Neil Young – Ohio Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
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[Hook]
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio

[Outro]
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio
Four dead in Ohio

About

Genius Annotation

“Ohio” is a protest song written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970, and performed by the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young quartet.

The incident took place on May 4, 1970 and became a sociopolitical symbolization during the Vietnam War. The sequence of events led to a nationwide anti-establishment student strike, forcing hundreds of colleges and universities to close.

(The image above is a picture of 14-year-old Mary Vecchio kneeling over Jeffrey Miller’s dead body crying for help.)

The song was recorded a mere 17 days after the incident and, according to the recording engineer Bill Halverson, was done in (at most) 3 takes “with live vocal and live harmonies and everybody chiming in”.

On May 9, some 100,000 protestors gathered across from the White House, and on May 14 another on-campus shooting took place, resulting in the deaths of two African American students and the wounding of 12 others at Jackson State University in Mississippi. These two incidents —particularly the Kent State shooting— gave rise to an unprecedented surge in antiwar activism throughout the United States.

It was released as a single, backed with Stephen Stills', “Find the Cost of Freedom,” and it it peaked at #14 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Although a live version of the song was included on the group’s 1971 double album Four Way Street, the studio versions of both songs did not appear on an LP until the group’s compilation So Far was released in 1974. The song also appeared on the Neil Young compilation album Decade, released in 1977.

Young on writing the song:

It’s still hard to believe I had to write this song. It’s ironic that I capitalized on the death of these American students. Probably the biggest lesson ever learned at an American place of learning. My best CSNY cut. Recorded totally live in Los Angeles. David Crosby cried after this take.”

Side Note: Due to its “anti-war” and “anti-establishment” sentiments, the song was banned from some AM playlists in the United States.

Rest In Peace:

Jeffrey G. Miller
Allison B. Krause
William K. Schroeder
Sandra L. Scheuer

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Credits
Written By
Neil Young
Release Date
September 17, 2020
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