Tag Archives: Neil Young

Five Miles Outside of Austin (Rhymes and Tropes)


Listening to alt country on Spotify I begin to wonder….

who are all these country boys
with their cowboy hats, pickup trucks and beards
staring clint-eyed into the mythical distance
listening for the call of who knows what
a phantom cattle drive, perhaps,
anything at all to git them
back on the road again;
and who are all these country girls
left behind or waiting
and why the hell do they care
about these feckless drifters
who love their whiskey
as much as they dread commitment
and why does all this happen in Texas?

rhymes and tropes, folks
rhymes and tropes

and slowly through
a Spotify fog
a Spotify trance
in the distance
a song emerges…..

Five Miles Outside of Austin

I’m five miles outside of Austin
with a pounding in my head
full of yesterday’s whiskey
and wishing I was dead

I left a girl back there sleeping
as dawn began to break
I gave her all that I could give
and I took all I could take

and I wish I had done better
that I hadn’t stayed so long
now I’m five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.

Five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.

Down the road, a girl is waiting,
drinking beer and playing pool
waiting for deliverance
waiting for another fool

and I’ll dust the road off of my coat
and walk through that door
she’ll say “howdy stranger,
I ain’t seen you before”

but now my head is beating like a bass drum
there’s stubble on my tongue
I’m five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song

Five miles outside of Austin
and I’m stuck inside this song.


Photo (by Marie Feeney) of Lukas Nelson and Neil Young at Desert Trip


Paul McCartney and Neil Young at Desert Trip

A few quotes from Neil:

“I tell you what….naw, I won’t tell you what”.

“Roger (Waters) is going to build a wall tomorrow night to make Mexico great again”.

Neil joined Paul McCartney on stage for “A Day in the Life”, “Give Peace a Chance” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”. For me, this was the highlight of the weekend. McCartney has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Rihanna without ever getting close to the partnership he had with John Lennon and it occurred to me watching him with Neil Young that he was not only enjoying himself immensely but I got the sense that he was up there with someone who has a melodic and lyric talent in the same league as Lennon, but above all else, someone who has Lennon’s love of anarchy.



The Piano Men:



Another quote from Neil:

“We’ll play ‘Down by the River’ when we’re ready to play ‘Down by the River'”.

And he eventually did in a great set that included “Powderfinger”, “Out on the Weekend”, “Words”, “Human Highway” and of course “Rockin’ in the Free World”.



All Photos by Marie Feeney



“And the desert is an absence

the road an endless trance”

From “The Road” by The Mitchell Feeney Project.  Click here to check out our album, also available on iTunes (search for “The Mitchell Feeney Project”).