Rhetorical Analysis of Ohio

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Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - Ohio

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) wrote this song, Ohio, in response to the Kent State shooting in Ohio. This song made a bold musical statement during its time as it mentioned Nixon by name, blaming him for this massacre. The instruments hold a constant beat in the song while the lyrics were carefully crafted so that they could express a lot in a few words. The instrumentals have an underlying marching beat throughout the entire song. This is probably to imitate a movement rising up or oppression by the "soldiers and Nixon coming". The guitar takes on the voice of the uprising and the drums take on the voice of the oppressive soldiers. The verse loses the lyrical guitar in the background, while the chorus lessens the marching beat of the drum. This is done to give off conflicting ideas of being beaten down by the government and to incite an upheaval over the actions taken in Ohio. The instruments are used mostly to incite pathos in this song. In between each verse/chorus they play an instrumental except for the first verse transitioning into the chorus. CSNY played the song this way in order to give their main idea right away. The instrumentals are in place between the other segments of the song so that the audience has time to reflect upon the words between each transition. Since this song is only composed of a single verse and chorus and is still three minutes in length, I think that CSNY make their audience to focus a lot more on the song's words and meanings behind them. There are not that many lyrics in this song, so each word undoubtedly has a deep meaning. The verse has an abab rhyme scheme while the chorus does not rhyme at all. The verse has this scheme to enforce the image of the autonomous marching of "tin soldiers". The chorus flows more and acts as a call to arms to the audience which adds to the effect that the instruments have. The song is set up in this way so...
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