SongCraft: Fred Neil – Dolphins

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Song Craft

Famously reclusive, he was an influential figure on the 1960s New York folk scene, and was occasionally backed by the young Bob Dylan on harmonica at the all-night Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village.

He took flight almost from the day Harry Nilsson turned his song, Everybody’s Talkin’ into a global hit in 1970, following its use as the theme of the Dustin Hoffman-Jon Voight movie Midnight Cowboy (1969).

Neil rarely gave interviews, could not stomach fame, and appeared repulsed at the success of his song, a disdainful commentary on human alienation in public life. In fact, it had already appeared on Neil’s 1966 solo album, alongside another song, The Dolphins, which reflected his fascination with mammals.

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Unimpressed by the trappings of fame, and with no interest in exploiting the opportunities offered by his hit, Neil had withdrawn by 1971 to set up a dolphin rescue project in Florida with marine biologist Richard O’Barry, who trained the dolphins for the television series Flipper. He refused all attempts to persuade him into a comeback, and devoted the rest of his life to protecting dolphins.

Even in the 1960s, he was a fiercely private character. Born in St Petersburg, Florida, he first came to attention in 1956 playing guitar with Buddy Holly, for whom he wrote the single, Modern Don Juan, before Holly cracked the charts. He also wrote Candy Man, the B-side of Roy Orbison’s 1961 hit, Crying.


Well sometimes I think about;
Saturday’s child;
And all about the times;
We were running wild,

I’ve been a searching, for the dolphins, in the sea,
Ah but sometimes I wonder, do you ever think of me

Well this old world may never change
Not the way it’s been
And all our ways of war
Just can’t change it back again

I’ve been a searching for the dolphins in the sea
Ah but sometimes I wonder do you ever, ever think of me

Well Lord, I’m not the one to tell;
This old world how to get along
I only know that peace will come
When all our hate is gone

I’ve been a searching, for the dolphins in the sea
Ah but sometimes I wonder do you ever, ever think of me?

Oh this old world will never change
Ah this old world will never change
Ah this old world, will never change
Never change


Originally posted 2011-02-12 15:30:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Series NavigationSongCraft: Anne Briggs – BlackwatersideSongCraft: The Free Design – Love You

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