Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Resonant “Ohio”

“Ohio” is a politically charged rock song written by Neil Young and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y). The song was released in 1970 as a response to the tragic events that occurred at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970, where four students were killed and several others wounded by the Ohio National Guard during a protest against the Vietnam War.

The lyrics of “Ohio” capture the outrage and sadness felt by many in the wake of the Kent State shootings. Neil Young’s powerful and emotional vocals, along with the harmonies provided by David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash, create a sense of urgency and protest. The refrain “Four dead in Ohio” serves as a haunting reminder of the tragedy.

Musically, “Ohio” features a raw and driving rock sound, with Young’s distinctive lead guitar work driving the song’s intensity. The song’s immediacy and sense of urgency reflect the tumultuous atmosphere of the era and the social and political unrest surrounding the Vietnam War.

“Ohio” became an anthem of protest and a rallying cry for those opposing the war and government actions. It remains a poignant reminder of a pivotal moment in American history and a testament to the power of music to capture and convey the emotions of a generation. The song’s message and impact continue to resonate with listeners as a symbol of the desire for change and social justice.

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