Neil Young - "Children Of Destiny" (Reprise): Given Neil Young's longtime residency in the US, it makes sense that he'd write a song for July 4th, rather than Canada's 150th.
"Children of Destiny" is a passionate protest song addressing the (dysfunctional) state of the union, and the surprise track was announced by Neil with a recent Facebook post. “We made a record we wanted to share with you,” he said. “We played with a bunch of people ... total strangers in the same room on a full moon, 65 of us. We had a great time. Enjoy.”
On the track, Young is backed by Promise of the Real (featuring Willie Nelson’s son Lukas), and a 56-piece orchestra. The music was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
The song features blaring horns, soaring strings and a mass choir. Clearly Young is going for the epic, when, to these ears, a fiery Crazy Horse guitar workout would have been more effective in driving the point home.
This is a clarion call to “stand up for what you believe, resist the powers that be.” Other lyrics include "Should goodness ever lose/and evil steal the day/Should happy sing the blues/And peaceful face away — What would you do? What would you say? How would you act on that new day?"
The corresponding video is similarly direct, juxtaposing images of summer picnics, Fourth of July festivities, fighter jets, battle scenes and mass protests.
The tune is a touch clumsy lyrically and won't go down as a Neil Young classic. As ever, however, there's no doubting Young's conviction and passion, and this is a message that needs to be delivered.
The YouTube clip has been viewed over a half-million times in a couple of days, confirming Young still has a large and loyal audience. The comments section, however, includes plenty of critical remarks.