When I was a young boy
My mama said to me
Your daddy's leavin' home today
I think he's gone to stay
We packed up all our bags
And drove out to Winnipeg

When we got to Winnipeg
I checked in to school
I wore white bucks on my feet
When I learned the golden rule
The punches came fast and hard
Lying on my back in the school yard

Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied

Well pretty soon I met a friend
He played guitar
We used to sit on the steps at school
And dream of being stars
We started a band
We played all night

Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied

Oh Canada
We played all night
I really hate to leave you now
But to stay just wouldn't be right
Down in Hollywood
We played so good

The businessmen crowded around
They came to hear the golden sound
There we were on the Sunset Strip
Playing our songs for the highest bid
We played all night
The price was right

Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied
Don't be denied, don't be denied

Well, all that glitters isn't gold
I know you've heard that story told
And I'm a pauper in a naked disguise
A millionaire through a business man's eyes
Oh friend of mine
Don't be denied


Lyrics submitted by typo

Don't Be Denied song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSuch an awesome tune!
    danger birdon July 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis might be one of my top 3 favorite Neil songs. This as autobiographical as it gets, Neil putting it down with great lyrics, passion and just raw emotion.

    "Oh Canada, We played all night. I really hate to leave you now, But to stay here wouldn't feel right." So much passion, emotion and guilt leaving his place of birth. That says so much, and sparks up so many emotions in like three little sentences. Pure genius from a master storyteller.
    justasimpleguyon February 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSurprises me that this song only had one comment. THere must not be alot of Neil Young fans on this site, cuz this is IMO one of hismost moving song.

    Basically, what i get from it, is that you should never give up on your dreams, and don't let other people, that are trying to beat you down deny you from those dreams. Don't be denied.

    I learned teh meaning of this fast, i was on my back porch and my step father tol dme to listen to teh lyrics very carefully. Whne the song got to the end, he told me, "Don' tlet anyone deny you, Don't be fucking Denied, don't let anyone tell you they ar ebtte rthan you." Now when i thinkof what he said whiel this song is playing I always get teary eyed. Thats one o fteh reasons i learned it on guitar.
    shadymonk3327on August 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is pretty simple. It just tells the story of his Dad moving him and his family from Toronto to Winnipeg. Then he talks about his aingst during school and starting his band to signing a record deal in LA. The second line is interesting to me because my grandad taught Neil Young in school and can also say that he had a rough time. Neil Young didn't even graduate.
    hjpatteron April 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI heard Neil perform this song in March 1973. He had a sore throat that night, but sang at the top of his voice anyway. You could tell that singing the chorus was very painful for him. But it made for a very special, memorable performance.
    Lookout4MyLoveon April 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIt is the main piece of his whole body of work. Because it's not the root of everything that came after nor does it really stands out in anything. But it's pure Neil, so pure, you don't even question that this is one of his best songs. But it's in every sense average Neil, but par excellence.
    JackTStripperon January 18, 2016   Link

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