Neil Young gives Queen's anthem an electric jolt
The singer's from Canada, the band from L.A. and the album is called Americana. So, why, exactly, is there a track featuring a version of Britain's national anthem?
It's a reasonable question, which Neil Young must have anticipated as he and his old band Crazy Horse teamed up for this new release coming out June 5, just as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations reach their climax with a grand royal procession. 'God Save the Queen' will be heard many times during this Jubilee year, but not like this.
Writes Young in explantion: “Written in the 18th century with possible melodic roots in the 17th century, this anthem has been sung throughout the British Commonwealth and may have been sung in North America before the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence in 1776, which rejected British sovereignty.”
“The Americana arrangement draws from the original melody and changes some melody and lyrics in the folk process.”
Okay. Whatever the artistic process, it will likely draw comparisons to both the original and to the Sex Pistols' 1977 song of the same name.
As for the American audience, who may still be puzzled by its inclusion on an album called 'Americana,' there are numerous other more familiar tracks on the album, including 'Oh! Susannah', 'Clementine' and 'This Land Is Your Land.'
"They're songs we all know from kindergarten," said the 66-year-old Toronto native. "But Crazy Horse has rearranged them, and they now belong to us."
This is the first album from Young and Crazy Horse since 2003's 'Greendale.'