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Neil Young Revisits 'Ohio'

Ties the 1970 song to recent school shootings

51st Festival d'ete de Quebec

Neil Young has released a new video for his anti-war anthem "Ohio," protesting modern gun laws by linking the National Guard's execution of four college students at Kent State in 1970 to the ever-growing number of school shootings nationwide.

The video, created by Young and new wife Daryl Hannah, depicts a solo performance of the song made famous by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. As Young rocks out on electric guitar, a video and audio montage intersperses news accounts and photos of the Kent State shootings with recent clips of school tragedies and student protests in favor of stricter gun laws.

"With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them, we are not well represented," Young, 72, says in a statement on his website. "Today's students are brave, demanding change in violent times. We stand with them. They are us. We are them."

Young wrote "Ohio" in the aftermath of the tragedy at Kent State, where National Guard troops shot and killed four students during a campus protest of the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970.

Distinguished by its scorching electric guitars and headline refrain—"Four dead in Ohio"—the protest song was released as a single in June 1970, backed with Stephen Stills's "Find the Cost of Freedom." It peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nearly 50 years later, Young believes "Ohio" continues to decry gun violence against students. "This has been going for far too long," Young says. "My wife Daryl and I put this video together for you to reflect on. Support the students. Support our children. They want protection. Not more guns. Give us common sense gun laws that protect our people, in schools, in places of worship, in the workplace and on the streets. VOTE."

Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images