top of page
Heart of Gold
Song

Heart of Gold

Neil Young
Album:
Harvest

Song Meaning of Heart of Gold by Neil Young, and what it is about


“Heart of Gold put me in the middle of the road,” Young wrote, and was his only number one song in the USA.


The is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young and from his fourth album Harvest released in 1972.


The song, which features backup vocals by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, is one of a series of soft acoustic pieces which were written partly as a result of a back injury.


Unable to stand for long periods of time, Young could not play his electric guitar and so returned to his acoustic guitar, which he could play sitting down. He also played his harmonica during the three instrumental portions, including the introduction to the song.


Ronstadt and Taylor were in Nashville at the time for an appearance on Johnny Cash's television program, and the album's producer Elliot Mazer arranged for them to sing backup for Young in the studio.


Young wrote in the liner notes of his 1977 compilation album Decade: "This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there." This statement was in response to the mainstream popularity that he gained as a result of the number-one status of "Heart of Gold".


Young has stated that this song, as well as "Harvest" and "Out on the Weekend" from the same album, were inspired by his then blossoming love for actress Carrie Snodgress.


In 1985, Bob Dylan said he disliked hearing the song, despite always liking Young:

The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about '72 and the big song at the time was "Heart of Gold". I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to "Heart of Gold." I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I'd say, "Shit, that's me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me."


Song lyrics of Heart of Gold by Neil Young


I want to live

I want to give

I've been a miner for a heart of gold

It's these expressions

I never give

That keep me searching for a heart of gold

 

And I'm getting old

Keep me searching for a heart of gold

And I'm getting old

 

I've been to Hollywood

I've been to Redwood

I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold

I've been in my mind

It's such a fine line

That keeps me searching for a heart of gold

 

And I'm getting old

Keeps me searching for a heart of gold

And I'm getting old

 

Keep me searching for a heart of gold

You keep me searching and I'm growing old

Keep me searching for a heart of gold

I've been a miner for a heart of gold

Release Date

1972

Songwriter/s

Neil Young

Producer/s

Elliot Mazer, Neil Young

Label/s

Reprise

Other Songs

bottom of page