Whenever I see the big fire coming
coming to burn down all my ideas
I try to hold onto my thinking
remember how it feels
I think Neil Young is searching for something in this new song, something that has passed him by. Not something he’s missed out on — he’s experienced enough. I think the world where Crazy Horse was born has moved on, and it’s put Young in a spot to write about approaching fires, feeling like a leaf floating on a stream, and simply trying to hold on to a world that just won’t stand still.
This is nothing new with Young’s recent material. Songs like “Walk With Me” and “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” from his last studio album, Le Noise, both had urgent messages, suggesting that time is running out, and that we’re traveling into new territory — and he doesn’t want to do it alone. “I lost some people I was traveling with, I miss the soul and the old friendship,” Young sang on “Walk With Me.”
Here, on “Walk Like A Giant,” we’re taken a little further. The fire is getting too close, and all that’s left is to remember how it feels.
“It breaks my heart,” Young sings. Mine too.