Comment of the Moment: NEW VIDEO - "My Pledge" by Neil Young
Quite a bit of discussion on the new music video of Neil Young's song "My Pledge" from the album "Peace Trail".
The Comment of the Moment is from Ian -- attempting not to be strident -- in the face of negativity over the the "lyric quality" and "vocal delivery" of Neil's latest offering:
Well, I'm not trying to be strident, but it does seem to me that out of all the songs from the new album one could bag on, this is an odd choice.Thanks Ian, you're never too strident in these here parts of town, at least by our reckoning. (btw, congrats on latest TW COTM)
People bemoaning a lack of interesting, carefully constructed, and meaningful lyrics should be relatively satisfied. I'm also a little confused by the mention of "half-talking songs". Anyone remember Tired Eyes? No complaints about that one being half-spoken. And not to beat the AYP? horse to death, but Mr. Disappointment strikes me as another "talking blues" type song that works very well, along with Bandit from Greendale. Both favorites of mine.
In any event, I thought and still think this is one of the best sets of lyrics on the new album. It is meant to be from the POV of the Average Joe, so it's not flowery. But any sense that Neil is making this up as he goes along is, I think, more than anything else an illusion of style and Neil's (ever-present) disinterest in polished production. The vocal performance may have rough edges or flaws, but the ideas seem quite complete to me. I could be wrong and maybe he was entirely improv-ing this "rap" in the studio. But I don't think so.
Incidentally, in American folk music of the Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger class, there is a tradition of "half-spoken" songs, also called talking blues or even referred to as rapping. My sense is that Neil is tapping into that idea to create a voice and feeling for the first person character of this song. My larger point is, there is a precedent for this sort of thing, and given Neil's current focus on folk protest, a little bit of singspiel (German word for opera with some spoken dialogue, applied liberally here) fits right in.
As usual, you get it. Obviously, if the lyrics are really meaningful, you put to use like this in a video. IOW, to creatively highlight their meaning and significance. You won't see Fuckin Up lyrics put to use this way.
We understand and hear your pledge Ian. Your transparency is appreciated. So we say our pledge at TW is we plan to continue to separate the wheat from the chaff. Or the REAL from the Fake. Or The Truth from the Lie.
How about others out there? What's your pledge? Thanks to those who shared. Others remain silent in their pledges. Why might that be? Might their pledges be secret?