In light of an outpouring of fan expression about the poignant timeliness of his hit single “Shut It Down,” Neil Young has released a new version entitled “Shut It Down 2020.” The song was originally recorded by Young and Crazy Horse for the 2019 10-track LP Colorado.
The video features live footage of Young and Crazy Horse but, much more poignantly, footage of the current scope of the world, including front-line health care workers and medical equipment, wholly vacant public spaces like streets and parks and individuals engaging in loving support of one another while social distancing. The song’s lyrics and broader message are simple: the system that is society as we know it has to be shut down for a period of time to give the world a chance to better combat and manage this virus.
Young will also be playing “At Home With Farm Aid,” a virtual livestream in support of essential farm workers and family farms being directly impact by the coronavirus pandemic. Other performers include Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. The even will take place April 11. Young has been posting fireside livestream concerts from his home in Colorado and has promised to continue doing so throughout this time of global uncertainty.
“These are uncertain times. I wish you all the best as you care for our sick, the young and old who we love so much,” Young said in talking directly to first responders. “Sending the best wishes to all the health care and government workers all over the world, to all the scientists who will learn and share with us the best ways to ensure survival in our world challenged. Let’s all work together and stay positive that we will find a way. With love to all, in all walks of life, all political persuasions, all colors. We will succeed working together for the good of our world as we are here together, hanging in the balance of nature.”