Isn't Cortez the Killer simply the most brilliant song ever? I think the closest one word can come to describe the mood it builds up is lugubrious (yeah, I mugged Baron's just like every wannabe kid of my generation).
The laidback, sombre guitar riffs at the beginning, the heavy, brooding feeling the song induces, the gradual surfacing of the vocals towards the middle of the song and the slow fade out with the words "What a killer" overpower me in ways I thought happened in movies only.
And totally orthogonal to the story of the Conquistadors, the emergence of the theme of lost love in the last stanza ("And I know she's living there, And she loves me to this day..."), a recurring motif in so many of Neil Young's songs, grips me by the scruff of my neck. I wonder if a more mournful song will ever cross my path.
Ah, Neil Young, I would've been a fan even if you weren't the Godfather of Grunge!
Schopenhauer was right. Take refuge in music - the cure that ails us all.