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Tuesday, June 01, 2021

"When God Made Me" w/ Comment by Zeke Young

 "When God Made Me" by Neil Young


Today, the song "When God Made Me" from the concert film "Neil Young: Heart of Gold", directed by Jonathan Demme, is streaming on Hearse Theater | NYA.

The song's posting comes with a special comment by Neil Young's son Zeke:

I love the performance of this song.

It has such feeling and soulfulness to it. It is one of my favorites from the film Heart Of Gold that my Dad made with all his great friends along with the great film maker and director Jonathan Demme.

This is one of my favorites from this time of my Dads life.



Back in 2006, movie reviews for the concert film "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" were virtually unanimous in singing the film's praises.

The film received a standing ovation when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and the consensus reaction was  "a lasting, sensational film that makes you feel like you’re sitting in a concert." Actor Robert Redford, the Sundance Festival director, attended the premiere along with many other celebrities.

"When God Made Me"
Neil Young and Fisk University Jubilee Choir

"Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast"

The lyrics for "When God Made Me" are ripe for interpretation. Start with the gospel choir-like Fisk University Jubilee Singers. The student vocalists introduced "slave songs" to the world and, in many opinions, preserved this music from extinction. So Neil Young has not embarked on some light-hearted exercise here as many were lead to believe.

Neil and the Fisk University Jubilee Choir
Live 8 Benefit Concert - July 2005
How can a man asking 10 questions provoke so much discussion?

The debate and controversy over the "When God Made Me" lyrics continues to this day. After flaring up after the song's debut at the Live 8 concert in July 2005, things settled down. Then when the song reappeared for the Hurricane Katrina Benefit "Shelter From the Storm" in Septemeber 2005, the debate heated up once again.
neil_hands_avc worldcafe-logo.jpg

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At 6/01/2021 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

We just watched Heart of Gold two nights ago and we both commented on what a beautiful version of this song. A truly brilliant film and the performance of When God Made Me is definitely a highlight.

Peace 🙏

At 6/02/2021 06:02:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Heart of Gold is definitely a good movie night every now and then.

The debate and controversy over the "When God Made Me" lyrics was a bit baffling even back in 2005 when the song was released and performed live.

Presumably folks have moved on to other topics.

Frankly, we're pleased that 15 years later, Zeke's heartfelt words were allowed to carry the day.


At 6/04/2021 10:22:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Have always liked this song... I hear it now as both a courageous statement and a poignant one, particularly for anyone who feels as though they were made differently in any way. Which, I suppose, is all of us, even those of us who may tend to take our gifts or capacities of voice, vision, etc. for granted.

"Did he give me the gift of compassion, to help my fellow man"--if that doesn't touch the heart of the matter, I don't know what does. "For the Love of Man" and "A Dream that Can Last" are songs that fall in a similar category

At 6/04/2021 10:32:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Meta Rocker - good points there on songs "For the Love of Man" and "A Dream that Can Last".

so simple, yet so heavy.

as mentioned in post and back to Dan, we were really struck going back to comments here in 2005 on the song.

wow, its amazing how triggered folks got back then on the song.

guess it was all in line w/ the outrage of the day. but like we say, it seems the outrage mob has found more fertile grounds than TW.

hiding behind haybales ...


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