Neil Young - Old Man - Live 1971

Neil Young - Old Man - Live 1971





This was the first song recorded for the Harvest album. Neil Young arranged the session the previous night when he was at a party held at Quadrafonic Studios in Nashville (he was in town to record a segment for Johnny Cash's TV show). The studio owner Elliot Mazer was also a producer who had worked with a band Young admired called Area Code 615. Young asked if he could record there the next day, and Mazer complied, supplying not just the studio, but also the musicians.

The session took place on Saturday, February 6, 1971 with a group of Music City studio pros: Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar, Tim Drummond on bass and Kenny Buttrey on drums.


The song was written for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. While moving in, he took a jeep ride with the caretaker, Louis Avila, and the two got to talking. Perhaps overlooking some scenic valley, or bathed in a picturesque sunset, these dichotomous gentlemen — Young is 24 and rich beyond his dreams, Avila has been working his entire life — find some common ground.


The song compares a young man's life to an old man's and shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one. James Taylor played six-string banjo (tuned like a guitar) and sang on the song, and Linda Ronstadt also contributed vocals.


This song has appeared in various films over the years, including Due Date, Lords of Dogtown, and Wonder Boys.






Lyrics


Old man look at my life I'm a lot like you were Old man look at my life I'm a lot like you were

Old man look at my life Twenty four and there's so much more Live alone in a paradise That makes me think of two

Love lost, such a cost Give me things that don't get lost Like a coin that won't get tossed Rolling home to you

Old man take a look at my life I'm a lot like you I need someone to love me The whole day through Ah, one look in my eyes And you can tell that's true

Lullabies, look in your eyes Run around the same old town Doesn't mean that much to me To mean that much to you

I've been first and last Look at how the time goes past But I'm all alone at last Rolling home to you

Old man take a look at my life I'm a lot like you I need someone to love me The whole day through Ah, one look in my eyes And you can tell that's true

Old man look at my life I'm a lot like you were Old man look at my life I'm a lot like you were





Songwriters: Neil Young

Old Man lyrics © Broken Fiddle Music




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