There’s something about cinnamon that sparks the imagination of songwriters. In the rock cannon, Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” is the most revered, but a cursory look finds songs with that word in the title by Prince, The Long Winters, The Grifters, The Pooh Sticks, Art Pepper, Derek, Tiffany, Tangerine Dream and last but not least, Stone Temple Pilots.
In “Cinnamon Girl” Neil Young uses the spice to describe “a dreamer of pictures” who he “could be happy the rest of his life with” “chasing the moonlight.”
The Jayhawks’ new song “Cinnamon Love” seems to function on two levels: First, the song pays tribute to Mr. Young and his lasting influence on their work. From the chugging, Crazy Horse riff to the high/low style of duet vocals, musically the songs are kindred spirits. However, the lyrics also seem to be a flash-forward from the hope and promise of “Cinnamon Girl” to the disappointment and regret of a disintegrating relationship years down the line. “Where did you see me? Where did you need me? I don’t know,” Gary Louris and Mark Olson sing mournfully.
The song is on the band’s latest album, Mockingbird Time. This performance is from their session for Sound Opinions. Download this video from the Live Music Thursday podcast.