Saturday, April 20, 2013

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Cinnamon Girl

For our bubbling under hit for this Saturday, we turn to Neil Young and Crazy Horse from the 1969 LP “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.” Peaking at #55 on the Hot 100, this 1970 single failed to make it to the Top 40 charts, but like many of Neil’s bubbling under hits, it is still pretty well known.

While Neil sings lead on the cut, guitarist Danny Whitten sings the high harmony. Written at a time when Young had the flu and a high fever, his malady served his creativity as two other well known Young compositions, “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Down by the River,” were also penned during this illness.

Neil used one of my favorite non-standard guitar tunings on “Cinnamon Girl” – double dropped “D” tuning which tunes both “E” strings down a whole step to a “D.” The result is the following configuration DADGBD.

While the lyrics are rather unusual, they are sung over the crunching guitars of Young and Whitten and the respective driving bass and drums of Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina. I always thought this would make a great commercial bed for Cinnabon with the lyrics rewritten to refer to “my Cinnabon girl”or even as “my Cinnabon swirl.”

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