Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Jesse Colin Young is an American singer/songwriter who is most well known for being a founding member of a folk/rock band called The Youngbloods.  The Youngbloods' cover of "Get Together" has become synonymous with the peace and love movement of the 60s, featuring an uplifting, memorable, anthemic chorus of "Come on people now, smile on your brother / Everybody get together and try to love one another." 

In April 1974, Young, at this point a solo act, released a new studio album called Light Shine which included an original song called 'Let Your Light Shine', featuring an uplifting, memorable, anthemic chorus.

In 1994, the Allman Brother Band released a new studio album called Where It All Begins, featuring a new original song written by Warren Haynes called 'Soulshine', featuring an uplifting, memorable, anthemic chorus.

Why is this all relevant?  Well, I'm sure many of you are well familiar with Warren's Soulshine, as its been a staple of Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule concerts for over sixteen years now.  I've always enjoyed hearing Warren sing Soulshine, despite its ubiquity.  After all, it's a great piece of songwriting by him....or is it?

Take a listen below to Jesse Colin Young's original song 'Let Your Light Shine".  Then, if you haven't heard it before or just want a refresher, listen to the the Allman Brothers' Soulshine.  There shouldn't be a debate in your mind as to whether the latter song is a direct copy of Young's 'Light Shine'.  The question is though, does it matter?  Should Warren have given Young a songwriting credit on Soulshine?  Would it be appropriate for him to introduce the song before he plays it as inspired by a Jesse Colin Young tune?  Let us know what you think. 

I can't take credit for discovering this musical connection, as I first read about it on PhantasyTour a few months back, but I figured now that The Weight is back in business, it would be interesting to bring this bit of music trivia to the attention of our readers.

Jesse Colin Young
Let Your Light Shine

Allman Brothers


WeightStaff said...

This is a fairly common phenomenon in music/literature. It's called Cryptomnesia. (i.e. George Harrison's "subconscious borrowing" of The Chiffons' "He's So Fine" when he wrote "My Sweet Lord.")

And yes, I think Jesse Colin Young has a viable claim here if he ever wanted to seek recourse...


WeightStaff said...

I'd argue in this case that you have not just melodic similarities, like in your George Harrison example, but also lyrical similarities. --DL

Anonymous said...

with haynes, you're dealing with someone with an encyclopedic photographic recall (id imagine) of music, ranging all genres, funk, folk, island, rock, and of course classic rock, so its hard to beleive that he would simply now know about a young bloods tune that is a dead ringer for his (damn it they play this f'n tune every damn night...enough already) soulshine. Kind of strange that there hasnt been some litigation, although, i doubt that that tune is really making all that much money for Haynes, its not like its a chart topping success, it just gets played at every show.

my opinion, the song is kind of trite forced, and stale. he plays it like its "the weight" or something, come on.

i think at the very least a shout out, or writing credit for inspiration is in order.

another cryptomnesia case...REM accidentally leaning on Leonard Cohen's Suzanne when writing "HOPE" for 1998's UP. REM realized their mistep, and gave LC a writing credit, and im assuming a cut of the action.

how many more of these cryptomnesia cases can we think of...
Rod Stewart's mimicking of Dylan's Forever Young is another example.

Anonymous said...

* correction
now = not about 37 words in.

deadmort said...

I've been saying for years that Haynes ripped it off. Glad to see that the "light" is now shining somewhere else ;-)