Week 10: Neil Young – After The Goldrush

17 Oct


Let me get this straight – I don’t like folk music. This record isn’t folk music. It’s soul.

I listen to this and I listen to Stevie Wonder and it’s the same thing. It’s lyrics and music and truth. There’s nothing twee about this, it’s just simple, beautiful stories.

I do really love Neil Young, and it’s odd that this is my favourite album of his, because it never seems to be anyone else’s. I read somewhere once that it was his most consistent album. Well, be damned with faint praise, but I believe consistency to be an excellent thing. The only song I don’t totally love is probably the famous one – Only Love Can Break Your Heart. It’s still good, but it’s so pop, it’s been so covered by everyone (I can only think of Saint Etienne right now, but believe me). Sat next to the introspection of the rest it feels a little out of place.

So why this record this week? I think I’ve been feeling a bit stressed. We’ve been told we have to wait until 14 weeks to have our first scan, which means instead of waiting a fortnight to tell people I’m pregnant, we now have to wait another whole month. Another month of being hideously ill and exhausted and having to keep it quiet from the world. Another month of having to lie to people, come up with excuses for not drinking or cancelling social engagements (everybody’s going out and having fun/I’m a fool for staying home and having none) and being called a spoilsport when really people should be celebrating with us. This is compounded by the anxiety of knowing we’re in a higher risk of miscarriage bracket, so we REALLY don’t want to tell anyone before we know everything’s ok. We really do need to keep a lid on it. FOUR WEEKS THOUGH! It feels like it may as well be four years.

But this record makes me feel calm.

The first time I heard it, I was in a bad place – in a relationship that was about to break up. I heard After The Goldrush and it lifted me. Just for as long as the record played, I was in a bubble, everything was okay. It completely soothes me, it always has. So let’s go into our bubble for now, little Gaga, and when Don’t Let It Bring You Down comes on, I’ll sing all the words and probably cry a bit because I’m an emotional wobblewart at the moment, and we’ll get through another week of barfaciousness together.

Don’t let it bring you down
It’s only castles burning,
Find someone who’s turning
And you will come around.

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