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For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield

For What It's Worth

Retrospective: The Best of Buffalo Springfield
classic rock 60s folk rock rock folk


While the song has come to symbolize worldwide turbulence and confrontational feelings arising from events during the 1960s (particularly the Vietnam War), Stills reportedly wrote the song in reaction to escalating unrest between law enforcement and young club-goers related to the closing of Pandora's Box, a club on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. The song's title appears nowhere in its lyrics; it is more easily remembered by the first line of chorus: "Stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down." In 2006, Stephen Stills was interviewed by Tom Kent on his radio show "Into the '70s" and pointed out that many people think "For What It's Worth" is about the Kent State Shootings, although it was actually recorded several years before that event.


Buffalo Springfield are a folk rock band which formed in 1966 in Los Angeles, California, United States. The band's original lineup consisted of Neil Young (vocals, guitar), Stephen Stills (vocals, guitar), Richie Furay (vocals, guitar), Bruce Palmer (bass) and Dewey Martin (drums). Palmer left the band in 1968 and was replaced by Jim Messina. The band's only Top 40 single, "For What It's Worth", was released in 1967. The band split in 1968. Despite lasting for under 25 months Show more ...

For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield

There's somethin' happenin' here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun, over there
Tellin' me I got to beware

(I think it's time we)
Stop, children, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?

There's battle lines bein' drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speakin' their minds
Gettin' so much resistance from behind

(It's time we)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singin' songs and carryin' signs
Mostly sayin', "hooray for our side"

(It's time we)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away

(We better)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?
(We better)
Stop, hey, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?
(We better)
Stop, now, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?
(We better)
Stop, children, what's that sound?
Everybody look - what's goin' down?



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