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Song IconCrosby, Stills, Nash & Young "Teach Your Children"

About "Teach Your Children"

"Teach Your Children" is a song written by Graham Nash in 1968 when he was a member of the Hollies. Although it was never recorded by that group in a studio, the Hollies did record it live in 1983. After the song was initially recorded for the album Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969, a much more enhanced version of the song was recorded for the album Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, released in 1970. As a single, the song peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts that year. On the Easy Listening chart, it peaked at No. 28. In Canada, "Teach Your Children" reached No. 8. Reviewing the song, Cash Box commented on the "incredible soft harmony luster" and "delicately composed material." Billboard called it "a smooth country-flavored ballad that should prove an even bigger hit on the charts [than 'Woodstock']." Stephen Stills gave the song its "country swing", replacing the "Henry VIII" style of Nash's original demo.Nash, who is also an accomplished photographer and collector of photographs, associated the song's message with a famous 1962 photo by Diane Arbus, Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, shortly after writing the song. The image, which depicts a child with an angry expression holding the toy weapon, prompted Nash to reflect on the societal implications of messages given to children about war and other issues.The recording features Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. Garcia taught himself how to play the instrument during his tenure with the New Riders of the Purple Sage. He told Lon Goddard of the British music newspaper Record Mirror in an interview that he recorded a series of pieces on the steel guitar and spliced them together in the studio to create the backing and solo. Garcia had made a deal that in return for his playing steel guitar on "Teach Your Children," CSNY would help members of the Grateful Dead improve their vocal harmony for their upcoming albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty.

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