Music and Lyrics

Evening, gang.

The end of the Thanksgiving weekend brings us to Day 24.

I’m sure everyone’s a little tired from too much food, ‘lotsa family and football, etc., so I’ll try to keep tonight’s musings pretty brief.

For those of you who have joined our crew over the last few years, you’ll recall that we have discussed a lot of music. As we move along and head towards our goal, I hope to do so again. (Yeah, I’m even planning on doing a post on what could be placed under the broad heading of musical malaprops. Specifically, we’ll look at song lyrics: What you thought you heard vs. what the recording artist intended. Could be pretty hilarious, so please think about sending me some of yours. Who says I should get to have all the fun!)

As for today (and speaking of music), the number 24 always makes me think of Neil Young. One of his classics, “Old Man” (from the album Harvest, 1972) features today’s numerical guest of honor. Yeah, you remember:

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.

As always, one of the true gifts of music is that it offers complete and utter freedom to interpret music and lyrics any way you like. Sure, I suppose the song writer/lyricist knows what he/she has in mind from the outset, but in my book, no interpretation should
be discounted.

For what it’s worth, though, re: Old Man, my take on the above is pretty simple.

Given that Neil Young (born 1945) was in his 20s when he recorded the song, I think it’s largely autobiographical.

Shortly after his divorce in 1970, Young bought a large piece of property in Half Moon Bay, California. The 140-acre spot, known as Broken Arrow Ranch, was quiet and secluded, and many thought that he went there to figure out some things.

But he wasn’t alone.

It seems that there was a caretaker there named Louis Avila. Avila was much older (arguably, old enough to be Young’s grandfather), but the two struck up a quick friendship, with Young perhaps thinking that advice from such a wise old guy might help him heal.

When you get time, listen to the song in its entirety, and see what you think. As above, there are no wrong answers in music, and I’d love to get your take.

Please message me on FaceBook or email me on anytime you want to discuss any of this stuff. (-:

Well, we start a new week tomorrow, and we’ll soon turn the calendar to December.
Keep the faith,




Scroll to Top