There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Some people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Strange that a song from a folk-rock band of the 1960s should be so appropriate for Sri Lanka in the twenty-first century, but there it is – word for word (except for one small change where I took the liberty of adding the word ‘some’ in place of ‘young’ in order for it to be most applicable to our situation). Originally written in 1966 by Steven Stills in response to what he witnessed when the LAPD’s actions against demonstrators in Los Angeles, the song went on to be probably the biggest hit for the folk-rock group Buffalo Springfield in their short-lived career.

Buffalo Springfield
, a group that had some heavyweights in the field of folk-rock, consisted of Steven Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin, who combined to make some memorable music. And although the band was relatively short-lived, it sure helped launch the individual careers of the members.

Steven Stills went on to be a major force when he joined up with David Crosby (formerly of The Byrds) and Graham Nash (formerly of The Hollies), and later added Neil Young to the lineup, making Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – a very popular group of the late 60s and seventies. The band was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Neil Young went on to be a very successful solo artiste and made some memorable music.

Jim Messina and Richie Furay went on to form Poco and later Messina teamed up with Kenny Loggins to form Loggins and Messina.

Dewey Martin tried to keep the name of the band going when he formed The New Buffalo Springfield, but a lawsuit with regard to the use of the name stopped that effort after a short while and he then formed the group Medicine Ball, which didn’t do too much.

Bruce Palmer, after a jam inspired solo album, faded into obscurity and passed away in 2004.

A great band whilst they lasted, Buffalo Springfield was one of those heavyweight groups of the sixties that made memorable music and created a platform for some of the superstars of the era.

For What It’s Worth , the words of the song remain oh so applicable to the present situation in Sri Lanka.

Hey man, what’s that sound? Everybody just look around….

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