Last night, iconic singer/guitarist Neil Young was officially enshrined in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in a ceremony at Toronto’s Massey Hall. The Ontario-born rocker was introduced by fellow Canuck Randy Bachman of The Guess Who, and proceeded to freestyle an amusing, humble, oh so very Canadian acceptance speech.
“I know I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve had a lot of chances to stay places–and I’ve stayed in some places for a long time–but I’ve always been a Canadian citizen, and not a citizen of anywhere else, even though I love the U.S.A.,” professed Young. “By the way, my message for them is: They’re already great.”
Young’s off-the-cuff speech, delivered in his distinctive deadpan, touched on the ways songs are like rabbits, his divorced late parents getting back together in Heaven, and how glad he is that the ideas for songs continue to come to him. As he states with an equal mix of sincerity and mischievousness, “I don’t really know what else to say other than that if you write songs…good for you. That’s good.”
He also offers a sort of self-depricating encouragement to would-be songwriters who are “scared shitless” to get up in front of people and play. He muses, “I don’t know if I have charisma or not, I just know I keep changing. But it know I can’t sing. It really doesn’t matter. I’m around the note somewhere. I know it. It knows me.”
Past inductees include Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Robbie Robertson, Rush, and more.
You can watch Neil Young’s full Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame acceptance speech below courtesy of CBC Music below:
Congratulations to Neil on this well-deserved honor!
[h/t – Billboard]
[Cover photo via Billboard]