Shelter Us From the Powder in the Finger: Analyzing Neil Young's Classic Song "Powderfinger"
We've always found the analysis of Neil Young lyrics to be quite fascinating.
And we're not the only ones. Of all the mail and comments that we receive here at Thrasher's Wheat, nothing compares with how frequently the topic of "Powderfinger" comes up. While many long time fans sort of roll their eyes at the subject, it seems that no other song so transfixes the more "casual" fan.
"Powderfinger" would seem to be near the very top of Neil Young's vast catalog as one of his most enduring and beloved songs.
From the indispensable Sugar Mountain, "Powderfinger" has been played 780 times, the 2nd most played song in concert.
The first performance was 1978-05-26, Late Show, The Boarding House, San Francisco, California, USA. The last performance was 2016-10-15, Empire Polo Club, Indio, California, USA. This is a span of nearly 40 years.
A quick recap. The definitive lyrics analysis of "Powderfinger" was done by Mark "Powderfinger" Klus way back in 1995 on the rust@fish server. Mark "Powderfinger"'s original analysis was quickly dissected and expanded.
But even today, the question of what does the song "Powderfinger" mean continues to be the source of endless theories.
"Powderfinger" was curiously omitted from his the 2011 album A Treasure since the song was a setlist regular during the 1984-1985 International Harvesters tours.
Also, check the hundreds of theories on 'Powderfinger' on the following TW threads:
- Shelter me from the Powder in the Finger - 2008
- "Powderfinger": What the Heck is that Song All About, Anyway?
- "Powderfinger": The International Harvesters Era Style
- Comments of the Moment: "Powderfinger" - What the Heck is that Song All About, Anyway?
Got a hunch on what "Powderfinger" is all about? Drop a comment below.