Ohio Lyrics - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Review The Song (19)



Tin soldiers and Nixon's 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?

La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
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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's coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Four dead in Ohio

Four dead in Ohio.






Click here to submit the Corrections of Ohio Lyrics
Old enough to know better | Reviewer: Steve | 3/13/14

Having lived through that turbulent time, this song represents the governments refusal to accept what it does not either understand or disagrees with. It is the right of the people to rise up against the government for actions that do not keep with the Constitution. It is our right and duty to see to this according to everything that Thomas Jefferson wrote. This is the reason for the Bill of Rights and the very existence of the Constitution as demonstrated in the song Monster by Steppe wolf.

The sad day. | Reviewer: Arcela | 9/29/13

This is a song that it was referred to the students that suffered a shooting from soldiers. This experience was kept in their minds how these people died that day around them, that memory was a bad experience will always be in their minds, other students sing in memory of the traumatic event that happened and they express their feelings with this a song, in the last part it mentions four dead people from Ohio, because four students died that day.

Ohio innocents shot dead | Reviewer: ld | 5/7/13

Did you notice the usurper in the White House at a Ohio commencement read from the teleprompter that we should not hear that government/current group of liars is tyrannical? Vietnam (which now is a tourist resort stop) was a legitimate cause for campus demonstrations. After all, the age of draftees was the same age as the age of college students. Reagan was not a likeable governor by UCLA students. Reagan hated students.

Origin of the line | Reviewer: MikeKNR | 2/21/13

The line 'Should of been done long ago' (NOT 'gone' but 'done', don't interpret it, look it up and be done with it...) originated from an interview with a middle-aged woman who remained nameless for some time, the interview having been done by a mixed team of reporters from CBS and the Kent Stater newspaper, May 5th, the morning after the killings. The woman was a life-long resident of Kent OH, was completely fed up with the students, the protests and the sixties in general and was only too happy to have been asked her opinion and when asked what she though of the shootings, she responded. stating flatly 'Should have been done long ago!!'. No one else, neither Nixon nor anyone in his administration, nor Reagan, nor anyone else said this and this is the origin of the quote. Rumors flew in the ensuing weeks as they always do, just look at Newtown and Columbine. The hatred of the establishment led young people to atribute this quote to widely differant sources, but James Michner, whether you liked him or his writings or not, regardless, tracked this down quite ably.

Liberal Ohio | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/11/12

From someone who lived through the times, the line "should have been done long ago" simply refers to the fact that protests against government overreach and intolerable situations (Viet Nam war) should have been started long before it became governors ordering citizens shot in America.

Please! | Reviewer: Doc | 11/19/12

The narrow literalism didn't help then and doesn't help now. Give yourself to the spirit of this song. Nothing I've read here comes close to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's understanding and interpretation.

Irony | Reviewer: bob C | 9/28/12

This song pure Sentiment! The posts here, although almost all, can or may be accurate in someway, are echoing what the song expresses, by arguing the details ! Minutia is great for science, but the big picture is wisdom ! Maybe the only way to put light on anything is sacrifice inadvertently or Martyrdom ? No matter what though, this song inspired another wake up call, touching all sides !

Kent student at the time | Reviewer: Peace, love, and Rock 'n' Roll | 7/20/12

Noy only does the line with "done" a Nixon quote and his view, but also the Ohio Governor's who told students he wasn't going to let them ruin his political career. The fire at the ROTC building wasn't even carried out by students and not even "townies", but by outsiders who came to the area. As far as the NAtional Guard is concerned, they had just come from handling a trucker's strike in Akron and were very tired. As the song lyrics go, they are quite accurate and far better for explaining the scene than a lot of books written about the event - 04 May 1970.

Ching Chong Johnny Vanswol | Reviewer: Jake Plaman | 5/11/12

I could smell a funny smell in the beginning but then it went away in verse 2. When verse 3 came the smell came back but in a good oder. I saw a donkey out in the park it was chasing a cat but the cat climbed a tree. The donkey was said than the bad smell came back. Then I fell asleep just a little bit though and got fired thanks to this half way decent song. @alaskanpipeline

Emphasizing what happened | Reviewer: Joel | 3/22/12

Some of you have mentioned corrections should be made or previous posters "misunderstood" the lyrics. In fact, the line, "Should've been done long ago" was accurate. Ronald Reagan uttered those very words about the Kent State massacre after it happened. So second-guessing the line as "Should have been GONE long ago" is an incorrect assumption. Also, trying to find a more comfortable ideal behind that line is, sorry to say, wishful thinking. The country was very strongly divided during Vietnam and the "pro" side seriously wanted protesters put down.

oncemorewithfeeling | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/1/11

I think the previous reviewer(s) misreads the line "Should have been done long ago" as referring to acts of suppression when it seems to me to characterize "got get down to it. . . we're finally on our own," which expresses the antiwar movement's belated realization that they are not protected by Nixon and tin soldiers and thus responds to the drums beating that summer to rally those marching for peace.

Falling Rock | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/14/11

I remember when the shootings happened and shortly after, when the song was written. The line "Should have been done long ago" was a painful but strong part of the lyrics. I was a college student at the time. The hard part? There was (is still) a philosophy that says dissent should be repressed. Killing protestors would 'teach them a lesson' not to interfere with the plans of their elders/betters/superiors. Make no mistake about it...there are people who would do it again. The song lyric reflects the idea that the protests should not have been allowed to happen, should have been stopped early. "Kill it before it grows" is another lyric from Eric Clapton.
The line stands, as difficult as it is to understand. Yes they were shooting at us with intent to kill. It was no accident. Fortunately public opinion backfired on the shooters. This time.

seventh line | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/2/11

A great song--or what would have been but for that disastrous seventh line: "Should've been done long ago" [and yes, it is "done", not "gone", despite the desperate exculpatory arguments of some on this and other lists.
"Soldier are cutting us down / Shoulda been done long ago." The latter line strives to make a syntactical connection with "Gotta get down to it," two lines before, but ruins from its stroke, with ruinous consequences (both artistic and political). Sorry. But it's true.

"Ohio" was an historical moment | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/10/10

How can you "review" an iconic song like "Ohio?" Those of us who were cognizant at the time knew exactly what the lyrics meant. Obviously the narrative captures a young man's POV as he imagines the horror of finding an innocent young girl dead. The lyrics, "Should have been done long ago," indicated that the singer was mocking the right-wingers who indeed wanted the protesters dead.

Personally, as someone who lived through that time period, I think "Ohio" was the funeral dirge of the 60s counterculture movement. After Kent State, it lost momentum and faltered as many former protestors decided to "look out for number one!" Hence, the 1980s...

The WORD | Reviewer: Peter | 8/7/10

I see (and feel from memory) the lyrics are strictly from the viewpoint of the students and youth of the time.

That is, except the words; "Four dead in Ohio," which I take to be the watered-down, washed-clean, sterile way that headlines were written soas not to create any offensive feelings.

The headline could have been "Four Students Slain by National Guard at Kent State University" but we got "Four Dead in Ohio."

Brilliant writing.

And it should have been "Gone" in the seventh line.


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