Tuesday, May 04, 2010

forty years ago today


4 May 1970, 12:24 PM

Thirteen seconds pass
Sixty-seven bullets fly*
A nation wounded


*Officially there were "between 61 and 67 rounds fired" in the 13 seconds that left four Kent State students dead and nine others wounded.
Ohio ()
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young So Far (Atlantic Records - 1974)
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

One other footnote. Neil Young wrote the lyrics for this song after seeing the photos of the incident in Life Magazine. The song was recorded as a single (b/w Stephen Stills' "Find The Cost of Freedom") and a live version was released on the 1971 "Four Way Street" double album, but no studio version of the song appeared on an album until the 1974 release of "So Far", a greatest hits compilation. The version of the song you're listening to is from that album.


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10 comments:

Fireblossom said...

I was fourteen when this happened, and it is one of those events one never forgets. The famous photograph of the girl with the horrified expression is one of two I especially remember from that time, the other being the famous shot of someone holding a gun to a Viet Namese man's head.

The line "should have been done long ago" stands out for me. A lot of the older generation felt that way at the time, which only goes to show how deep the generation gap ran.

Mojo said...

I never forget the anniversary of the Kent State shootings for obvious reasons. At 10, the deeper implications were slightly beyond my understanding, but even then I could grasp the idea that unarmed students being gunned down was inherently wrong.

With the country mired in yet another war that is every bit as un-winnable as Vietnam, I wonder if we've learned a damn thing.

Daryl said...

Oddly this has always been one of my favorite CS&N songs. It, Kent State, is also what woke my social consciousness ..

bermudabluez said...

I was very aware of this....I lived there then! Like you....I was young...I'm 51 now. But it was a memory that will never, ever fade.

On a happier note....Happy Birthday!!! (I stopped over from Daryl's blog!)

Carver said...

I remember that sad day so well and I still have the vinyl somewhere of the album this song is on.

chitowngreg said...

40 years ago, wow!

Robin said...

This is one of those songs that worms its way into your subconscience and stays there. So powerful.

And no, I suspect we haven't learned a damn thing since then.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Mojo: This is my home town and 3 of my children have attended there. The fortieth year remembrance is happening today.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Yes, I was 10. I remember.

Lisa said...

I was a baby, but it is so shocking..... as a teacher, an agent of the man I see a need for law and order, but there has to be balance between law and order and an allowance for the force of change. But violence is never the answer. Never. Thanks for this rememberance!