Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

 

It was 3 AM Monday. Those still there had heard reveille about 15 hours earlier! I was home in bed and would be at my summer job in NYC in 5 hours. Crosby, Stills and Nash was one of the bands I hated to miss. Had I known that Neil Young would be there as well, I would have been more disappointed, but c’est la vie.

The initial band’s three members were familiar to most because of the well-known bands they’d recently left: David Crosby from the Byrds, Stephen Stills from Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash from the Hollies.

They’d been together informally the year before and found they harmonized well. In early 1969 they signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records, recorded an album in February and March, and Atlantic released the eponymous album on May 29, 1969.

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

As they famously say at Woodstock, this was only the second time that they’d performed live and they were “scared shitless.” They’d perform for about an hour and a quarter.

Personnel:

Setlist:

Acoustic

  • Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
  • Blackbird
  • Helplessly Hoping
  • Guinnevere
  • Marrakesh Express
  • 4 + 20
  • Mr. Soul
  • I’m Wonderin’
  • You Don’t Have to Cry

Electric

  • Pre-Road Downs
  • Long Time Gone
  • Bluebird
  • Sea of Madness
  • Wooden Ships

Acoustic encores

  • Find the Cost of Freedom
  • 49 Bye-Byes
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Acoustic Set

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

From that first album, Judy Collins inspired Stephen Stills to writer the song. This was the opening track to their first album.

It’s getting to the point where I’m no fun anymore
I am sorry
Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud
I am lonely
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
Remember what we’ve said and done and felt about each other
Oh, babe have mercy
Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now
I am not dreaming
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Tearing yourself away from me now you are free
And I am crying
This does not mean I don’t love you I do that’s forever
Yes and for always
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
Something inside is telling me that I’ve got your secret
Are you still listening?
Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart
And I love you
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard
Friday evening
Sunday in the afternoon
What have you got to lose?
Tuesday morning
Please be gone I’m tired of you
What have you got to lose?
Can I tell it like it is? (Help me I’m sufferin’)
Listen to me baby
It’s my heart that’s a sufferin’ it’s a dyin’ (Help me I’m dyin’)
And that’s what I have to lose (To lose)
I’ve got an answer
I’m going to fly away
What have I got to lose?
Will you come see me
Thursdays and Saturdays?
What have you got to lose?
Chestnut brown canary
Ruby throated sparrow
Sing a song, don’t be long
Thrill me to the marrow
Voices of the angels
Ring around the moonlight
Asking me said she so free
How can you catch the sparrow?
Lacy lilting lady
Losing love lamenting
Change my life, make it right
Be my lady
Que linda me la traiga Cuba [How beautiful Cuba brings to me]
La reina de la Mar Caribe [The Queen of the Caribbean Sea]
Cielo sol no tiene sangreahi [Sunny sky has no blood there]
Y que triste que no puedo vaya oh va, oh va [And how sad I cannot go]

 

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Blackbird

Once again, the Beatles are part of the Fair if not in actual presence, then in their music. The crowd loves their cover.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Helplessly Hoping

Another song by Stephen Stills and the third song on side two of their first album. He jokes as the song begins, “Helpless hoping as a helicopter hovers nearby.”

They start and restart.

Helplessly hoping
Her harlequin hovers nearby
Awaiting a word
Gasping at glimpses
Of gentle true spirit
He runs, wishing he could fly
Only to trip at the sound of good-bye
Wordlessly watching
He waits by the window
And wonders
At the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams
He worries
Did he hear a good-bye? Or even hello?
They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for-or each other
Stand by the stairway
You’ll see something
Certain to tell you confusion has its cost
Love isn’t lying
It’s loose in a lady who lingers
Saying she is lost
And choking on hello
They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for-or each other
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Guinnevere

David Crosby wrote the song. It the third song on side one of their first album.

Guinnevere had green eyes
Like yours, m’lady, like yours
She’d walk down
Through the garden
In the morning after it rained
Peacocks wandered aimlessly
Underneath an orange tree
Why can’t she see me?
Guinnevere drew pentagrams
Like yours, m’lady, like yours
Late at night
When she thought
That no one was watching at all
On the wall
She shall be free
As she turns her gaze
Down the slope
To the harbor where I lay
Anchored for a day
Guinnevere had golden hair
Like yours, m’lady, like yours
Streaming out
When we’d ride
Through the warm wind down by the bay
Yesterday
Seagulls circle endlessly
I sing in silent harmony
We shall be free
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Marrakesh Express

A Graham Nash song and again from their first album. Someone calls out to get off the projector. Nash says that they’d like to do “a medley of our hit.” The band had released the song as a single with Helplessly Hoping on the B-side. It had reached 28 on Billboard.

Looking at the world
Through the sunset in your eyes
Trying to make the train
Through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five foot tall in blue.
Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
Had to get away to see what we could find
Hope the days that lie ahead
Bring us back to where they’ve led
Listen not to what’s been said to you
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
All on board that train
I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth
Colored cottons hang in air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped Djellebas we can wear at home
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board that train
All on board that train
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

4 + 20

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

A Stephen Stills song that would appear on their next album, Déjà Vu which they’d already started to record, would finish recording in January 1970, and release on March 11, 1970. The album would include Neil Young. This performance is sung alone by Stills.

Four and twenty years ago, I come into this life,
The song of a woman and a man who lived in strife.
He was tired of being poor and he wasn’t into selling door to door
And he worked like the devil to be more.
A different kind of poverty now upsets me so.
Night after sleepless night, I walk the floor and I want to know- why am I so alone?
Where is my woman can I bring her home? Have I driven her away? Is she gone?
Morning comes to sunrise and I’m driven to my bed.
I see that it is empty and there’s devils in my head.
I embrace the many colored beast. I grow weary of the torment, can there be no peace?
And I find myself just wishing that my life would simply cease.

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Mr. Soul

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

A song well-known Neil Young song to Buffalo Springfield fans and Neil Young comes out on the stage. He refused to be filmed, thus there are no pictures of him at Woodstock. Young sings. It was the A-side of a Springfield single that Atco Records had released on June 15, 1967. It had been on their Buffalo Springfield Again album.

Oh, hello, Mr. Soul, I dropped by to pick up a reason
For the thought that I caught that my head is the event of the season
Why in crowds just a trace of my face could seem so pleasin’
I’ll cop out to the change, but a stranger is putting the tease on
I was down on a frown when the messenger brought me a letter
I was raised by the praise of a fan who said I upset her
Any girl in the world could have easily known me better
She said, “you’re strange, but don’t change, ” and I let her
In a while, will the smile on my face turn to plaster?
Stick around while the clown who is sick does the trick of disaster
For the race of my head and my face is moving much faster
Is it strange I should change?
I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?
Is it strange I should change?
I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?
Is it strange I should change?
I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?
Is it strange I should change?
I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

I’m Wonderin’

A Neil Young song that would not appear on an album until 1983, Everybody’s Rockin’ a version will have a rockabilly feel.

At the end of this song, David Crosby says, “As you’ve gathered by now, our shows are very easy, it’s just the music that counts.”

I’ve been walking all night long
My footsteps made me crazy
Baby, you’ve been gone so long
I’m wonderin’ if you’ll come home
I’m hopin’ that you’ll be my baby
I’m wonderin’ if I’ll be alone
Knowin’ that I need you to save me.I’ve been talking all day long
To keep my heart from sadness
Baby, you’ve been gone so long
I’m wonderin’ if you’ll come home
I’m hopin’ that you’ll be my baby
I’m wonderin’ if I’ll be alone
Knowin’ that I need you to save me.I’m wonderin’, I’m wonderin’,
I’m wonderin’, I’m wonderin’,
I’m wonderin’, I’m wonderin’,
I’m wonderin’, I’m wonderin’.Well, I’m knowin’
that I need you to save me
Knowin’ that I need you to save me.
Knowin’ that I need you to save me.
Knowin’ that I need you to save me.
I’m wonderin’, I’m wonderin’.
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

You Don’t Have to Cry

A Stephen Stills song, the song closed side one of their debut album and the last song of this first acoustic set.

In the mornin’ when you rise
Do you think of me and how you left me cryin’?
Are you thinkin’ of telephones, and managers
And where you got to be at noon?
You are living a reality I left years ago
It quite nearly killed me
In the long run it will make you cry
Make you crazy and old before your time
And the difference between me and you
I won’t argue right or wrong
But I have time to cry, my baby
You don’t have to cry
I said cry my baby, you don’t have to cry
I said cry my baby, you don’t have to cry
In the mornin’ when you rise
Do you think of me and how you left me cryin’?
Are you thinkin’ of telephones, and managers
And where you got to be at noon?
You are living a reality I left years ago
It quite nearly killed me
In the long run it will make you cry
Make you crazy and old before your time
And the difference between me and you
I won’t argue right or wrong
But I have time to cry, my baby
You don’t have to cry
I said cry my baby, you don’t have to cry
I said cry my baby, you don’t have to cry
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Electric set

Pre-Road Downs

A Graham Nash song, it closed side one of their debut album. Graham Nash introduced the two other band members at this point: Dallas Taylor and Greg Reeves.

I have kissed you
So I’ll miss you
On the road I’ll be wantin’ you
But I have you
‘Cause I love you
And you have me ’cause you love me too, yeah

Felt forsaken
You’ll awaken
To the joys of livin’ hand in glove
And then I will
Lend you my will
And your days will be filled with love

Don’t run, the time approaches
Hotels and midnight coaches
Be sure to hide the roaches

Felt rejected
As expected
You rejected all the thoughts of words
So I’ll pray with
You to stay with
Me forever and we’ll make it work, whoa-oh-oh!

Elevated
You’re elated
‘Cause I’ve waited a year for you
If you’re thinkin’
What I’m thinkin’
Then I’m gonna make my love to you, whoa-oh-oh!

Don’t run, the time approaches
Hotels and midnight coaches
Be sure to hide the roaches

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Long Time Gone

A David Crosby song from their debut album.

It’s been a long time comin’
It’s goin’ to be a long time gone

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

Turn, turn any corner
Hear, you must hear what the people say
You know there’s something that’s goin’ on around here
That surely, surely, surely won’t stand the light of day, no

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

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

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

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

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

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Bluebird Revisited

A follow-up to another well-known Stephen Stills song from the Buffalo Springfield canon and the single referenced above. Graham Nash introduced the song as on their new album, but it was not there.

The pain of losing you well it made me an angry man
Was there something else that I could do? or was it over?
Had I the chance?

So I listened once again to my bluebird sing
Oh yes and children how she made the mountains ring
Now when hearts be stilled that gentle voice is spring
Oh my precious my soul says to my blue eyed sparrow
Come back, come back. I can peel away the cages
Come back, come back. I can put away the rages
Come back, come back. Can we turn the next page together?

Listen to my bluebird laugh she can tell you why
Deep within her heart you see she knows only cryin’
There she sits aloft at perch strangest color blue
Flying is forgotten now thinks only of you

Get into all those blues must be a thousand years
And each is differently used you just know
You sit there mesmerized by the depth of her eyes
I can tell you no lies
She’s got soul, she’s got soul she’s got soul, she’s got soul
She’s got soul

Soon she’s goin’ to fly away sadness is her own
Give herself a bath of tears and go home
So I listened once again to my bluebird sing
Oh yes and children how she made the mountains ring
Now when hearts be stilled that voice is spring
Oh my precious my soul says to my blue eyed sparrow
Fly back home, fly back home, fly back home

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Sea of Madness

A Neil Young song. Interestingly, as the band tunes the little riff from the Byrds famous cover of Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man can be hears and one assumes Crosby was just having some fun. The song will sort of appear on the Woodstock album the following year. Sort of because the producers of the album actually used a recording from a September 1969 performance at the Fillmore East.

How can I bring you
To the Sea of Madness
I love you so much
It’s gonna bring me sadness
I’ve never seen you
Through these eyes before
Now I don’t believe it
I think I’ll take it
Or leave it.
All I need is your sweet sweet loving
Fill my life with happiness
All I want is your heart
Every time I think of you
Mine falls apart.
I went to heaven
And I stood at the crossroads
I’ll love you tomorrow
As sure as the wind blows
Silver rain
On the mountain clover
Washes away
Until the music is over
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Wooden Ships

Written by Stills, Crosby, and the Airplane’s Paul Kantner. It was about 4 AM Monday at this point and the Airplane had done a 20+ minute version of the song about 19 hours before.

If you smile at me, I will understand
‘Cause that is something
Everybody everywhere does in the same language
I can see by your coat, my friend
You’re from the other side
There’s just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won?
Say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Yes, I’ve been eating them for six or seven weeks now
Haven’t got sick once
Probably keep us both alive
Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy
Easy, you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline, let us be
Talkin’ ’bout very free and easy
Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving, you don’t need us
Go, take your sister then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don’t need us
And it’s a fair wind blowin’ warm
Out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I’ll set a course and go
Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Back to Acoustic

Find the Cost of Freedom

A song by Stephen Still that he’d written  for the movie Easy RiderThe song would sadly become the B-side of Neil Young and the band’s sadder Ohio in less than a year.

Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down

Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

Encore

49 Bye-Byes

Written by Stephen Stills, the song was the closing track of side two on their debut album. It takes a bit to get going, but get going they do.

Forty Nine reasons all in a line
All of them good ones
All of them lies

Driftin’ with my lady
We’re oldest of friends
Need a little work, and there’s fences to mend

Steady girl, be my world
`Till the drifter come, now she’s gone
I let that man play his hand
I let them go, how was I to know?
I’m down on my knees
Nobody left to please

Now it’s over, they left in the spring
Her and the drifter, looking for beautiful things

Steady girl, be my world
`Till the drifter come, now she’s gone
I let that man play his hand
I let them go, how was I to know?
I’m down on my knees
Nobody left to please

On my knees
Feeling wrong
Mama’s gone
Bye bye baby

Write if you think of it, maybe
Know I love you (Know I love you)
Go if it means that much to you
Hey, but you can run, baby
If the feeling’s wrong before too long it’s crazy
And you’re trapped, babe
And you know that’s not where it’s at, babe

You’re just seein’ things through a cat’s eye, baby
That’s not my old lady

Come on and tell me, baby
You better tell me, baby
Who do you
Who do you love?
Time will tell us
Who is trying to sell us
Bye, bye, baby
Write if you think of it, maybe
Hey, but you can run, baby
If the feeling’s wrong, before too long, it’s crazy
And you’re trapped babe
And you know that’s not where it’s at baby
You’re just seein’ things through a cat’s eye, baby
That’s not my old lady

Come on and tell me, baby
You better tell me, baby
Who do you
Who do you love?

Crosby Stills Nash Young Woodstock

The next act was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

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