"For What It's Worth" as written by and Stephen Stills....
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

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

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It's s time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"For What It's Worth" as written by Stephen Stills

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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For What It's Worth song meanings
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  • +5
    Song MeaningAs others have said, this song is actually about hippies protesting a curfew at their favorite night-clubbing spot. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    However, FWIW was written broadly so that it resonates with the spirit of protest everywhere. It quickly became an antiwar anthem. Today the song can be heard at Occupy rallies, and its lyrics still fit perfectly.
    Foobaron October 24, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is indeed about the Sunset Strip riots that happened in 1966/1967. So, democracys was right. Many people think it's about the Vietnam war, but it really isn't, even though I guess each person can interpret it that way, but that's not what composer Stephen Stills particularly had in mind when he wrote it.
    richieon February 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA protest song, one of the best.
    stringofpearlson February 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was 20 when this song came out and it was powerful then tho I have to admit it got somewhat overplayed over the years.
    One line that always puzzled me-"Young people speaking their minds,getting so much resistance from behind".I interpreted this to mean that in our OWN generation we had many right wing kids who supported the Establishment,the cops and the military.And we often had to fight THEM in the streets as well.
    What the lyric meant to Steven Stills I don't know.But thats my take on it.
    Riverman94610on May 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn August '66 the local citizenry had tried to clear the area around the Sunset Strip club Pandora`s Box, whose long haired clientele detered legitimate tourism, by having the police enforce a curfew. Protests followed,things turning ugly when the police weighed in with the night-sticks. Witnessing this upon return from a trip to Nicaragua , Stills was inspired: "All the kids on one side of the street, all the cops on the other side - in Latin America that meant there'd be a new government in about a week. "Both a warning and a barricade-manning counter-culture rallying cry

    i got this from thrasherswheat.org/tfa/…
    JayWalkeron May 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is deffinately about the sunset strip... not the kent state masacre. this song was written 4 years before the kent state masacre
    abigailianmcfaceon March 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawesome song! we're learning about the vietnam war in history and heard all these counter-culture songs and this one really stood out to me.
    ManoStuarton May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFWIW, this song is actually about a protest over the closing of some of the clubs on Sunset Strip... why they were closed, I can't recall...
    democracyson May 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the greatest song ever written. Screw VH1's list. "Satisfaction" wouldn't make my top 50. "For What It's Worth" is the ultimate song.
    loopydateon May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about my mother, bless her soul.
    REDRUM158on July 01, 2002   Link

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