You’ve never heard “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” quite like this. For their first album together in nine years, Neil Young and Crazy Horse have taken classic American folk music and reinvigorated these songs with muscle, radiance and a whole lot of electric guitar.
This song, as with all the songs on the record, have been paired up with archival footage. This footage is from an early scene in D.W. Griffith’s controversial 1915 film Birth of a Nation, in which the Southern Cameron family hosts a farewell ball for soldiers fighting for the Confederacy.
As for the song itself, Neil Young writes in the liner notes toAmericana:
Written in the 1800s based on an old Negro spiritual, this song refers to the second coming of Jesus, and “she” is the chariot Jesus is coming on. Some interpret this as the end of the world. Others have said that “she” refers to union organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones going to promote formation of labor unions in the Appalachian coal-mining camps. The Americana arrangement continues the folk process with a new melody, a new title and a combination of lyric sources.