After reading William Butler Yeats poem, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” I can draw a comparison to the modern day song, Sugar Mountain by Neal Young.

The first verse of Neal Young’s Sugar Mountain is most strikingly like “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons,
You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain
Though you’re thinking that
you’re leaving there too soon,
You’re leaving there too soon.

It’s so noisy at the fair
But all your friends are there
And the candy floss you had
And your mother and your dad.

Here, Young discusses the noisiness of the world around him and his dream of going to live on Sugar Mountain. Yeat’s Innisfree is a little more peaceful sounding with the details of shore sounds and the crickets songs, but both artists are dreaming of another place from their noisy homes.

Young’s song continues to follow a sequence that takes him through a life of growing. Living on Sugar Mountain is about staying a child forever. Yeat’s poem is not about specifically staying a child, but it is about going to the place that matches his deep heart’s core. So for Yeats, at his heart’s core is Innisfree: a place of peace, crickets, and shore sounds. Young’s heart’s core is a child, thus wanting to live in a fictitious child-friendly place of Sugar Mountain.

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