Florida

Album: Homegrown (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This is one of Neil Young's weirdest tracks. It's a spoken-word piece told with someone (either Young or pedal steel guitar player Ben Keith) rubbing a wet finger around the rim of a wine glass.

    In Shakey, author Jimmy McDonough claims they got the wet-glass sound idea from the soundtrack for the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. That music for that film was by Jack Nitzsche, who played on and produced many of Young's songs and was a friend.
  • In the song, Young talks about walking through a city in Florida. He sees men flying gliders overhead; one of them crashes into a building, falls to the ground, lands on a couple and kills them both. Young runs to the scene and sees the couple's baby on the ground, alive and well. He takes the baby to his car and is approached by a woman who says the baby belongs to her. Young corrects her by saying the baby belonged to the dead couple.

    The track ends with the woman saying, "No, no you're wrong, you're wrong. What happened to them?"

    And that's that.
  • This song didn't appear until 2020, but its story dates to 1974. On the vinyl release of On the Beach, which was recorded and released that year, the lyrics for "Florida" are superimposed over the liner credits.

    "Florida" wasn't recorded until after that, though. Young put it down at Village Studios in Los Angeles on January 21, 1975, during the final sessions of what would become Homegrown. Other songs done that day were "Little Wing," "Mexico," and "Kansas."

    Young didn't release the album to the public until June 2020 because many of the songs involved a painful breakup with actress Carrie Snodgress. "Florida" doesn't seem to be about that heartache, though.
  • "Florida" is one of three Homegrown songs with a geographic place name as a title (the others being "Mexico" and "Kansas") and one of four with a place name in the title (adding "Star of Bethlehem"). All three of the songs with a place name for a title were recorded on the same day.

Comments: 1

  • Bill from UsNitzsche also used the "glass harp" in the movie "Cutters Way". Probably more, catchiest sound since the Theremin!
    I live in Florida and seem to recall something about a glider, maybe a hang-glider crashing into a Condo back then, I'm going to research it.
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