Winterlong is a love song written by Neil Young, performed live with his band Crazy Horse. It was originally recorded live at the Fillmore East in 1970, but was not released until years later on Decade, Neil Young's compilation album. The lyrics, like many of Neil Young's love songs (or any of his songs, for that matter), are a mixture of sentimental cliche, philosophical pondering, and odd turns of phrase. The title "Winterlong" comes from Neil Young's idiosyncratic way of saying "Throughout the winter", about waiting for a lover to come back through a (literal? metaphorical?) winter.
The song is perhaps more well known from the cover version by The Pixies. Whereas the Neil Young & Crazy Horse version is done with male vocals, and done in Young's inimitable shaky-voiced acoustic folk style, the Pixies song is done in the Pixies style. Although it does not exactly follow the Pixies loud/quiet pattern, it still has their trademark mixture of punk mixed with sweetness. It also manages to capture the spirit of the original song, put the Pixies' own stamp on it, and produce that rare thing: a cover that becomes more definitive than the original.