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Monday, December 12, 2022

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young - Alone Together With The Loner

Neil Young
Illustration by Mike Faille, from Kiim Kong photo
(Click photo to enlarge)

The Loner.

Neil Young has many, many nicknames like "Shakey", "Mr. Soul", "Godfather of Grunge", etc.  And then there is "The Loner".  

In the film "Harvest Time"  (see ANALYSIS: What "Harvest Time" Reveals About Neil Young), a side of  Neil Young is seen -- yet unseen -- that many fans identify with in a comfortingly relatable manner.  As in, literally, see the lonely boy out on the weekend trying to make it pay.

Neil Young's Harvest Time Film


In listening to Neil Young's extensive lyrics, the theme of "loneliness" quite often hovers about many of his songs.  A theme which is very prevalent, pervasive and persistent over the decades.  Thus, the TW Comment of the Moment on ANALYSIS: What "Harvest Time" Reveals About Neil Young by Dionys:

The Loner Alone, a Lonesome List 

  • Bad Fog Of Loneliness
  • Campaigner (“I am a lonely visitor”)
  • Everybody’s Alone
  • Four Strong Winds (“Four strong winds that blow lonely…”)
  • Give Me Strength (“The lonely man I make myself to be”)
  • Hard Luck Stories (“Now she’s gone and you’re alone…”)
  • Harvest (…and was some black face in a lonely place…)
  • Hello, Lonely Woman
  • Hold Back the Tears (Single life really has its fine points…”)
  • Like An Inca (There’s a bridge I have to cross alone…”)
  • Lotta Love (“Cause my heart needs relating not solitude”)
  • Mellow My Mind (”lonesome whistle on a railroad track”)
  • Misfits (“On the Needles Highway there is a lone red rider…”)
  • Oh, Lonesome Me
  • Out on the Weekend (“See the lonely boy out on the weekend”)
  • Roll Another Number (“though I long to see that lonesome hippie smile”)
  • Sample and Hold (“But not the lonely one…”)
  • Sunny Inside (From now on I ain’t scared of lonely nights...”)
  • Tell Me Why (”I am lonely but you can free me)
  • The Loner
  • The Losing End (When You’re On) (“Before I wandered off alone”)
  • There Goes My Babe
  • The Wayward Wind (“In a lonely shack by the railroad track…”)
  • Too Lonely
  • When You Dance I Can Really Love (While the lonely mingle with circumstance”)
  • When Your Lonely Heart Breaks
  • Will to Love (“But I won’t turn back with this lonely tide)
  • Wonderin’ (I am wondering if I’ll be alone”)

Sure I missed out on a few songlines


+ Down By The River ("It's so hard for me staying here all alone..") (Thanks Abner!)

+ Old Man  (live alone in a paradise) and (but I'm all alone at last) (Thanks Nobody knows!)

+ Last Trip to Tulsa (Sure it's not a case of being lonely we have here...)

+Music Arcade - ("Have you ever felt all alone") (Thanks Sancho!)

Thanks Dionys, Abner, Nobody Knows, Sancho & Still Young and everyone on the thread.

Step aside, open wide.

And the ultimate irony here is that watching Neil in "Harvest Time" write the song “Out on the Weekend” -- apparently spontaneously -- while happily laughing away and surrounded by friends and lovers is most incongruously surreal.

You folks out there make us feel never alone as long we have friends digging the music.

More on ANALYSIS: What "Harvest Time" Reveals About Neil Young.

Neil Young Gets Back “Out on the Weekend”

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


At 12/12/2022 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Thanks to all the people on TW, we have really had some good stuff lately. This has been an especially good theme.

When I made the link between Harvest and Thrasher, I was trying to say something simple. Agricultural metaphors are rich and diverse. Our relationship to the land, ecology, is our basic way of being in the world (even as most of us are so distant from it). Neil uses the harvest as a pure analogy to his human relationship ("well I see you give more than I can take, well I only harvest some"): this is a brilliant lyric. In Thrasher, the literal thrasher machine is death and the end of the process. I emphasize "process" as it continues on and on, as one year fades into another. These cycles are marked by the harvest and planting and by human memory within the process. The loss of the seasons from climate change is a spiritual death for human beings. I think Neil knows this.

At 12/12/2022 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

There have been many topics discussed on Thrashers Wheat over the years, and this is just another example of just how thoughtful the folks who visit here are. The awareness and observations are greatly appreciated, and given me insights that may have slipped by me otherwise. Thank you all.

Peace 🙏

At 12/12/2022 06:02:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Found another one:
Last Trip to Tulsa (Sure it's not a case of being lonely we have here...)
Oh, and I feel honored to have made the list of CoTMs

At 12/12/2022 11:48:00 PM, Blogger Sancho said...

Have you ever been lost. Have you ever been found out. Have you ever felt all alone at the end of the day.

At 12/13/2022 07:42:00 AM, Blogger ViP said...

Even the ChatGPT bot knows that loneliness is at the heart of Neil's songwriting :

"Q : can you write a slightly sad song about florida in the style of neil young?

A : Sure! Here's a slightly sad song about Florida in the style of Neil Young:

Verse 1:
I hit the road, headed south
To find some solace, to clear my mind
The air is warm, the sky is grey
I'm hoping to find some peace of mind in Florida

Florida, Florida
Where the palm trees sway
But the ocean breeze feels cold
I'm searching for a reason to stay

Verse 2:
I've been to cities, I've seen the sights
But nothing compares to this lonely paradise
The sand is soft, the water's clear
But I can't shake this feeling of fear

Florida, Florida
Where the palm trees sway
But the ocean breeze feels cold
I'm searching for a reason to stay

The sun is shining, the birds are singing
But I can't feel the warmth, I'm on the decline
I'm stuck here, and I can't break free
Florida, you're my prison cell

Florida, Florida
Where the palm trees sway
But the ocean breeze feels cold
I'm searching for a reason to stay

I'm stuck here, in this place
Where the days are long, and the nights are bleak
I'm trapped here, in Florida's embrace
Forever more, I'm all alone"

At 12/13/2022 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Now That's really disappointing. ChatGPT should have mentioned at least that this song is to be played on a 12-string tuned to D modal, with a haunting harmonica thrown in and a horse with no name behind you.

At 12/13/2022 02:58:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - thanks for bringing back up a fave topic here: link between Harvest and Thrasher.

Quite a rich topic that we explored when we 1st launched back in 1996. In fact we have a whole page somewhere here of pics of harvesters thrashing thru the wheat fields.

those were the days when such fare gave us great pleasures.

@ Dan - yes, the observations her by our grainers (as Neil himself refers to as) are certainly appreciated.

@ Dionys & Sancho - updated above

@ ViP - thanks for sharing the ChatGPT. ha

that said, so many are so unaware of ChatGPT and what it represents. If this is all new to you, we suggest further investigation.

If not feeling like exploring around, pls know that this tool has just gone public. IOW, it has been in the hands of the TPTB for quite sometime. What we public get is a very watered down, ligtweight version.

Industrial strength ChatGPT is used for many purposes. Use your imagination.

This is how so much mindless chaff is constantly churned out to muddy the waters and make it difficult to separate wheat from chaff.

At 12/13/2022 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I had a student who used this ChatGPT for an essay and the essay was transparently absurd, as if written by a zombie. On the same level as the lyrics of the above song.


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