The often-reliable suggestions feed on my YouTube account today offered up the Annie Lennox cover of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” a song which appears in the 1999 film American Beauty (though it isn’t included on the official soundtrack).
The song is an excellent one. While I like Canadian-American singer, songwriter and musician Neil Young’s original, I find the layering of synthesizers on Lennox’s adds a great degree of depth and character to it. By the way, I’ve posted other Young compositions on this blog; if you check out my post on “Helpless” you’ll see a few; an original and covers.
The song comes from Annie Lennox’s 1995 album Medusa. Most of the all-covers album pieces are attributed to her and Stephen Lipson, an English producer, musician and songwriter who played guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, and does keyboard programming. Plus, he co-produced the album.
The album received some pretty negative reviews; this perplexes me as I quite like the collection. I previously featured another track from it, The Blue Nile’s “Downtown Lights” (if you check out the post on that song, you’ll see links to a few other Lennox songs).
It’s interesting that in the first verse of today’s selection, Young uses the British English word “lorries” instead of the more common, North American “trucks,” but it works well when sung by the English contralto, don’t you think? The lyrics of “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” tell of some discouraging things, but the chorus seems like a great mantra for our time:
“Don’t let it bring you down
It’s only castles burning
Find someone who’s turning
And you will come around”
(from “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” by Neil Young)
I interpret the words as saying, yeah, the world’s on fire and our societal systems don’t work anymore, but look for someone who’s heading in another direction and follow them; they’ve got a better way in mind, as it is time for change.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the audio for the song from Annie Lennox’s official YouTube channel:
Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.