Just a Song Before I Go

Song infobox
Name = Just a Song Before I Go

Type =
Artist = Crosby, Stills & Nash
alt Artist =
Album = CSN
Published =
Released = June 17, 1977
track_no = 8
Recorded =
Genre = Folk rock
Length =
Writer = Graham Nash
Composer =
Label =
Producer = David Crosby Stephen Stills Graham Nash The Albert Brothers
Background =
Tracks =
prev = Dark Star
prev_no = 7
next = Run from Tears
next_no = 9
"Just a Song Before I Go" is a song from Crosby, Stills and Nash that appeared on the 1977 album "CSN". It was also released as a single and made it to number seven on the "Billboard" singles charts.


The song was written by Graham Nash from an immediate point of view, that of going on a concert tour and having to leave loved ones behind. Nash was, in fact, about to go on tour with David Crosby and was waiting to go to the airport. Nash composed "Just a Song Before I Go" on a dare. The young man who was to take him to the airport was talking to Nash about songwriting, and he finally said to Nash, "We've got fifteen minutes, bet you can't write a song in that time." Nash did just that.


"Just a Song Before I Go" is lyrically straightforward about the situation Nash was in at the moment he wrote it, and there is also an undercurrent of regret towards rootlessness, a feeling that Nash — born and raised in England, a resident of the United States who had lived in California and was now living in Hawaii — might very well have had at the time.

Nash seemed to have used some poetic license in talking about "traveling twice the speed of sound," as airliners other than the Concorde do not go that fast, and the line about "the friendly skies" was pinched from United Airlines's well-worn slogan.


Crosby, Stills and Nash arranged "Just a Song Before I Go" as a straight ballad, with mostly acoustic textures anchored by two tasteful, understated electric guitar solos from Stephen Stills.


* Liner notes from the 1991 box set "Crosby, Stills and Nash: CSN". The commentary on the songs's genesis is from David Crosby.

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