Another troubadour that always entertained and moved me has passed on. David Crosby died at 81 on Jan. 19, A co-founder of the Byrds, it was in Crosby, Stills and Nash, which he also helped co-found, that his songwriting captivated me.
The best troubadours inspire and challenge me with parables that contain more questions than answers. Questions that are eternal. Crosby certainly fit that mold. The catalog of tunes, musicianship, energy and rare harmonies of Crosby with Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young off and on through six decades certainly sharpened his skills and multiplied his influence.
Though it is tough to choose, I believe my favorite Crosby song is “Long Time Gone”. Its lyrics are as pertinent as they were when Crosby wrote them in 1969. The same is true about the vast majority of songs he wrote. This relevance is a testimony to Crosby’s genius, songwriting, and playing.
“Turn, turn any corner / Hear, you must hear what the people say / You know that somethin’ is goin’ on around here / It surely, surely, surely won’t stand the light of day, no / … Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness / You got to speak your mind, if you dare”Selected Lyrics from “Long Time Gone” by David Crosby
That it is a song for the moment so many years after being written not only speaks to Crosby’s talents, it speaks also to the truths in the lyrics. As saddening as Crosby’s passing is for his family, friends and fans, we can rest assured that he will continue to challenge and inspire future generations.
© Michael M. Barrick, 2023