By Jon Wiederhorn
Classic rock legend Neil Young was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on September 23 at Massey Hall in Toronto.
Young was introduced by Randy Bachman of Canadian band Bachman Turner Overdrive.
Young began his speech by saying, “Songs are like animals. You really have to be careful with them and sneak up on them and don’t scare them. They’re like rabbits coming out of a hole.”
“You’re not gonna stand there with a gun,” he continued. “The rabbit will see you and go back down the hole. So you put the gun down and go and sit behind a rock and wait for this song rabbit to come out of the hole and start sniffing around. So you start sniffing around too, trying to be like the rabbit.”
Later in his speech, he added that, while he’s widely regarded as an international artist and has earned much of his success in America with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crazy Horse and as a solo artist, he has always considered himself a Canadian.
“I’m terribly proud to be Canadian. I know I’ve traveled a lot… but I’ve always been a Canadian Citizen. I’ve never been a citizen of anywhere else even though I love the USA.”
In addition to talking about songs and praising Canada, Young took another jab at President Trump, as he did during 2017 Farm Aid, reiterating that American is “already great,” a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Bruce Cockburn, Stéphane Venne, and Beau Dommage were also inducted at the ceremony. Buffy Sainte-Marie, k.d. lang, and Bachman performed.
See Young’s acceptance speech below: