many, many requests for his songs for all sorts of different reasons. However, I am hoping that Neil could fit Harvest Moon into the set somewhere during his Dublin concert in 3 weeks. It is something that would be so special, particularly for my Mum.
I would be eternally grateful if you could try to pass this message to Neil. However, I do appreciate there may be very good reasons why this is not a possibility.
Thank you sincerely in advance for your efforts to make this happen for me and my family. I already feel better having written this, and feel free to circulate this message as necessary to get it through.
Here’s hoping that this wish can also come true.
Thank you Gavin for your letter. Here's hoping from all of us that your wish comes true. For you, for your family, for your Dad.
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.
To find out what happened in Dublin, read A Wish for "Harvest Moon" is Granted.