Neil Young – Long May You Run

Neil wrote “Long May You Run” in tribute to Mort, his old 1948 Buck Roadmaster hearse.

Neil Young and his band The Squires posing with his hearse Mort (a 1948 Buick Roadmaster hearse Neil had nicknamed Mortimer Hearseburg) in Winnipeg, Manitoba in April 1965

“It had rollers for the coffin in the back, so we just rolled our our amps in and out. It was like they built it for us”  The hearse broke down in Blind River in 1965 where Neil refused to abandon the hearse for two days until he finally gave up.

He soon bought another hearse, Mort Two, which Stephen Stills spotted him driving  in Los Angeles in 1966 when Buffalo Springfield was formed.

Neil would later pay tribute to the original Mort in his song Long May You Run, the title track of The Stills-Young Band album. The album was released in 1976 and peaked at #26 in the Billboard Album Charts, #26 in Canada, and #12 in the UK.

Neil and Stephen Stills toured on this album and Mr. Young decided to leave tour abruptly. He did leave Stills a note: “Dear Stephen, funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil.”

The song charted in 1993 from MTV’s Unplugged…it peaked at #34 in the Mainstream Rock Song charts and #28 in Canada.

From Songfacts

Neil was in Canada driving to Sudbury when ‘Mort’ broke down in Blind River, June 1965. (Which is contradictory to the lyrics; “well it was back in Blind River, in 1962, when I last saw you alive”).

In 1976, Stephen Stills and Neil Young formed The Stills-Young Band and released an album called Long May You Run, which turned out to be somewhat ironic when the collaboration quickly stalled.

Stills and Young wrote separately for the album, which Stephen contributing four songs, and Young adding five, including the title track.

Stills is a longtime collaborator of Neil’s, having worked with him first in Buffalo Springfield and then in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. However, they had a falling out only nine days into the Long May You Run tour. Young decided to abandon the project, leaving Stills with a mere telegram to explain his departure. It read: “Dear Stephen, funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil.”

In addition to Young’s compilation album Decade this also appears on his 1993 album Unplugged

The last ever Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on Friday January 22, 2010 finished in style when O’Brien’s final musical guest, Neil Young, performed this song in what appeared to be a poke at NBC. O’Brien had been asked to move his slot to 12:05 a.m., and the TV host refused to move his show to such a late hour, and instead negotiated a $45 million exit deal.

Neil Young performed this song at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games to a rousing ovation of Canadian audience members.

Long May You Run

We’ve been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Well, it was back in Blind River in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift on the long decline
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Maybe The Beach Boys have got you now
With those waves singing “Caroline”
Rollin’ down that empty ocean road
Gettin’ to the surf on time.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Neil Young – Long May You Run”

  1. If you dare to eat a peach, you are willing to accept the outcome, knowing full well that you can always change your shirt. Much like the dichotomies of life, a peach is both sweet and sour, soft and hard, smooth and fuzzy. The peach has been understood as a metaphor for women’s breasts and buttocks. The phrase Eat a Peach most likely cane from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, where he questioned himself, “Do I dare to eat a peach?”. Prufrock was facing the fact that he is never going to declare his passion to his lady-love. He imagines himself as an old man, walking along the beach, frail and dried up and never having really experienced life before descending into the grave.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing to me the amount of b.s. the individuals in CSNY have put up with and overcome over the years. It appears Croz has burned too many bridges, but it’s remarkable that they tolerated each other at all after 1970.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I don’t see them overcoming this even if they were younger. He pissed off Neil and then Graham for his book. In the book Nash isn’t nasty to Crosby…he told things that for the most part are common knowledge.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much…I made an index JUST so I wouldn’t do this crap again! This is the second one I’ve done in the past few months…I don’t know how I missed it…thanks

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do have tags on them…lets say I do a Stones song…”Rolling Stones” is always in the tag. Most of the time I think of a song and then I check the index against it…I didn’t because I simply didn’t think I did it. That teaches me to check no matter what. I double checked the Rod Stewart song today…but yea I could do a search before also.

        It doesn’t help that I don’t have a system or prompt. It’s totally random picks. That worked at first but now with almost 2000 I have to be more careful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is not a bad idea. What i’ve done also is for the new people I pick up…if they tend to like harder I will favor harder for a little while…I bounce back and forth. I’m trying to post more rare ones now…like today with Green on Red. I want to explore more less known bands…or rarer songs from big bands. I’ve wore the Kinks, Stones, and Beatles out…another Kinks tomorrow I think…but an earlier not so well known one.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I need to go back and listen to Green and Red as it sounded interesting when I read about it (I was reading on my phone this morning when everyone was asleep so couldn’t listen to it). It’s always a line to walk – between running out of uber-popular stuff to talk about and covering obscure stuff that only a couple of people will comment on.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. CB turned me on to them.
        You nailed it…what I usually do on a Fri-Sun is try to post one rare and one popular to keep the comments up.
        I know it’s hard on newer songs…

        Like

  3. I’ve always loved this tune but may be a bit biased, since I really dig Neil Young in general! 🙂

    As for Neil walking out on Stephen Stills, this sounds like a typical Neil thing! Of course, this doesn’t make it okay, and you have to feel sorry for Stills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I would feel sorry for him but I read where he wasn’t acting too well…they all seem to have these private little arguments…but that had to be tough for Stills.

      Liked by 1 person

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