Try

Album: Homegrown (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Try" captures the emotions Young felt after losing his relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress. Young has sung about this lost love in other songs, including "A Man Needs a Maid" and "Motion Pictures."

    Young was deeply in love with Snodgress, who suffered with substance-abuse problems for most of her adult life. After he discovered she was sleeping around behind his back, Young plunged into heartbroken despair. Years later he told Jimmy McDonough (for the Young biography Shakey) that he realized his anger and pain were kind of silly considering he'd also been sleeping around on Snodgress, but that doesn't change how devastated he was at the time it happened.
  • Decades before its 2020 release, "Try" enjoyed near-mythical status as one of Neil Young's "lost" songs. It was originally recorded in 1975 and intended to be released that year, but Young felt it and several other songs were too painful to put out there, so he buried them.

    A few of those 1975 recordings emerged over the years that followed (such as "Homegrown" and "Love is a Rose"), but "Try" remained buried until 2020 when Young released it as the first track from Homegrown, which contains all the songs from the 1975 sessions.
  • Rolling Stone identified the lyric "s--t, Mary, I can't dance" as a catchphrase used by Snodgress's mother.
  • Young played the song live about 20 times from 2007 to 2008. They were the only times the public got to hear the song until the 2020 Homegrown release.

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