Teach Your Children

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"Teach Your Children"
Single by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
from the album Déjà Vu
B-side"Carry On"
ReleasedMay 1970 (1970-05)
RecordedOctober 24, 1969
Songwriter(s)Graham Nash
Producer(s)Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young singles chronology
"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.[2] On the Easy Listening chart, it peaked at No. 28.[3] In Canada, "Teach Your Children" reached No. 8.[4] Reviewing the song, Cash Box commented on the "incredible soft harmony luster" and "delicately composed material."[5] Billboard called it "a smooth country-flavored ballad that should prove an even bigger hit on the charts [than 'Woodstock']."[6] Stephen Stills gave the song its "country swing", replacing the "Henry VIII" style of Nash's original demo.[7]

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.[8][9][10]

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.[11] 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.


Chart history[edit]

"The Red Hots" (1994)[edit]

In 1994, Crosby, Stills & Nash re-recorded the song with guest vocals from country music artists Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss and Kathy Mattea, crediting the recording to "The Red Hots". This version was included on the album Red Hot + Country, a release by the Red Hot Organization benefiting AIDS awareness. The Red Hots' version of the song spent one week on the Hot Country Songs chart in October 1994, at No. 75.[23]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2015). "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Ohio". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. New York: Universe. p. 272.
  2. ^ "Déjà Vu: Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 67.
  4. ^ RPM Weekly 100, August 1, 1970
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. May 30, 1970. p. 42. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  6. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. May 30, 1970. p. 76. Retrieved 2023-04-27.
  7. ^ Allen, Jim (December 6, 2018). "Making 'Déjà Vu' and the Early Days of CSN: An Interview with Graham Nash". Reverb. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  8. ^ Nash, Graham (Fall 2009). "Graham Nash on Diane Arbus's Child With a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962". Aperture. No. 196. p. 88. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  9. ^ Varga, George (January 5, 2006). "Listening Post: As a Photographer, Graham Nash Still Hears the Music". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
  10. ^ Nash, Graham (September 18, 2017). Song Stories: "Teach Your Children". Reverb. Retrieved September 15, 2022 – via YouTube (official channel).
  11. ^ "Jerry Garcia And The Pedal Steel Guitar". No Depression. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ RPM Weekly 100, August 1, 1970
  14. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1970" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 61.
  17. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, August 1, 1970 Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  18. ^ "RECORD WORLD MAGAZINE: 1942 to 1982". worldradiohistory.com. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  19. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  20. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. 17 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1970" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  24. ^ "WKRP in Cincinnati - I Want to Keep My Baby (TV Episode 1979) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  25. ^ Mondale ad
  26. ^ "Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young". Songfacts. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  27. ^ "The Wonder Years - Road Trip (TV Episode 1991) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  28. ^ "The X-Files - Rm9sbG93ZXJz (TV Episode 2018) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 16 November 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Crosby, Stills and Nash (1974). Teach Your Children. Atlantic Records – via YouTube (official channel).