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American Lit- “Ohio”- War Song

September 28th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Kent state pic 3

Kent State pic 2

Kent State pic 1

Lyrics

Ohio

lyrics by Neil Young

——–

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.

On May 4, 1970 a protest at Kent State University in Ohio ended with four students killed by the National Guard. The protest had been in response to the President Nixon and his decision to send troops to Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Protest around the U.S increased on college campuses as a result of this invasion of Cambodia. Particularly students were more outraged about the war and wanted peace.

The song written by Neil Young was in response to the lives lost at Kent State. This songs reference to “tin soldiers,” and President Nixon, directly associates the feelings of the country towards this great tragedy. The song does not mince words as it says, “soldiers are gunning us down,” it points to the National Guard sent to the school that opened fire.

The irony in this event is the National Guard sent to keep peace and disband large protesting crowd was made up of many young Americans similar to the students at the university. Another interesting dynamic in this event is the fact that the students we marching for the freedom and peace of people in another nation and we killed by soldiers who were carrying out this job abroad.

Please visit the Kent State links provided to view pictures and listen to the song.

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