Teach Your Children
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Writer(s): Graham Nash (see lyrics here)
Released: May 1970
First Charted: June 5, 1970
Peak: 16 US, 16 CB, 13 GR, 16 HR, 26 AC, 4 CL, 8 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): --
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 18.1 video, 67.47 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are arguably the biggest supergroup of all time. Each member is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Their collective effort was recognized as were their previous groups. David Crosby had been with the Byrds, Stephen Stills & Neil Young with Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash with the Hollies.
It was a song written by Nash while with the Hollies that became one of CSNY’s most beloved songs. In 1968, he penned “Teach Your Children” but the Hollies didn’t record the song until 1983. Crosby, Stills & Nash initially recorded it in 1969 for their debut album, but then held it over until their second album, Déjà Vu, WKSF
Nash said it “started out as a slightly funk English folk song but Stephen put a country beat to it and turned it into a hit record.” SF It also featured the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia is featured on pedal steel guitar. Those two elements helped land the song amongst Dave’s Music Database lists of the top 100 folk/folk-rock songs as well as Southern rock/country rock songs. Cash Box cited the song for its “delicately composed material” and “incredible soft harmony luster.” WK
Nash wrote the song about his own difficult relationship with his father, who spent time in prison. SF However, he has also associated the song with a 1962 Diane Arbus photo of an angry child holding a toy hand grenade. It “prompted Nash to reflect on the societal implications of messages given to children about war and other issues.” WK
An updated version of “Teach Your Children” with a new arrangement was used for an Apple II computer TV commercial in 1985 “to show how to prepare your kids for the modern world.” SF Crosby, Stills & Nash re-recorded the song in 1994 with country artists Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss, and Kathy Mattea to benefit AIDS awareness.
First posted 3/14/2023.