String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill

Album: Neil Young (1969)

Songfacts®:

  • "String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill" is an instrumental and is the first track on the second side of Neil Young's debut album. In that way, it mirrors the first track on the first side, "The Emperor Of Wyoming."

    Along with "I've Loved Her So Long" and "The Old Laughing Lady" it's one of three tracks on the album that were produced and arranged by Jack Nitzsche, Ry Cooder, and Neil Young. All others were produced and arranged by David Briggs and Neil Young. This is also the only track on the album written by Nitzsche.
  • Though Young never explicitly made the connection, "Boot Hill" was a common term in the 19th century for the burial grounds of gunfighters and cowboys who died violently, "with their boots on." The first "Boot Hill" was in Hays, Kansas, but the term eventually became commonplace. Other notable Boot Hills existed (and in some cases still exist as tourist attractions) in Dodge City, Kansas, Tombstone, Arizona, and Deadwood, South Dakota.

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