Steve Young is one of my alltime favorite singer songwriters.
I predict that, long term, this glorious artist will be more famous than his namesake, the great ’49ers quarterback, whom nfl.com ranks as the 15th greatest quarterback of all time. Others put the football playing Steve Young in the top ten of quarterbacks.
At the moment the footballer is much more famous than the singer, whose birthday is coming up on the 12th of July.
Who wants to help me bridge the current gap in fame between these two men?
For those who know little about the singer, please listen to “My Oklahoma” written by Young’s wife, Terrye Newkirk, aka Cheryl Young.
The lyrics are gloriously free American words about being as one with the place you live in:
“Stars out in the morning
And the still rustle of corn
What a good place to be born
Clouds over the prairie
Till the wind blows them away
At the still start of the day
Hey, my Oklahoma
Are you still awaiting for me
With your gold plain waving free”
In “The Ballad Of William Sycamore” Young makes a song out of a Steven Vincent Benét poem in which the spirit of a man, hit hard by the loss of his sons in American wars at the Alamo and under Custer, finds redemption in reuniting with the land:
"Now I lie in the heart of the fat, black soil, Like the seed of the prairie-thistle; It has washed my bones with honey and oil And picked them clean as a whistle. And my youth returns, like the rains of Spring, And my sons, like the wild-geese flying; And I lie and hear the meadow-lark sing And have much content in my dying. Go play with the towns you have built of blocks, The towns where you would have bound me! I sleep in my earth like a tired fox, And my buffalo have found me."
In “Vison of A Child” , a song written for his son, Jubal, Young again finds union between the imagination and the natural world in lyrics like:
“Little Jubal boy
The woods and fields are dark
Except for the light of the moon and stars
So go on ahead
Through the portals of your dreams
Go on escape these earthly bars
And you can sail the silver streams
As you travel through your dreams
As you travel through the night”
A glorious voice.
For me, a great American.
Geoff Fox, 25th May, 2023, Down Under