Broken Arrow

Album: Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)
  • On the 2000 album Silver and Gold, Neil Young muses about his early band - Buffalo Springfield (the players: Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, Neil Young, Richard Furay, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Doug Hastings). They released an album called Buffalo Springfield Again in 1967. The group was together for only 19 months, but the individual members were very influential in shaping music for years after. Stills went on to CSN and Young for awhile. Furay and Messina went on to form Poco. And, Martin played drums on some Monkees songs.

Comments: 12

  • Tim from Kalamazoo, Mi.Reading Mike's (from Park Ridge) comment about the "heartbeat" at the end of the song made me smile. I have my own little "heartbeat" story.

    I was only 3 y/o when this song came out, but within a few years I had mastered my dad's Wollensak reel-to-reel tape recorder. He had the "Retrospective" album as reel-to-reel, and I loved that album - I didn't know about the individual albums for another 8-10 years! Anyway, back in the day (I was about 10 years old), the only way I knew how to record was on my little cassette deck using its portable microphone. And, I used to record a lot of things that way.

    Since my parents had divorced years before, I decided I needed that Retrospective album for myself, so on my next visit with my Dad I started recording it. And it turned out really well, all things considered. But the funniest thing happened, and I DID NOT KNOW it until quite a few years later. At the end of Broken Arrow, as the heartbeat started to "fade out", an AIRPLANE flew OVERHEAD, and it FIT IN PERFECTLY to the song, a sort of "thump-thump, thump-thump, thum...-ZOOOOOOOoooooommm----- ... fade out, and it ended JUST IN TIME before the next song (might have been Rock and Roll Woman) started up!! I listened to that little cassette for a long time, and it was only when I was about 17-18 when I bought a well-used "Again" album that I heard the "real thing" again, and REALIZED THERE WAS NO AIRPLANE "ZOOM"!! More than once I wondered what Neil would have thought about my little "addition"!!
  • Dave from Vancouver, WaI was listening to this song and it reminded me of The Beatles, "A day in the life." They were both written in 1967. Did one influence the other?
  • Mike from Park Ridge , IlWhat was with the heartbeat sound at the end?
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhThis is one of my favorite Buffalo Springfield song which is mostly acoustic on this song, Also, my favorite part of the song I like the most is when I like the jazz touch before the song ends. Yes it's good to waltz to this acoustic/jazz Buffalo Springfield song, hmmm.
  • Valerie from Eureka, CaHey Max in Parma Ohio....Yes, this song, Down Down Down is on youtube and is VERY MUCH like Broken Arrow...cool song!!!!! Pioneers were the musicians from the 60's...Down is like a waltz as is Arrow...thanks for mentioning Down, Max.
  • Valerie from Eureka, CaNEIL YOUNG!!! He is, in my opinion, a genius! Broken Arrow as all of his songs, is steeped in so much introverted meanings...or so they all seem to be anyway.
  • Ted from Phoenix, AzThis is a great song with some very trippy lyrics with obscure meanings. My favorite lines come at the end of the second verse when Neil Young sings: "His mother had said that a trip was a fall And don't mention babies at all.", which i believe is a reference to teenage sexuality.
  • Baz from Johnson, VtGreat tune. Though i've always wondered if the US military borrowed the terms Broken Arrow and Empty Quiver for nuclear weapons "incidents" from this song; of course if you're thinking (as Neil and whoever at DoD was making up code names)in that vein it's just as likely to be a coincidence.
  • Max from Parma, OhThere's another tune by Buffalo Springfield called "Down Down Down" that has the same melody. Apparently, it was never released on an album in the 1960's, but the Buffalo Springfield boxed set has two different versions of it, demo and remix. I'm not sure if the song has any relations to Broken Arrow, except for a few lyrics and the melody. The first stanza is, "Come to see her in the river/ she'll be there to wave to you/ In the hope that you'll forgive her/ She will join you there."
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhI love the jazz-like part especially at the end of the song.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI just looked at the lyrics, and this song definitely seems like one Neil Young would write.
  • Steve from New York City, NyThis song is a medley. It first starts out with a (seemingly) live version of the Buffalo Springfield song "Mr. Soul" (written by Neil Young). Then it goes into Broken Arrow, "The lights turned on and the curtain fell down...". After this, a jazz quartet plays what sounds like a "jazzified" version of the Broken Arrow melody, complete with piano solo. Finally, it ends with a heartbeat sound (similar to that of "Eclipse" by Pink Floyd five years later).
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

U2

U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?Song Writing

Katy Perry mentions McDonald's, Beyoncé calls out Red Lobster, and Supertramp shouts out Taco Bell - we found the 10 restaurants most often mentioned in songs.

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.