Be My Girl

Album: not on an album (1964)


  • This song is lost to history, but it's notable for being one of the earliest known Neil Young-penned originals. It has never been recorded as far as we know and has definitely never been released, not even in the extensive archive dumps Young's been dropping since the late 2000s. The only reason we know about this song at all is because its subject remembered it and shared it with John Einarson for the 1992 book Don't Be Denied.

    Young wrote "Be My Girl" while he was with The Squires, which were his first serious group, lasting from 1963 to 1965. They were teens, but they really went for it, working gigs all over Winnipeg and getting publicity shots taken at CKRC radio. Young had his eyes set on being a professional musician from a very young age, and the band wasn't just for kicks - Young released many of The Squires songs on The Archives Vol. 1 1963–1972 in 2009.

    The Squires were playing a community club one night in 1964, and Young took his girlfriend Marilyne Nentwig. She liked to dance, had in fact traveled around town teaching dance with her twin sister Jackie, so she didn't much like dating someone in the band because she couldn't dance with him. That night, a little frustrated by the situation, she came out of the bathroom, sat down in the crowd, and heard Young move into a song she'd never heard before. It was this one, "Be My Girl," which Young had written for her in secret.
  • While we don't have a record of the song, we do have the lyrics:

    Be my girl, be my girl
    Come on say you will

    When I saw you standing there
    With the wind blowing in your hair
    Then I knew that you'd have to be my girl

    Don't you know the way I'm feeling?
    Don't you know that my heart's reeling
    For you, you, you, you

    Without you, life is not worth living
    All my loving, I'll be givin'
    To you, you, you
    Be my girl


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