Lyrics by Patricia J. Griffin & Robert Plant
Performed by Neil Young
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
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?
Tension was palpable on the campus of the
University of Missouri in the spring of 1970.
With Nixon’s decision on April 30th to invade
Cambodia, protests against the Vietnam War
The Kent State Massacre on May 4, 1970, in
which unarmed college students were fired
upon by the Ohio National Guard, killed four
students and wounded nine others.
Outrage reached a feverish pitch, in turn
sparking a nationwide student strike.
In an unprecedented move, the University of
Missouri cancelled final exams, sending
students home early and putting a lid on the
situation before heretofore peaceful demon-
strations could turn violent.
Graduation ceremonies, scheduled to be held in
the football stadium, were relocated due to rain.
Rather than sit in an auditorium and view the
ceremonies via closed-circuit TV, which seemed
anticlimactic, I returned my unused cap and gown
to the book store and headed on down the road
to begin the next chapter of my life.