The Vastly Different Ways In Which Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Viewed the Inevitable Subject of Aging

Polyphonic, who creates incredibly informative video essays about music, took a look a the vastly different ways in which singers/songwriters Neil Young and Joni Mitchell approached the inevitable subject of getting older. In Young’s iconic song “Sugar Mountain”, he essentially proclaims that the age of 20 is when everyone must put away childish things, whether ready or not, while Mitchell’s song “Circle Game” offers a glimmer of hope, while still lamenting lost youth.

On Neil Young’s 19th birthday he penned a song about a milestone in his life ‘Sugar Mountain’, it’s a powerful song a lament for the loss of youth and the impending responsibilities of adulthood. It’s simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking. But upon hearing it one of Neil Young’s friends decided there was something missing from the story and so Joni Mitchell wrote a response ‘The Circle Game’, another stunning song about time and aging.