What does Old Man mean?

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Neil Young: Old Man Meaning

Song Released: 1972

Old Man Lyrics

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 28th 2011 report

    This song is actually about the old man who was a caretaker at Neil youngs ranch. This is 100% true I am friends with his daughter. This old man took care of his property with happiness and care. He later died doing his job. His son now takes care of the ranch in his fathers foot steps


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 31st 2017 report

    When I first heard this 35 odd years ago, i thouht of my dad. Today I think of myself as that old man. I look at my life.......

  3. anonymous
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    Jun 12th report

    I think the old man at the ranch inspired this song & reminded him of his father and his father doesn’t want him to make the same mistakes that he made. So then when he gets on him for somehow always screwing relationships up his father does so because he doesn’t want his son to grow up, grow old and be alone like himself. Neil however doesn’t care about it as much as his father cares about it however.

  4. anonymous
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    May 21st report

    Wait! It's NOT about his dad? I have always thought this was a song to his "old man" aka his dad. I'm so confused.

  5. Samir
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    May 13th 2020 report

    As two people have previously stated, this song is about Neil’s ranch caretaker. “He came with it when I bought it,” Neil quipped - referring to the “old man” - speaking to the audience at Massey Hall when he sang the song live.

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 6th 2016 report

    Soul searching... old man, new man....
    A transformation of a new life style, and remembering the old life style...
    Willing to give up who you are and move on, can be very profound, and quite emotional.

  7. anonymous
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    May 19th 2015 report

    the one that said it was about the caretaker is the true one . I seen neal young on a interview ant thats that he said

  8. anonymous
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    Apr 8th 2014 report

    I think Neil was feeling a little lonely perhaps as he sat on the porch of his ranch and composed this great song. But, additionally I think he was reflecting on his life in general.

    To me, "I've been first and last.... but I am all alone at last" refers to his musical career, that is "Neil Young and Crazy Horse" (first), then Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Last), and then Neil Solo (all alone)...

    I think he may have tired of the thing with CSNY as they relied, as they do today, on the hits from their early work together, and perhaps that is what he meant by "run around the same old town"...and also that, unlike CSN, he preferred to be creative, experimental, etc., without fear of how the audience might react: "It doesn't mean that much to me, to mean that much to you"

    Just a few random thoughts that I have had


  9. anonymous
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    Apr 18th 2011 report

    The song was written about the toils of life wearing you down and not being able to do anything about it. One minute your on top and next you are scrapping and ekeing by.

  10. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2008 report

    This song is about an old man who he bought his house from who used to look after the cattle. The cattle may be a metaphor for himself but I'm not sure.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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