Sunday, June 20, 2004

Neil Young's Invisible Histories

Neil Young has a habit of writing songs -- very good songs -- that seem historical and are taken as such by incredibly credulous fans, but in reality have nothing whatsoever to do with the historical figures/events being invoked.

The list of songs I've identified:

Southern Man -- This one is treated as protest, but it's not. Cf. the Decade liner notes.

Cortez the Killer -- This isn't about Cortez or Montezuma, it's about the idiot paradise of the hippie dream.

Pocahontas -- Some take the indian-related stuff seriously, losing the all-important context of the final verse.

Goin' Home -- Custer's Last Stand becomes Sept. 11th -- and the song doesn't such, marvelously.

There's more, I'm just forgetting them.


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