When National Guard troops opened fire on protesting students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, Neil Young was furious. The photos published in Life magazine made him even angrier. Feeling powerless to do anything else, he hammered out the classic “Ohio” in less than an hour.
Calling the rest of CSNY together, they found a studio, recorded the song on May 21 in three or four takes. Atlantic rush-released the single and had was on the radio in two weeks. It remains one of the greatest political protest songs of all time.
On Monday night, Lana Del Rey returned home, shaken by the carnage in El Paso and Dayton. She called songwriter/producer Jack Antonoff over to her studio. “I’ve got a song,” she said.
Then came the Instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
Hi folks came back early from Montecito with my brother this morning and asked Jack Antonoff to come into town because I had a song on my mind that I wanted to write. Now I know I’m not a politician and I’m not trying to be so excuse me for having an opinion- but in light of all of the mass shootings and the back to back shootings in the last couple of days which really affected me on a cellular level I just wanted to post this video that our engineer Laura took 20 minutes ago. I hope you like it. I’m singing love to the choruses I recorded this morning. I’m going to call it ‘Looking for America ‘ @jackantonoff @sharp_stick
The song is now done and ready for worldwide consumption.