Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Teach Your Children

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
B-side  "Carry On"
Recorded  October 24, 1969
Label  Atlantic
Released  May 1970
Length  2:53
Genre  Country rock, folk rock

"Teach Your Children" is a song by Graham Nash. Although it was written when Nash was a member of the Hollies, it was never recorded by that group in studio (although a live recording does exist), and first appeared on the album Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released in 1970. The recording features Jerry Garcia on steel guitar. Garcia did not know how to play the steel guitar. 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 an arrangement that in return for his playing steel guitar on "Teach Your Children," CSNY would teach the members of the Grateful Dead how to sing harmony for their upcoming albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Released as a single, the song peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts that year. On the Easy Listening chart, "Teach Your Children" peaked at #28.

Nash, who is also a photographer and collector of photographs, has stated in an interview that the immediate inspiration for the song came from a famous photograph by Diane Arbus, "Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park." 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.

  • In 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale used the song in a campaign commercial on arms control.
  • 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 charts in October 1994, peaking at #75.
  • Dwight Shrute and Michael Scott perform the song in the hit TV show, The Office, during the episode, "Take Your Daughter to Work Day".
  • References

    Teach Your Children Wikipedia