The Greatest Songs of All Time: Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down"

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Released on the 19th of September, 1970, on Young's brilliant and now classic After the Gold Rush album; the song was written by Young and the album was written and recorded between the summer of 1969 and the spring/summer of 1970. Most of the album was recorded in the homemade recording studio thrown together in Young's home in Topanga Canyon;  a very popular and famous place to live at the time for musicians due to its populace, attitude, and location in Los Angeles County, California.

 

It's an acoustic song in the vein of Young's work with Crosby, Stills & Nash, as is much of the album; quite possibly due to the immense popularity of their album with Young Déjà Vu, which was released earlier that year and quickly rose to the top of the charts.

 

No matter what the reasoning was behind Young's decision to record the album the way he did, he still created a great album. Though it was originally panned by critics; it is now generally accepted as a great album, one of Neil Young's best, which I tend to agree with; and furthermore, it has several great songs on it, including "Don't Let It Bring You Down":

 

 

Lyrics:

Old man lying
by the side of the road
with the lorries rolling by
Blue moon sinking
from the weight of the load
and the building scrape the sky
Cold wind ripping
down the allay at dawn
and the morning paper flies
Dead man lying
by the side of the road
with the daylight in his eyes

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around

Blind man running
through the light
of the night
with an answer in his hand
Come on down
to the river of sight
and you can really understand
Red lights flashing
through the window
in the rain
can you hear the sirens moan?
White cane lying
in a gutter in the lane,
if you're walking home alone.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around

 

It is a beautiful work with beautifully simple and extremely vivid lyrics; which are powerfully brought to the forefront of the song via Young's voice and the simple playing of his acoustic guitar.

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This page contains a single entry by Charles Lumia published on May 8, 2008 8:13 AM.

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