Ohio, Neil Young 1970

“Ohio” is a protest song and counterculture anthem written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
It was released as a single, backed with Stephen Stills’s "Find the Cost of Freedom”.
Young wrote the lyrics to “Ohio” after seeing the photos of the incident in Life Magazine.

To all our social justice fighters.
May you have the strength, the stamina, and the charity to understand and love others, even in the midst of chaos and evil!!!
Love, peace, and joy to all peoples!!!

Feedback is much appreciated. Thank you.


Haha, when I heard the opening strumming pattern, I immediately recalled “Cows With Guns”! :smile: Sorry… I’ll try to be serious now…

I usually really enjoy your interpretations Rene - You have a real talent for cutting to the essence of a song with just voice and guitar and really making each song your own…and I really admire that. I almost feel bad for being a negative Nelly and mentioning this, especially since you are always so supportive to everyone here and always have encouraging things to say…

…but I have to be completely honest and say that this style of track doesn’t seem to suit your voice as much as a more melodic, soulful, crooning style. It doesn’t sound like you were completely comfortable with it, because you delivery sounds a bit breathless and rushed.

I think this needs a little more grit and bite to it, with more pinpoint pitching of the notes, rather than sliding up and down between the pitches…That kind of performance is harder to deliver than most people realise… Perhaps a slower tempo and a lower key may have worked better?

In any case, kudos for trying something different, and I hope you don’t mind a little bit of critique.

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Hi Rene - This is an important song IMHO and I’m glad that you have chosen it. I think that CRS makes some good points; this is a different sound and style you are showing us here. Your talent and skills make this work but I’m wondering if a different approach might be good too.

I think the original had a somber, almost funereal sound to it that fit the subject matter quite well. You could certainly do that. I also remember more instrumental parts in the original since there really isn’t much in the way of lyrics. I know you don’t like using a band approach but that might allow you to focus more on the vocals, just a thought.

Thanks for posting!

I remember watching this on TV as kid. What I like about your style Rene is that you find a song that touches you and you just go for it. Personally I would like to see you graduate to the next level.
That is, adding more instruments etc. Fill er up man.

I will have to agree with you, 100%, that my interpretation is a bit fast, and I am running out of breath and space, hahahahaha!
I am very appreciative of your critique, and love the full explanation and recommendation - love it!!!
The next time, I sing this song, it will definitely be slower, with pinpoint notes to really emote the essence and the shock this song announces!!!
Thank you, my friend!!!

Thank you for the reviews! Now your video: you enunciate better than ol’ Neil; I can hear the lyrics better than the original recording. Very nice cover (singing and guitar playing) as always! :slight_smile: