Friday, October 12, 2012

Ten Days of Young: Days 3, 4, 5, and 6

Blogging every day is difficult. Sure, I can post some random words on my page for the world to read, but 1) time is sacred for all of us and 2) I don't have something "blog-worthy" to share each day of my existence. Not to mention I'm crazy-busy hacking my way through evaluating the mountain of papers I've assigned (and students have completed, much to my blissful chagrin.)

I've fallen off my cloud of blog. I'll attempt to get caught up.

I've been thinking about what I enjoy about songs and asking myself is there a pattern to my favorite part of them. I've determined that indeed, I do have a favorite aspect: the random interjection.

In Neil Young's song "Cinnamon Girl", my favorite part occurs at 2:10 in the studio version. The interjection is "wooo". Or "whew". I like the ambiguous, random quality to this utterance--it's freewheeling, laid-back, spontaneous. It always makes me smile, and sometimes it makes me laugh. When I'm singing along in my car (and I am a notorious karaoke diva in my car--ask my dogs), I usually let Neil do the singing here, because there's no way I can replicate that tone to do that interjection justice. Amen.

Here's another one: 7:11 in the "Judy Blue Eyes Suite" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
The interjection here is "oh va, oh va"...or something. Honestly, that whole section of the song, sung in Spanish, is my favorite part because it's so goofy and fun. The whole song is random to me, and that's why it's one of my favorites. I have no idea what exactly the song is supposed to be about, and I'm not interested in looking it up because I just want to appreciate it for it's mood. This is ironic, as the song is one of loneliness but the mood of the music is upbeat. It's as though the person who wrote it found his joy in the process of searching for a source of happiness. That's cool...that's about as deep as I've ever gone trying to figure out that song. Moment over.

Moving on.

I can't think of another Young tune with an interjection in it, so I'll move on to somewhat random words/phrases--Neil's got a plethora of those. In the first line of the song "Pocahontas", Neil sings, "Aurora borealis" (reference :13 below.)
Honestly, who begins a song with a reference to the northern lights in a song? If you answered "Neil Young", you are correct and advance to the bonus round. In the first verse, he paints a picture of the flight and plight of Pocahontas' (and many other American Indians') tribe. After reading Young's autobiography, I now know that Pocahontas was also the name of Neil Young's bus that burned to the ground after an electrical fire. Again, not sure if this is a song about American Indians or Neil's bus...and I don't care. Like the previous two selections, it's the random factor that gets me.

Last one. Really.

Back to interjections with a groove-based tune, "Farmer John."

The line "Farmer John, I'm in love with your daughter" is followed by a "whoa-oh". My favorite part begins at 3:18; in this section, one of the musicians calls out "whoa-oh" and begins a back and forth trade-off with the audience, which carries it forward to the end of the recording. On a somewhat related-but-separate note, I know it's been sung before, but "champagne eyes" is such a beautiful way to describe the color of some people's irises (Van Morrison also sang about champagne eyes in his tune "Sweet Thing"). Have you seen eyes like this? The eyes that are a light-hazel-with-more-light-brown-than-green in them? These eyes seem to shine from the joy (or mirth) bubbling inside them. They're gorgeous.

That concludes this segment of my ten days of Young bloggage. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

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