Neil Young wrote “Ohio,” recorded with Crosby, Stills, and Nash in two days and distributed as quickly. “Ohio” was a message to America to do something about the deaths, the war, and the breakup of the country:
As an epic moment of truth, “Ohio” did sound a call to action, but like the vast majority of successful rockers, none of the members of CSNY was truly part of a social movement. They stayed clear of day-to-day organizing and ongoing moral support of activists. The truth didn’t last, nor did the “language of showdown, shootout, and face-off,” as Todd Gitlin described the discourse of the extreme right and left at the time.
This fact has on occasion prompted historians and others to ask some tough questions of the times. George Lipsitz asks, was the music of the sixties the “product of young people struggling to establish their own artistic visions, or was it the creation of marketing executives eager to cash in on demographic trends by tailoring mass media commodities to the interests of the nation’s largest age cohort?”  After all, by 1970, records and tapes brought in over $2 billion, close to 80 percent of the revenue from the ranks of rock and roll.
The questions are important for thinking about youth culture as a whole, but anti-war songs were certainly not the best sellers of the time. In fact the only song to reach anthem-like influence in anti-war circles—but in no way as influential as “We Shall Overcome” for the Civil Rights Movement—was