Recently in The Greatest Songs of All Time Category

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":




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.

From Various Thoughts on Music


I'm going to write about some of the greatest songs of all time. Some songs are not only classic, but they are also musically, lyrically, artistically pure and genuine, beautiful. I will discuss what the songs mean to me, why they are great, as well as information about where you can listen to these songs, when they are from, where they are from, where they were recording, as well as other miscellaneous information. It should be fun!

The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

The song itself is from 1995 and was written by Thurston Moore. It was first released on the brilliant Washing Machine album. There are three versions of this song: The album version which is 19 minutes and 35 seconds, a radio edit which comes in at 5 minutes and 26 seconds, and an extended version which is an amazing 25 minutes 50 seconds. It was released in 1995 as the first single from the Washing Machine album, the single has the radio edit and the extended version of the song, as well as the song My Arena. There was a video created for the song which used compiled footage from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour, Spike Jonze and several other well known directors were involved in the creation of the video.

The lyrics read:

time takes its crazy toll
and how does your mirror grow
you better watch yourself when you jump into it
cause the mirror's gonna steal your soul
I wonder how it came to be my friend
that someone just like you has come again
you'll never ever know how close you came
until you fall in love with the diamond rain
throw all his trash away
look out he's here to stay
your mirror's gonna crack when he breaks into it
and you'll never ever be the same
look into his eyes and you can see
why all the little kids are dressed in dreams
I wonder how he's gonna make it back
when he sees that you just know it's make-believe
blood crystallized to sand
and now I hope you understand
you reflect into his looking-glass soul
and now the mirror is your only friend
look into his eyes and you will see
that men are not alone on the diamond sea
sail into the heart of a lonely storm
and tell her that you'll love her eternally
time takes its crazy toll
mirror falling off the wall
you better look out for the looking-glass girl
cause she's gonna take you for a fall
look into his eyes and you shall see
why everything is quiet and nothing's free
I wonder how he's gonna make her smile
when love is running wild on the diamond sea

To me, these are some of the greatest lyrics ever written. The combination of the lyrics and the music make for not only one of my favorite songs of all time, but a song which I believe is one of the greatest ever recorded. The music is simply gorgeous, a masterful composition of sound invading, pummeling it's way down your ear canals. At some points you won't know if you want it to stop or not, but you will most certainly continue listening, waiting for that breakthrough of pureness and beauty that we are all so hopeful for. At times the song can seem a sonic stillbirth, an amalgamated abortion of sounds destroying your eardrums and you know it, yet you turn it up a little louder.

The lyrics are much the same. They are an expansive journey inward and within ones deepest self, tickling our egos and insecurities in ways that we never thought were, and hoped not possible, especially from this punk band from New York. What were they doing writing like this, playing 20 minute explosions of emotion, touching us on nearly every level? This was unchartered territory for the band, a new and great discovery to be shared with everyone that wanted to expand their musical horizons.

Lyrics written, interpreted as I may, looking, digging, finding, deep within oneself, some deeper meaning of what is of a real, actual value, and what isn't. Exploring how not only this revelation affects you, but how others around you, in your life and out, affect you just the same. Discovering and overcoming whatever insecurities that you personally may have had by ripping them to shreds with words and feedback seemingly from another planet, certainly from another level, a level that we were most definitely not on until The Diamond Sea.

Then in the end, we come to an understanding and hopefully even an acceptance of what we've come to realize by the end of the song. We have been a witness to true artistic beauty and that can never be taken away from us. In one single song we have learned to search, find, explore, and then understand and accept the innermost feelings that we allow to be affected.

That's just it: The Diamond Sea, just like any other music, is what it is, and is what you make of it. If we allow ourselves, then we end up seeing and understanding that these things are not of any great importance, and only then are we able to break from our bonds and prejudices, whatever they may be, and truly be free.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the The Greatest Songs of All Time category.

Thane Rosenbaum is the previous category.

Theology is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.