Listening to Bob Dylan will always make me think of my brothers. But when Neil Young’s unmistakable voice and searing guitar comes up on my iPod, I instantly picture my father drumming his hands on his steering wheel while listening to his musical hero.
Young is much more of a hippie than Dylan ever was, so finding lyrics that referenced jewelry was harder than I expected. However, the exercise was a great excuse to trade texts back and forth with my father, who has been listening to Young for more years than he cares to admit, and to listen to a discography that helped cement the unbreakable bond we have.
“Cowgirl in the Sand”
There’s little debate between my father and I on our favorite Neil Young album. It’s hands down Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. No matter where I am, I can pick out this epic song within the first guitar licks. I could listen to it all day on repeat and never get sick of it.
“Hello, ruby in the dust/Has your band begun to rust?”
“Silver and Gold”
How can I convince the future Mrs. Louped In that this is a viable wedding song? Hypnosis?
“I don’t care if the sun don’t shine/And the rain comes pourin’ down on me and mine/’Cause our kind of love/Never seems to get old/It’s better than silver and gold.”
“Heart of Gold”
Easily Young’s most recognizable song, “Heart of Gold” is his only U.S. No. 1 single. This clip is from a live concert in 1971 where he was test-driving the song early on. Great banter from Neil as well.
“I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.”
“After the Goldrush”
My favorite lyric: “I was lying in a burned out basement/With the full moon in my eyes/I was hoping for replacement/When the sun burst thru the sky.”
“Time Fades Away”
I can’t see this becoming the basis for any jewelry store promotion any time soon.
“Fourteen junkies too weak to work/One sells diamonds for what they’re worth.”
“This Old Guitar”
This is one of my favorites of Young’s more recent songs. It’s off the fantastic Prairie Wind, the album he made after surviving a brain aneurysm. The track list drips with nostalgia, mortality, and sweetness that often defines someone facing a traumatic event.
“This old guitar has caught some breaks/But it never searched for gold.”
“Tell Me Why”
Okay, I’m stretching here because it’s my father’s favorite song. But I think this lyric might hit home with some jewelry retailers:
“Tell me why, tell me why/Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself/When your old enough to repay but young enough to sell?”
A watch/clock reference!
“Tick-tock/The clock on the wall/No wonder we’re losing time.”
“Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”
I had to reach back into Young’s Buffalo Springfield days to find this one. As my father always says, that band—which featured Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay—burned out far too quickly but did supply some quality music before it broke up.
“And who’s coming home on the old nine-to-five?/Who’s got the feeling that he came alive/Though havin’ it, sharin’ it ain’t quite the same/It ain’t no gold nugget, you can’t lay a claim.”
Yet another gold reference from Mr. Young. This is off the underrated Broken Arrow album that is one of my favorites.
“Talkin’ bout a friend of mine/Talkin’ bout a gold mine/Richest vein in any mountain.”
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