Unknown Legend

Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) penned “Unknown Legend” and released it on his solo album Harvest Moon in 1992.

I was 22 and not listening. Somehow it seems songs, like other messages and people, appear when we need them.

The first time I heard the song was in the 2008 movie Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway. I haven’t seen every Anne Hathaway movie, but her performance in this one is legendary. She plays a drug addict who has been released from her current treatment program on a day pass to attend her sister Rachel’s wedding.

During the ceremony the groom (Tunde Adebimpe, lead singer of TV on the Radio featured on last week’s Remake Monday) serenades Rachel in a performance that moves me every time.

[Verse 1]
She used to work in a diner
Never saw a woman look finer
I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
She grew up in a small town
Never put her roots down
Daddy always kept moving so she did too

[Chorus]
Somewhere on a desert highway
She rides a Harley-Davidson
Her long blonde hair flying in the wind
She’s been running half her life
The chrome and steel she rides
Colliding with the very air she breathes
The air she breathes

[Verse 2]
You know it ain’t easy
You got to hold on
She was an unknown legend in her time
Now she’s dressing two kids
Looking for a magic kiss
She gets the faraway look in her eyes

It’s Remake Monday! Remake it amazing!

30 thoughts on “Unknown Legend

  1. Thanks for the memories Crystal. Neil Young, legendary Canadian balladeer. I used to have 5 or 6 CSNY albums when I was younger and music was on cassettes. Now, I hardly have any. Worth getting some, methinks. Great inspiration for a remake Monday. Have a great day. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Love light and glitter
        The lyrics, more the story behind…. but I’m assuming you’ll know what I thought now that I’m saying it.
        Happy whatever day it is by you. A few minutes to, um, Tuesday.

        Like

    1. Current song writing seems to be losing that story telling aspect. My maiden name was Petty. I had an uncle named Tom. I always said Tom Petty was my uncle, which was true. Just a different Tom Petty. I appreciate your appreciation here, Bryan. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Though Petty’s CD has the refinement you’d expect of something engineered in a sound studio, the movie clip has a much more visceral appeal. Part of that is the setting, a wedding and all, which gives it more warmth than something nuanced in a sound studio.

    How best to explain this? Though Adebimpe sounds wonderful, and despite him being, in real life, a professional singer, he allowed the song just a touch of tentativeness. A “just-shy-of-perfect” element that gives it a realism that would be lacking if he had been content to pull out all the stops.

    That’s real talent, actually, to tone things down just a bit. To inspire still, without backing in to insult.

    Great Second Installment, Crystal!

    Like

  3. It’s a bit of a ‘have to be in the mood’ album, but when I am in the mood, I adore ‘Harvest Moon’ and it’s one of those releases that almost demands to be listened to as a full album from start to finish. Will have to check the movie out as this one passed me by.

    Like

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