In Don't Be Denied
, author John Einarson writes that "I Am A Child" uses a chord progression from an earlier Neil Young song called "The Rent Is Always Due
." The similarity between the two is obvious - in fact, almost indistinguishable.
The connection between the songs seem to go deeper than Einarson's note, as the vocal cadence is almost identical, and the lyrics are thematically similar. "The Rent Is Always Due" opens with the lines:Your silver child
Suspended in space
To yet another fine place
Where the trials of life are few
Both songs are about the separation between childhood and adulthood, and "I Am A Child" clearly evolved from "The Rent Is Always Due," which was never finalized and released, though a demo of the song was released on the Neil Young Archives Volume 1 (1963-1972)