Sunday, April 16, 2006

Thirty Six Years On

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

In 18 days it will have been thirty-six years since the deaths of Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer at the hands of the National Guard during anti-war protests at Kent State University in Ohio. The lyrics above link to an excellent series of articles about not only this song but about many others written or co-written by Young during the Vietnam years.

Young, then playing with Crosby, Stills and Nash wrote "Four Dead in Ohio" almost immediately after the events at Kent State. The song wasn't played on some stations in some parts of the country because it was considered "anti-war" or "anti-Nixon". It nevertheless became one of the anthems that fuelled the movement to end the Vietnam war. I rather imagine there will be stations refusing to play his new one too.

Because Neil's going all out after another war and another President.

An LA based singer/musician named Alicia Morgan blogs that she participated in a recording session for a new Neil Young album and that she and the 98 other professional singers hired for the gig found the 12 hour session inspirational, as she says "...I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session".

The album will be entitled "Living With War". Neil himself, using a ticker on his website, says he thinks the album is "... a metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan... metal folk protest?"

Down With Tyranny blog gives us more, including lyrics for the title track.

As Neil said in another song of the era,

"I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down."

PS: it looks like Bruce Springsteen is joining in as well. His newest recording is entitled "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions".

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