A new version of Neil Young & Crazy Horse‘s 2019 song “Shut It Down” and an accompanying video, both focusing on the world’s reaction to the current coronavirus pandemic, were released today. The new track, dubbed “Shut It Down 2020,” is available now as a digital single and via streaming services.
A message about the updated song explains that it was inspired by Young’s fans pointing out via his official website how the original song’s message had taken on greater poignancy in light of the health crisis.
The video, which was created by Neil and his wife, Daryl Hannah, combines footage of Young and Crazy Horse in the studio with clips documenting different aspects of the pandemic, including empty city streets and historic landmarks, people wearing masks, healthcare workers in full protective gear, people practicing social distancing with loved ones and more.
In a post about the song and video on NeilYoungArchives.com, Young writes, “In a selfless effort, people around the world are behaving as if they each have the virus…To stop the human to human spread, people are staying at home…To protect their fellow man from the virus’ toxic spread, people are wearing masks when they have to venture out in public to buy food or medical supplies.”
He adds, “Never before in human history has our planet come together in this way, utilizing modern communications to ensure everyone understands that responsibility to our fellow man and the continuing life of Humanity depends on each [person’s] actions.”
Neil also takes an apparent dig at President Trump, writing, “Ignore the actions of world leaders who are too vain to wear masks. They are not leading. Putting your own vanity away for the good of your fellow man, wear a mask in public to stop the spread.”
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