"Ohio" as written by Patricia J. Griffin and Robert Plant....
The soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio

Gotta get downto it
Soldiers are cutting 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?

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting 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?

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


Lyrics submitted by mtnweedgrls420

Ohio song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI cannot believe that even now there are people stupid enough to blame unarmed students for heavily armed soldiers murdering them. Some people don't deserve to live in a democracy if they are this clueless about why it is never the fault of the person without a gun in this situation. The soldiers could have left, they could have communicated better, they could have done a hundred other things, instead they killed defenceless people who couldn't shoot back.

    As for the song, a couple of thoughts on specific lines:

    "We're finally on our own" - there's no longer any pretence that everyone is on the same side, when the government is prepared to shoot its people then the people are on their own.

    "This summer I hear the drumming" - to me, this line hints at the real message of the song, which is that its time to take back the country. Young hears the drumming of the people who won't take this stuff any more from the Nixon administration. Obviously the line reflects the military element of the national guard too. It took a few years, but he went down...
    caitsith01on October 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the protests and demonstrations at Kent State University, the inability of the National Guard to control the situation, unfortunately the killing of 4 students, and nothing more. Neil was quoted "I'm upset with myself about commercializing this event and making money over the deaths of 4 students".
    B_Fehlingon July 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I hear this song, I always think of the famous picture from the Kent State shooting ( a stunned, horrified person kneeling over one of the dead students). What if I had known this person?... found them dead on the ground?.....I also like the way Young uses the cadence-like rythm to give you that feel of soldiers marching. Scary to think of the United States Military marching against her own (unnarmed) people!!!!!!
    speterso74on August 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song, it's really sad since it's true but its beautifully written... I remember listening to this on my way to a sports camp at Kent state it was a lil weird
    tinypunksteron August 26, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was reading Neil's bio, and when Neil was over at David Crosby's house, they heard the news about Kent State. Neil got pissed and walked to the back porch and picked up a guitar and literally wrote the song on the spot. When David heard the song he just started to cry.
    Roland Ripleyon March 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe students at Kent State were protesting Nixon's bombing of Cambodia. Nixon made the order to bomb Cambodia during the Vietnam war because the Viet Cong would attack S.V. and then run and hide in Cambodia. Instead of ending the war as Nixon had promised, he was extending it into Cambodia. This is what upset the students at Kent. They were also upset because of the draft that was in effect. This was the age group that would be drafted into the war so they feard for their own lives.

    A concrete reason why the National Guard fired into the crowd on this particular day was never defined. However, they did kill 2 protestors and 2 innocent students walking from one class to the next. Another student was paralyzed and 8 more were injured.

    "Tin soldiers" refers to the National Guard.
    "We're finally on our own" refers to the freedom of college.
    "This summer we hear the drumming" refers to the marching of the National Guard.
    "What if you knew her, and found her dead on the ground" refers to the famous picture that hit newpapers and magazines everywhere after the event of a dead girl in the Kent State parking lot with another student kneeling over her.
    Love to Hateon December 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"(It) Should have been done long ago." is what Nixon said when interviewed about the shooting.
    nomnomnomon October 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentInteresting... I always interpreted the "we're finally on our own" line as meaning that given this incident, citizens can no longer rely on the government to keep them safe...so now we're on our own.
    fixaponyon January 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell this song isnt about love it is about how the National Guard killed 4 college students at Kent State Ohio for no reason at all.
    RockOnNEilon May 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits just like what "RockOnNeil" said its about the incident at the college in the early 70's, when the national guards killed 4 college students for protesting.( in other words,, for no reason at all, because all they were doin was protesting, and that aint against the law.)
    njrockstarbanditon May 29, 2002   Link

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