After The Gold Rush

Neil Young/Prelude:  After The Gold Rush

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

"Well I dreamed I saw a knight in armour saying something about a queen."

"I was lying in a burnt out basement with the full moon in my eyes."

 "I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships flying In the yellow haze of the sun"

artists:  Prelude (a female acapella group from Newcastle, U.K.)

songwriter:  Neil Young

date released:  1970 by Neil Young; re-released by Prelude in 1973

There has been endless speculation as to the meaning of Neil Young's haunting and surreal lyrics of "After the Gold Rush."  Some think that mankind has upset the delicate balance of nature with pollution, runaway technology and threats of war.  Others argue "the day after" imagery where civilians experience the aftermath of a nuclear Holocaust and seek to escape in spacecraft to a new planet to colonize.  

The video suggests this notion with the image of the earth cracked and lanced by spears. And what of the title itself---After The Goldrush?  What does it mean?  After human exploitation of Earth's resources, is rehabitation possible?  Open to many interpretations, the song's artistry lies in its mystery and infinite possibilities.  The medieval imagery of "knights and archers" suggests the timelessness of this dystopian view which still resonates in these modern times.