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Patti Smith delivers gorgeous cover of Neil Young's 'After the Gold Rush'

The iconic singer-songwriter was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday.

The iconic singer-songwriter was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday

Patti Smith performs onstage during the 2019 New Yorker Festival in New York City. (Getty Images for The New Yorker)

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Neil Young's 1970 album After the Gold Rush. Patti Smith, a songwriting legend in her own right who started making music a few years before that album came out, paid tribute to Young on Thursday's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by performing a cover of the title track.

Smith, who was on the show to promote her latest book, Year of the Monkey, started her performance by reading a new poem that shined some hope on the current state of the world: "Yet I still keep thinking that/ something wonderful is about to happen/ maybe tomorrow/ a tomorrow following a whole succession of tomorrows."

Then, accompanied by musician Tony Shanahan, Smith kicks into a striking cover of "After the Gold Rush." To bring home the urgency of the current climate crisis, Smith alters the final line of the song, singing: "Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century."

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