Neil Young is a Canadian-American singer who has embarked on a successful music career since the 1960s. Born in 1945, he began his career in Winnipeg before moving to L.A., where he was a member of Buffalo Springfield from 1966 to 1968. After leaving Buffalo Springfield, he’s had a successful solo career with the assistance of his backing band: Crazy Horse.
Through decades of music and chart-topping hits, Neil Young has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not just once but twice. His guitar work has been praised as being amongst the best, and he’s written a host of deeply personal lyrics. Many of these are included here on this list. While he’s not strictly a romantic artist, there’s no doubt that his deeply personal lyrics have related to a host of fan relationships.
That’s why you probably won’t be surprised that we’ve compiled a list of Neil Young’s best love songs. All of these songs can be easily interpreted as romantic ballads, even if they aren’t strictly so. After all, fans can interpret music however they want to. There’s nothing stopping you from including some Neil Young on your big day.
Neil Young Love Songs
Change Your Mind
Change Your Mind was from Young’s seventh album with his backing band, Crazy Horse. As a part of Sleeps with Angels, Change Your Mind was recorded between 1993 and 1994. While Change Your Mind has a melancholic melody, the lyrics are truly beautiful. However, it’s not completely melancholic, having some uplifting melodies at different periods.
The best thing about Change Your Mind is that it’s up to your own interpretation. If you want to make this song about your wedding, you can do so easily. After all, the song can be attributed to a sense of comfort and partnership, which is what your marriage is all about.
Cinnamon Girl debuted on Neil Young’s 1969 album: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. It’s also the first album he produced with his backing band, Crazy Horse. When Neil Young wrote about this song, he attributed it to how the singer will wait between shows for their lover to appear.
Even when considering the lyrics, Cinnamon Girl is an interesting choice for a wedding song. In a way, it’s all about taking a risk and moving on beyond a simple daydream. If you find that your wedding is all about taking a chance on love, then Cinnamon Girl could be one that you would find relatable.
Comes a Time
Comes a Time is the second track on Neil Young’s album of the same name in 1978. It was the ninth studio album he made and features some additional accompaniments from his backing band: Crazy Horse. Comes a Time is an excellent choice if you’re eager for one of Neil Young’s more folk-inspired tracks.
The song itself is all about settling down and how the world will continue to spin. Time will continue to go forward, even if you believe that getting married is the end of a story. Comes a Time has a beautiful melody with a smooth pace that would make it perfect for a first dance.
Don’t Forget Love
Don’t Forget Love is one of Neil Young’s latest songs, released in 2021 in his and Crazy Horse’s album: Barn. It’s from Neil Young’s 41st studio album and the fourteenth one that he’s worked on with Crazy Horse. It has a mellow tune that gives it an uplifting melody that contrasts with the more melancholic lyrics.
Don’t Forget Love could be a good choice for your wedding and a reminder not to forget that the wedding couple is there for each other through tough times. By including this song, it serves as a mantra that they should be there for each other through not only the good times but the bad too. For the more pragmatic couples that don’t appreciate fluffy songs, this could be an excellent choice for you.
Eternity is featured in Neil Young’s Colorado album, which he released in 2019. It’s his 39th studio album and the first one he worked on with Crazy Horse since he worked with them in 2012. Eternity features a piano accompaniment that gives it a classical atmosphere, and it’s without a doubt one of his happier love songs.
Everyone says that getting married should be the happiest day of your life, and you may hope that the euphoric feeling will last for eternity. If you’re looking forward to how your life will look going forward, this could be a perfect song for your big day. Even when the melancholic lyrics appear, it doesn’t detract from the peaceful melody of the song. Instead, it’s a song that could show how the wedding couple will look forward to those happy days again in the future.
Harvest Moon was first released as a single before being released on the album of the same name. There’s no doubt that Harvest Moon is a confirmed love song, having been written by Neil Young for his wife: Pegi Young, which he then released in 1992. Harvest Moon was released roughly fourteen years after they married.
In a way, Harvest Moon is a nostalgic hit that includes backing vocals from Linda Ronstadt. There are harmonic interludes that give it a perfect folk/country feeling. Harvest Moon is a song that is all about staying in love and keeping the same love from when you first met. In a way, it’s about reaffirming your love, and what better time to do that than during your first dance?
Heart of Gold
Heart of Gold was a part of Neil Young’s fourth studio album: Harvest, and it was his only No. 1 single. Including backup vocals by both Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor, it’s a soft acoustic track with harmonic interludes. Heart of Gold was about Young’s blossoming relationship with the actress Carrie Snodgress, with whom he would have his first child.
While Heart of Gold is a pure mixture of a blossoming relationship and heartache, that doesn’t stop it from being an uplifting ballad. Many fans have praised it as being one of Neil Young’s most romantic ballads, and it’s hard to deny that. In a way, you could easily play this at your wedding, symbolizing how the wedding couple has finally found their heart of gold after spending so long searching for it.
Like A Hurricane
Like a Hurricane was written by Neil Young in 1975 and released in his eighth studio album: American Stars ‘n Bars, in 1977. It’s one of his electric hits and has been a fan-favorite played at concerts since it first came out.
Like A Hurricane with its electric riffs is a passionate song that expresses the euphoria of a wedding couple’s first meeting. If you want a song that takes you back to that time when you first met your partner, it could be a way to show how you both first felt. Like A Hurricane itself is a song that tells the story of how time stops when you meet, so isn’t it a great way to get lost in that one perfect moment?
Long May You Run
Long May You Run was a song recorded as part of the album of the same name between the Stills-Young Band. It was recorded and released in 1976 and was a collaboration between Stephen Stills and Neil Young. Stills and Young worked together to write an equal selection of songs, with Long May You Run written by Neil Young.
Long May You Run is not strictly a love song. However, much like many songs, it can be interpreted in a way that suits you. While it is more of a eulogy than a love song, that doesn’t stop the romantic elements from appearing. There are moments when Young talks about the future and could be left to interpret how you look forward to what you’ll do next, despite any stormy weather coming your way.
Lotta Love was written and recorded for Neil Young’s 1978 Comes a Time album. A cover of it was also sung by Nicolette Larson, who released her version in the same year. Depending on the version you choose, you would have a very different track. The Neil Young original has a sparse and melancholic tone compared to the more optimistic version of Larson’s.
Overall, the song itself does have a positive message. Lotta Love is essentially about how you need love to overcome your relationship’s struggles and challenges. The song isn’t about moving on your own but working together as a couple. In a way, it encapsulates the meaning of the message “through sickness and in health” as it’s about continuing through tough times, where love is the only way to get through.
Love to Burn
Love To Burn is one of the songs in Neil Young’s Ragged Glory album. Ragged Glory was Young’s 18th studio album and the sixth album he worked on with Crazy Horse. Compared to some of the other songs he’s written, this song perfectly encapsulates the ‘90s grunge era. It’s all about taking a chance on love, even when the situation seems dire.
While you might not think that it’s the most romantic of tunes, it’s got a solid message of taking the next step. Some wedding couples may enjoy the tongue-in-cheek message about a bad breakup, but it isn’t the overall message of the songs. In fact, you may find that a pragmatic wedding couple could love this selection, as committing can be a huge step. When it comes to it, Love to Burn is one of those songs that encourages you to look past the fear to carry on.
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Only Love Can Break Your Heart was released on his After the Gold Rush album in 1970. Supposedly, he wrote this for his friend Graham Nash after he split from Joni Mitchell. Despite how it’s technically a break-up ballad, it is presented purely as a love song. It doesn’t necessarily have a sad message, with many fans praising it as one that they would play at a wedding.
Only Love Can Break Your Heart stands by its message, where you could take away a more uplifting message from the track. In a way, it shows how it feels worse to be alone compared to when you’re in love with your partner. However, it also shows how you can only get hurt by taking the next step in your relationship. While it’s a more melancholic ballad, that doesn’t stop Only Love Can Break Your Heart from showing exactly what it means to take your relationship further.
Razor Love is from Silver & Gold, the 23rd studio album released by Neil Young. As a whole, the album was released in 2000, but many of the songs were written in the ‘90s. In spite of its name, Razor Love is an acoustic ballad with soulful lyrics that talk about pure love.
When playing Razor Love, you’ll find that while it isn’t the most romantic ballad, it emphasizes the way that it’s about making dreams for the future. Even in rough times, it’s about how even your partner can make the hard days seem worth it. If you want an acoustic tune that shows how your relationship is where you’re home is. It’s not about love being fast-paced but how it cuts through you like a knife and the lingering feeling afterward.
Such A Woman
Such A Woman came from Young’s 1992 Harvest Moon album. As a whole, Such A Woman is a romantic ballad with a slow pace. With a piano backing, it features backing vocals from Nicolette Larson to symbolize how both parties portray the relationship. In a way, it feels like a traditional romantic love song that you would expect to find sung by a church choir.
While this song may not be a perfect wedding song for everyone, the piano ballad gives the perfect opportunity to slow dance to. Compared to some other songs, it feels like a traditional serenade written for one woman in particular. If you feel like you can relate to these lyrics, you’ll find that Such A Woman may be the first dance track that you’re looking for.
Walk With Me
Walk With Me is one of Neil Young’s alternative songs from his Le Noise album. This was Neil Young’s 30th studio album, which he released in 2010. When compared to other songs, it feels like a solid rock song, with simple lyrics that don’t only convey romance but friendship too.
Overall, Walk With Me comes from a place where a wedding couple should stand together in solidarity. It’s almost as if all the other love is conditional compared to your partner’s unconditional love. If you feel like your partner has been there for you when no one else was, then you may find that Walk With Me can encapsulate the strength of your relationship. There’s no denying that Walk With Me isn’t a traditional love song but a message for how relationships should be.
When You Dance, I Can Really Love
When You Dance I Can Really Love is from After the Gold Rush, released in 1970. It was the third studio album that Neil Young wrote, with When You Dance I Can Really Love being a hit. Compared to some of Young’s other hits, this is a much more simplistic song than the usual melancholic tunes.
When You Dance I Can Really Love could be a fun song for any wedding playlist, whether you play it for your first dance or elsewhere. It’s all about showing your feelings, and it could bring more of your guests onto the dance floor. It’s not a ballad or anything, but a song that would fit any couple who prefers to show their feelings over speaking them aloud.
An introspective song that compares a young man’s life to an old man’s. It shows that the young man has, to some extent, the same needs as the old one.
Neil Young Highest Charting Songs – U.S. & U.S. Rock
- #1 “Heart of Gold”/”Sugar Mountain”, 1971
- #2 “Rockin’ in the Free World”, 1989
- #3 “Mansion on the Hill”, 1990
- #6 “Ten Men Workin'”, 1988
- #6 “Downtown” (featuring Pearl Jam), 1995
- #7 “No More”, 1989
- #7 “War of Man”, 1992
- #8 “Touch the Night”, 1986
- #12 “Little Thing Called Love”/”We R in Control”, 1982
- #14 “Mr. Soul (Parts I and II)”, 1983
Neil Young has a vast and comprehensive discography, with many of his songs being influenced by the relationships between him, his partners, and his friends. With all of these deep lyrics and heartfelt melodies, it’s hard to ignore how all of these melodies come from the heart. If you’re looking for songs that capture your guest’s hearts, then perhaps you should check out some of Neil Young’s tracks.
All of these songs aren’t written for one person in particular, and many fans can interpret the nature of these songs for themselves. After all, music is for you to express yourself, and sometimes choosing the right song is the perfect way to do that. What could be a sorrowful tune to someone else could be an uplifting tune for you. Everyone finds different meanings in songs, so you can only decide on the perfect track by listening to yourself.
If you, or someone you know, is getting married, and they’re massive Neil Young fans, why not direct them to this list? I’m sure they’ll find the perfect song right here.