Despite Young's continued objections, "Rockin' in the Free World" has been used at Trump rallies since 2016. Two of Neil's other songs, "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Like a Hurricane," have also recently been added to Trump's rally playlist rotation.
In a statement on his official website, Young now says he's "changing his mind" about his previous stance after the President's response to protests in Portland, Oregon.
“I am changing my mind about suing President Trump,” the statement reads. “Reconsidering. I’m looking at it again. There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue. But then President Trump ordered thugs in uniform onto our streets. His idea."
Young went on to say President Trump "has no respect" for the military. “They are now to be used on the streets of America against law-abiding citizens for a political charade orchestrated by a challenged president," he said, going on to mention the lack of government response during the COVID-19 pandemic in contrast with the militarized response in Portland. “Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young said. “I did not write it for that.”
Young is among a number of artists who don't want their music played at Trump rallies or events, including Rihanna, Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Linkin Park, Pharrell Williams, and the estate of late icon Prince.