• My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

    Article by Ey@el and music & lyrics by Neil Young

    Original en français

    Released in 1979, Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young & Crazy Horse was my very first LP bought on the same year (I know some would have rather thought of the Beatles or the Who, but they would have been all wrong). And to this day I still enjoy it as much. Oddly enough, I was reminded of this song recently after a nasty fit of the blues I thought I'd never overcome. You would think my guardian angel is a musician.

    Lyrics

    My my, hey hey
    Rock and roll is here to stay
    It's better to burn out than to fade away
    My my, hey hey

    Out of the blue and into the black
    They give you this, but you pay for that
    And once you're gone, you can never come back
    When you're out of the blue and into the black

    The king is gone but he's not forgotten
    Is this the story of a Johnny Rotten?
    It's better to burn out than it is to rust
    The king is gone but he's not forgotten

    Hey hey, my my
    Rock and roll can never die
    There's more to the picture than meets the eye
    Hey hey, my my

    © Neil Young, 1979

    About this song

    Featured on the above-mentioned album that kind of resurrected Neil Young's career right up in the midst of punk rock explosion — that old has-been hippie who had completely lost touch with his generation — this track exists both as an acoustic version (the one I chose) and one electric entitled "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)".

    Most notably, the line “It's better to burn out than to fade away” had a great impact on the grunge movement, specially after Kurt Cobain quoted it in his suicide letter which earned Young the unexpected status of “grunge mentor”. Oasis, intentionally — or simply as a proof of good taste as fortunately the legendary bullshit of the Gallagher brothers only affects their personalities — covered this song during their 2000 tour and so did Big Country.

    Although not cryptic, some lines of the lyrics have multiple related meanings. Neil Young does express himself both literally and figuratively referring to those previously unknown stars that came “out of the blue” and ultimately left the limelight to go “into the black”. Obviously another possible interpretation would be the transition from depression to suicide as was the case for the late singer of Nirvana.

    Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)

    And to leave you on a high note, here is the explosive electric version of this song.

    Rock and roll can never die”. Nope. But lately, that didn't stop its torchlights to go “into the black” in succession and “out of the blue”: David Bowie, Glen Frey (Eagles), Prince... RIP.

    Ey@el

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