This is actually my favourite song of his, and I love a good deal of them. One of the reasons is that it tends to live outside his usual oeuvre of folky-country or electric freak-out rock. It is wistfully orchestral, not unlike a Jimmy Webb tune. And the lyrics are very clunky in places, yet the clunkiness works, just because this is a song about trying to express oneself, and finding that the words just aren’t available. It’s a love song for those who know that navigating through it is treacherous. And although it is about being in love, it’s also the song for someone who is very lonely at the same time.
The song was recorded using the London Symphony Orchestra on the record, along with another tune; “There’s a World”. But, more recently it was featured on the ‘official bootleg’ Live at Massey Hall 1971 a concert recorded a year before Harvest came out. And on that version of the song, it is presented much like it is here – just stark piano and voice. Young introduces it as a new song, a “showtune from the movie of my life”.
The shock of hearing it presented so nakedly was quite a delightful on first hearing, since it revealed even more of the vulnerability which lies at the core of the song. Also on that version, he adds a middle section which is made up of another song, which hadn’t been fully formed at that point – “Heart of Gold” – a song which would make Neil Young a star.