Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Ohio.
But it sounds funny; the cadence is off and it almost sounds like an opera. I have no idea if I’m making this up, or if it exists in some cover version somewhere.
I realise I have a story about this song. Earlier this year, I took a free course on job hunting and CV skills. Not that I needed it, but it was something to do and being as who you know is important here, why not. Anyhoo, the instructor was a lovely Scottish lady in her mid-50’s. While going over the ‘education’ section of my CV, she asked about the university I had attended (for a year, until the money ran out). I attended Kent State. But, as I pointed out, “Not the famous campus of Kent State, it was a satellite branch in another county.”
I got a blank look.
“You know, Kent State? The Kent State shootings? Where the national guard shot protesting students to death in 1970?”
“The famous picture of the woman screaming over a body?” I probably even posed like the photo.
“The Kent State shootings are what that song is about, you know, the Neil Young one, ‘four dead in Ohio’.”
Well, she’d never heard the song, and didn’t know about one of the most shocking moments in recent American history.
I decided to take it as a culture thing. That it was understandable that a Scottish woman didn’t know about Kent because let’s face it, Scotland in the 70’s had troubles enough of its own. I liked her, and didn’t want to think she was ignorant. But I think I’m still surprised and a bit annoyed.