Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Neil Young's "Living with War"
Karnick on Culture ^ | 11/11/06 | S. T. Karnick

Posted on 11/11/2006 9:48:43 AM PST by S. T. Karnick

A promotional shot of pop musician Neil Young gamely bearing up under President George W. Bush's perfidiesTo get a feel for the new political atmosphere in the wake of the Democrats' takeover of both houses of Congress, I've been listening to Neil Young's most recent album, Living with War, recently, which was released earlier this year. As you may be aware, especially if you've seen the superb Saturday Night Live parody of it, the album is a collection of retro-1960s-style "protest" songs opposing the Bush administration and the American public's sheeplike acceptance of his many atrocities (ooops—overtaken by events, Dude!).

A sympathetic appraisal of one of the most talked-about songs on the album, "Let's Impeach the President," can be found here. It captures what some people find to like about the album—its lyrics.

I'm always much more taken with and interested in the sound of a musical composition rather than its words, and Living with War certainly is a disaster in terms of musicality. Nearly all of the songs are musically primitive, as is apparently Young's intention, presumably to ensure that the listener attends primarily to the lyrics.

The latter, however, are just as mundane and uncreative as the music. Consider these characteristic lines, from the ingeniously titled ditty "Shock and Awe":

Back in the days of "mission accomplished"

Our chief was landing on the deck

The sun was setting on a golden photo op

Back in the days of "mission accomplished"

Thousands of bodies in the ground

Brought home in boxes to a trumpet's sound

No one sees them coming home that way

Thousands buried in the ground

Thousands of children scarred for life . . .

Neil Young thinkng up brilliant lyrics setting President George W. Bush good and straightWell, you get the idea. The accumulation of cliches such as "the sun was setting," "a trumpet's sound," "photo op," "bodies in boxes," "buried in the ground," and "scarred for life" is truly breathtaking. In addition, the deceptiveness of "thousands buried," when the number of thousands is three (and I agree that one death is too many and tragic) is blatant and will persuade only those who already agree with the author. The rest of the lyrics are dominated by similarly deceptive left-wing cant.

Bob Dylan this certainly is not.

And for Young to allude to Dylan's 1960s protest songs, as he does prominently in "Flags of Freedom," is to invite a comparison so disadvantageous to Young as to be utterly shaming.

It would be nice if the lyrics quoted above were not characteristic of the whole album, but alas they are. It's that infantile: BUSH IS BAD!!!

Thanks for the subtle analysis, Neil.

The biggest problem with Living with War, however, is simply that it doesn't sound like a Neil Young album. Neil Young, despite his annoyingly adolescent, adenoidal whine of a "singing" voice, has put together a good many appealing songs in the past. Unfortunately, Living with War is as musically lame as it is lyrically unimaginative, with the sole exception of "Flags of Freedom," which, although rife with lyrical cliches, does have a nice sound to it and could actually have found its way onto a real Neil Young album.

All in all, Living with War is a dreadful bunch of glop, but it does wonderfully typify where the left is today: cant, slogans, open hatred, and disingenuous nonsense.

From Karnick on Culture.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: antibush; livingwithwar; neilyoung; protests

1 posted on 11/11/2006 9:48:44 AM PST by S. T. Karnick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

This guy stoned his own brains out years ago, and he's a Canadian. Not the first person I would choose for political commentary.


2 posted on 11/11/2006 9:51:31 AM PST by 3AngelaD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

>>"Let's Impeach the President,"

But I guess the Dems are now saying they won't...drat, now we may never get to see President Cheney take over :) (A good
thing to point out to libs who want to impeach W: guess who
you get? They really LOVE Cheney too, eh! :) Unless they can find a way to impeach both W and Cheney and we'd have
...President Nancy...)


3 posted on 11/11/2006 9:52:10 AM PST by raccoonradio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

The liberal war chant:

Don't want no war;
Don't want no war,
Don't want no war;
Don't want no job neither!--George Carlin


4 posted on 11/11/2006 9:52:52 AM PST by xc1427 (It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees...Midnight Oil (Power and the Passion))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

A southern man don't need him around anyhow.


5 posted on 11/11/2006 9:54:16 AM PST by EnochPowellWasRight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

I hope Al Queda blows up his sorry Canadian a$$.


6 posted on 11/11/2006 9:57:08 AM PST by AngieGOP (I never met a woman who became a stripper because she played with Barbie dolls as a kid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AngieGOP

Never happen, he's as valuable to Al Qeda as a PR front gay as the MSM is to the RAT's.


7 posted on 11/11/2006 9:59:29 AM PST by bigfootbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

I think Lynard skynard said it " A southern man don't need him 'round anyhow"

To think I used to like his music, man I can't stand it now!


8 posted on 11/11/2006 9:59:30 AM PST by Dadofmany
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

The comedy-rock band Modern Man did a great spoof of Neil Young on its "Wide Album". Sounding like "Heart of Gold", a Neil impressionist sings:

Oh yeah I got a million fans
I ride in a limo to the Meadowlands
Play an hour and a half and make a hundred grand
B.F.D., whoop de doo

No matter what I make, I stay depressed
The world is such a drag, my life is such a mess
So why do I do it? It's a gift I guess
When you're Neil, it's what you do
If you were Neil you'd do it too

'Cause
Life sucks and then you die
Don't you even ask me whyyyyyyyyy
It's enough to make you cryyyyyyyyy
Life sucks and then you die

Hey hey, my my

etc


9 posted on 11/11/2006 10:02:04 AM PST by raccoonradio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

"Let's Impeach the President,"

Who's "we", Canuck?


10 posted on 11/11/2006 10:02:04 AM PST by Seruzawa (Marx's Das Kapital never could compete with the Sears catalog.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

Yes, indeed, we are "living with war" and will be for the foreseeable future.

When Republicans were in charge we went to war to preempt attacks on our soil. Now that the Democrats are in charge, we will go to war in response to attacks on our soil.

This is very simplistic analysis of the situation - which should fit perfectly into the brainpans of those who take Mr. Young seriously.

Pick your poison!


11 posted on 11/11/2006 10:04:52 AM PST by mrs. a (It's a short life but a merry one...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

Speaking of living with war, when will Pelose handle that "situation" of our troops in Korea? We've had them there for over 50 years.


12 posted on 11/11/2006 10:12:38 AM PST by syriacus (South Korea is free because 30,000 troops DIED in 3 years under TRUMAN.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick
I sat through most of this concert (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). My husband and I chose to leave the Hollywood Bowl when he got to this point as did many others. The buses were filled to go to cars long, long before the concert was over and the dominant discussion was that no one came for their politics.

Of course one should expect some liberal politics with a group like this, but it was so over the top, it was intolerable and disgusting.

We paid for a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert. We hoped to listen to some of their old music. So it wasn't like we were going to see just Young. But his album took over the majority of the concert and although it was in LA, not many were impressed. I used to at least respect them somewhat musically, but no, they are a joke to me now. Worn out old ignoramus hippies. I miss good musicians.

13 posted on 11/11/2006 10:32:18 AM PST by GOP Poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD

Send him back to Al Qanada..


14 posted on 11/11/2006 10:32:22 AM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sheik yerbouty

LOLLLL!!

These @#$^@!#! hippy weirdos had their brain-power arrested in the 60's and never recovered.
Republicans should have dumped medicare and gone to straight medicaid only for the poor. Elderly have good pensions and have other insurance coverage.

We cannot support a bunch of brain-fried, baby-boomer Senior Hippy Citizens.

They just need to die naturally from heart attacks, etc. We will never beable to pay for 200,000 per head for by-pass surgery on brain-dead, old hippies.

If Young lives in Canada, they'll make him wait for a by-pass until he dies.


15 posted on 11/11/2006 10:47:19 AM PST by doc maverick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick
Someone gave me a copy of this CD. Sometimes I listen to music when I workout, so I put it on. For a moment enjoyed the sound of old Neil's guitar. Then my head almost exploded. What a shame guys like this are still so politically adolescent.
16 posted on 11/11/2006 10:58:53 AM PST by outofstyle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD

Has Neil Young even bathed since the '60's? He's disgusting.


17 posted on 11/11/2006 11:06:27 AM PST by fishergirl (Choose your vices carefully, then be loyal to them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: GOP Poet

"Worn out old ignoramus hippies", LOL! Good one.


18 posted on 11/11/2006 11:10:41 AM PST by fishergirl (Choose your vices carefully, then be loyal to them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

He used to be pretty good after several bong hits of Kona Gold. Now he's just canadian.


19 posted on 11/11/2006 11:27:11 AM PST by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

His album with "keep on rocking in the free world" or whatever the title was, is the last time I've bought one of his albums. the "a thousand points of light for the homeless man" lyric pretty much did it for me. Amazing how homeless people only exist when there is a Republican president, and wars only happen when there is a Republican. I just don't remember Young's album denouncing Kosovo...


20 posted on 11/11/2006 11:27:53 AM PST by phothus (www.scorchedblue.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick
F Neil Young and double F him. This nitwit thinks the only thing oil is used for is gasoline. Saw him rant on TV about "nasty black oil" with about 43 huge candles burning behind him.
21 posted on 11/11/2006 11:30:43 AM PST by 4yearlurker (I'm surrounded by Union Dems in the 12th district! Alone in the wilderness.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: S. T. Karnick

Living with war? When did Neil Young move to Afghanistan or Iraq?


22 posted on 11/11/2006 11:42:10 AM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD

He's come down a long way from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's great albums of the sixties.


23 posted on 11/11/2006 12:35:26 PM PST by RoadTest ( He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. -Rev. 3:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: armymarinemom

I also would like to know which college he gradutaed from with masters in political science.


24 posted on 11/11/2006 12:38:22 PM PST by Long Island Pete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Long Island Pete
I also would like to know which college he gradutaed from with masters in political science.

Amen to that. I might add too: How often does he hold his breath when a strange car turns around in his driveway. How often does he watch the news for faces that he knows and loves. Jerks like Young need to stop trying to profit from the pain and grief of others.

25 posted on 11/11/2006 12:42:21 PM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: raccoonradio

What's really interesting to me as a long time,but no longer Young fan is how he wrote "let's roll" then had the moral relativism to write this garbage.

Another freaking stupid hippie.


26 posted on 11/11/2006 4:51:03 PM PST by ottersnot (Dem's see victory in Iraq! through surrendur. Cut and run rats.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bigfootbob

I love that! "Al Qeda front gay". Describes many liberals to a T.


27 posted on 11/11/2006 7:54:10 PM PST by boop (Now Greg, you know I don't like that WORD!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: raccoonradio

Neil DUNG is a frekkin' idjit...
3rd rate hack , wannabe, clown...
There, I feel better now!


28 posted on 11/11/2006 7:56:43 PM PST by scott says
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson