Song of the Day #5,326: ‘Long Time Gone’ – Crosby, Stills & Nash

David Crosby, who had a front row seat for some of history’s most iconic music, died a couple of weeks ago at 81.

Crosby was a founding member of two classic bands — The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. His sweet vocals and gift for harmonies helped both groups forge a sound that still feels essential. My younger daughter just recently started listening to The Byrds and was instantly smitten.

I assumed Crosby had penned some of those bands’ most recognizable tunes, but it turns out I’m woefully unfamiliar with his output. I guess when you’re surrounded by the likes of Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young, Roger McGuinn, and Gene Clark, you can concentrate on the vocals.

I’m sure there are some David Crosby gems to be found in The Byrds and CSN catalogs, and maybe I’ll track them down someday. But for now, I’ll simply honor the life of a musician, a hippy, an activist, a lover of sailing, Melissa Etheridge’s sperm donor, and an all-around special guy.

[Verse 1]
It’s been a long time comin’
It’s goin’ to be a long time gone

[Chorus]
And it appears to be a long
Appears to be a long
Appears to be a long time
Yes, a long, long, long, long time before the dawn

[Verse 2]
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

[Chorus]
And it appears to be a long (Yes it does)
Appears to be a long (Mm)
Appears to be a long time
Such a long, long time before the dawn

[Verse 3]
Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness
You got to speak your mind, if you dare
But don’t—no, don’t no—try to get yourself elected
If you do you had better cut your hair, mm

[Chorus]
And it appears to be a long (Yes it does)
Appears to be a long (Mm)
Appears to be a long time
Such a long, long, long, long time before the dawn, yeah

[Verse 4]
It’s been a (Long) long (Time) time (Comin’) comin’
It’s going to be (Long) a long (Time) time (Gone) gone
But you know the darkest hour
Is always, always just before the dawn

[Chorus]
And it appears to be a long
Appears to be a long
Appears to be a long time
Such a long, long, long, long time before the dawn

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,326: ‘Long Time Gone’ – Crosby, Stills & Nash

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    One of the greats!

  2. Reb says:

    Sorting out David Crosby’s songwriting contributions is complicated by the environment that existed during his time with the Byrds and CSN, as the approximately 4 year period during which his most iconic songs were created were marked by collaboration (for example, according to Wikipedia, he contributed one line to the Byrds’ Eight Miles High). However, the strength of songs like Long Time Gone, Almost Cut My Hair, Wooden Ships, and Deja Vu, as well as the impact CSN had on the culture and his exquisite vocal ability, certainly qualify him for the Hall of Fame. He is also a perfect subject for the never-ending debate revolving around separating the person from the artist, because all evidence indicates that he was a pretty messed up dude. RIP David.

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