Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)
On 15 May, 1970, , David Crosby handed bandmate Neil Young a copy of Life magazine that addressed the recent deaths of four students killed by National Guardsmen as they demonstrated against the Vietnam war at Kent State University in Ohio. A shocked Young disappeared for a few hours. When he returned, he had written one of the landmark protest songs of the decade. Ohio was both a lament for the protestors and a seething indictment of the government that sanctioned their murder. It saw Young switching between stark disbelief (“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming/We’re finally on our own”), blunt reportage (“Gotta get down to it/Soldiers are cutting us down”) and an ominous warning: “This summer I hear the drumming.” But its real power came from the fact that it never pointed a finger in judgement. It didn’t need to.