WATCH: Blinken Plays ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in Kyiv Bar

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken performs "Rockin' in the Free World" w
Brendan Smialowski / Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken performed Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” on the electric guitar on Tuesday night in Kyiv, Ukraine, as part of a solidarity visit to boost morale in the embattled former Soviet republic.

Blinken played rhythm guitar with The 1999 band at the Barman Dictat, a nightspot in the Ukrainian capital.

“I know this is a really, really difficult time,” Blinken said. “You need to know the United States is with you.”

He then began playing the song, originally performed by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. He also attempted to sing.

The scene recalled a bizarre event in the aftermath of a radical Islamic terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris, France, in 2015, when then-Secretary of State John Kerry, having missed a local “unity rally,” sought to console Parisians with a serenade by James Taylor, who performed “You’ve Got a Friend.”

PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 16 : U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) listens US musician James Taylor (R) after a press conference at Paris City Hall on January 16, 2015. (Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“Rockin’ in the Free World’ is not a patriotic song or a celebration of freedom — though it is often misinterpreted that way — but rather a harsh criticism of the West. It was poorly timed — written in 1989, before the fall of communism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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