Tag Archives: Farm Aid

Video: Neil Young Sings ‘Standing In The Light Of Love’ with Revised Political Lyrics at Farm Aid + ‘Heart Of Gold’

Neil Young at Farm Aid 2014.

Yesterday Neil Young played a new version of an old song, “Standing In The Light Of Love,” at Farm Aid 2014.

According to Thrasher’s Wheat, a version of the song was first played in 2001, and Young began playing it earlier this year in Europe.

The lyrics to the 2014 version of the song have been overhauled somewhat to reflect Young’s anger at big oil and corporate America for destroying the earth.

This is very powerful.

The fan who shot the video was using a cell phone so the image is sideways, but the sound is awesome and the video is great too.

Just turn your head, or turn your computer.

“Standing In The Light Of Love”:

“Heart Of Gold”:

“Stand In The Light Of Love”:

Lyrics to “Stand In The Light Of Love”:

In a world with so much anger
In a world with so much hate

Stand in the light of love

In a world with so much sadness
How will you feel at Heaven’s Gate

Stand in the light of love

Rising from the deep blue sea
Drowning in the long parade
Still you will find the answer
Standing in the light of love

Stand in the light of love

By the wealth of corporations
Must the earth bow down to greed?

Stand in the light of love

In a world controlled by oil
How much power do they need?

stand in the light of love

Drowning in the deep blue sea
Still you need not be afraid
For you will find the answer
Standing in the light of love

Standing in the light of love


Stand in the light of love
Stand in the light of love

Every day the earth is damaged
In the endless search for oil

Stand in the light of love

Ancient ways of life are broken
As we suck it from the soil

Stand in the light of love

Swimming in the deep blue sea
Drowning in the long parade
Still you need not be afraid
Standing in the light of love

Stand in the light of love

Stand in the light of love

I don’t want to get personal
And have you put me on the spot
I don’t know how you feel
But for me it’s getting hot

I got to get somewhere
I got to [unclear word] against the grain
Fighting for tomorrows children
Against the power and the pain

Standing in the light of love

Stand in the light of love

Stand in the light of love

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Watch: Farm Aid Crowd Bums Out Neil Young

Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013.
Neil Young at Farm Aid 2013.

If you saw Neil Young’s Farm Aid performance today (Saturday Sept 21, 2013) at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, you saw a superstar lose his cool as he tried repeatedly to talk serious to the audience about the domination of farming by corporations, about the connection between factory farming and climate change and, finally, about the suicides of Kurt Cobain and Phil Ochs.

Young opened his 40-minute acoustic set with a spirited performance of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

His set was dominated by cover versions, as if the recent release of Bob Dylan’s Another Self Portrait had inspired Young: Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” (included on the original Self Portrait), Ivory Joe Hunter’s “Since I Met You Baby” (played on upright piano), Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe (played on pump organ) and Phil Ochs’ “Changes.” Young interspersed just two intense performances of his original songs among the covers: “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold.”

“Early Morning Rain”:

“Old Man”:

“Heart Of Gold”:

“Since I Met You Baby”:

The music was great, but Young was intent on delivering a message beyond the music. “The Farmers are on the front line of climate change…,” Young told the audience. “All that carbon that’s up in the sky. And believe me, this has a lot to do with what’s going on with all these radical weather patterns we’re seeing. It’s real. All the carbon that’s up in the sky, it used to be down here. Used to be in the ground. Used to be in the soil. Used to be down here under the crops. And then Monsanto and all the big chemical companies nnd the industrialists, they came and made factory farms and replaced family farms and they brought in the chemicals, made it so [family farms] couldn’t grow without chemicals. And the farmer, the little guys, tried to get a loan from the bank and the bank said. ‘We’ll give you a loan but you have to use these chemicals, what we tell you to use, or we won’t give you a loan.’

“That’s the truth,” he continued. “That’s what we’re living right now. Those chemicals have made it so we’ve lost sometimes more than half our topsoil. And it didn’t just disappear; it’s up there. We need to bring it down to earth…”

Some of the audience weren’t buying it, and just wanted more music. Young became agitated, and started talking some more about climate change.

“Colorado could be coming down the highway towards Albany right now,” Young said, referring to the recent storm in Colorado that caused nearly $2 million in property damage. “If you don’t believe me, you’re in denial. Wait a couple of months. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen it down in New Jersey. You saw it in New York, saw it in New Orleans, saw it up in Canada, saw it in Toronto, saw it in Calgary, in the Midwest. It just keeps moving around like a ghost. We got to stop it…”

He sat down at his pump organ, started to play “Reason To Believe,” but he just couldn’t do it. It was like he was compelled to keep talking about what he felt was the point of the Farm Aid benefit concerts. So he got up and said to the crowd, “I’m not done. I don’t care. Somebody’s got to say something. Somebody’s got to say something. Don’t you want freedom of choice. Wouldn’t you like to burn something clean instead of something dirty? I would. A lot of people don’t believe it. Oh we got to have big oil, he’s out of his mind. I may be out of my mind but we still don’t need it. We got farmers we got the earth we got the sun we got the land. Let’s give it a chance.”

What followed was a funeral slow rendition of the Tim Hardin classic.

“Reason Of Believe”:

And then Young was talking again. “Life is short folks,” he said. “We all know that. There’s no time like right now. I was talking back stage with Pete [Seeger] before he came out here and he told me a tale about this friend of his. We lost this friend a long time ago ‘cause life is short. He killed himself. And Pete talked to him a few days before that happened and Pete said, ‘I wish I’d done something more to stop that from happening.’ I said, ‘Well don’t worry about that, there’s nothing you can do about it. Because that kind of thing happens all the time.’ It happened to me. I had a friend [Cobain], who was a singer and he was great. And he reached out to me and I tried to get back to him through his office. I tried for days and days and finally I gave up. Couple of days later he blew his head off. So life is short and you can regret things…

And that’s when someone in the ground yelled out “Come on, let’s go,” and Young freaked.

“Come on let’s go?” he said. “Did I hear ‘come on lets go?’ I’m on my way buddy. I work for me. So you know I’m trying to make a little point here. But this guy that Pete knew, he was one of the greatest poets that ever lived. He wrote this next song that some of you have probably never heard and it’s long as hell. I don’t know what to tell you… One of the greatest songwriters that ever lived. Phil Ochs was his name…”

And then Young ended his set with a beautiful performance of Phil Ochs’ “Changes.”

Watch Saturday’s Live Aid performances, including Young’s entire set.