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Music Friday Flashback: CSNY’s ‘Our House’ Has ‘Fiery Gems for You, Only for You’

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Music Friday Flashback: CSNY’s ‘Our House’ Has ‘Fiery Gems for You, Only for You’

Howard Cohen

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic hits with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Released in 1970 during the height of political and social unrest, “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is, oddly, a song about domestic bliss in Southern California.

Featuring the glistening harmonies that were the hallmark of CSNY, the song recounts a simple day in the life of Graham Nash and his girlfriend, singer Joni Mitchell, as they share a home (with two cats) in Laurel Canyon, Calif.

csny

Nash compares the rays of light streaming through the windows to brilliant gemstones... He sings, “Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the / sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you.”

In a recent interview with NPR, Nash explained how the song had come to life in just 60 minutes. He and Mitchell had just purchased a vase in an antique store and headed back home on a cool, drizzly L.A. morning.

As they entered the front door, Nash said, “You know what? I'll light a fire. Why don't you put some flowers in that vase that you just bought? Well, she was in the garden getting flowers. That meant she was not at her piano, but I was... And an hour later 'Our House' was born, out of an incredibly ordinary moment that many, many people have experienced.”

One of three Top 40 songs from the group’s 1970 Déjà Vu album, “Our House” was originally panned by Rolling Stone magazine as a “flyweight ditty with nothing to say.”

Despite the harsh criticism, the single reached a respectable #30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and has since stood the test of time."Our House" has been covered by numerous artists and continues to be a Crosby, Stills & Nash fan favorite 45 years later. (Neil Young no longer tours with the band.)

In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Déjà Vu #147 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In addition to “Our House,” the album also charted two other iconic songs of the era, “Woodstock” and “Teach Your Children.” Both contained strong political and social commentary.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was one of the greatest supergroups of all time. David Crosby had been with The Byrds. Nash was with The Hollies. Steven Stills and Neil Young were members of Buffalo Springfield. By virtue of their stellar collaborations and solo careers, the members of CSNY have each been twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We hope you enjoy the rare live footage of CSNY’s performance of “Our House” from the early 1970s. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"Our House"
Written by Graham Nash. Performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
play your love songs all night long for me, only for me.

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good.
Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the
sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you.

Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
now everything is easy cause of you and our la, la, la…

Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
now everything is easy cause of you and our

I'll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

Image: CSNY.com publicity shot