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"I Ain't Marching Anymore" - Phil Ochs, Where have all the protest singers gone ...

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I became aware of Phil Ochs in the early '70s but he faded from my memory long ago. What brought him back to mind was reading the bio of Jim Glover, a member here at OpEdNews:

Jim Glover attended Ohio State University, where he met Phil Ochs in the fall of 1960[1] and introduced Ochs to folk music, leftist politics, and taught him how to play guitar.[2][3] Glover introduced Ochs to the music of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and The Weavers.

Phil Ochs was a great protest singer who wrote consciousness-awakening songs and played them with good guitar and sang them with a really neat voice. He knew how to make the kind of penetrating protest points we used to hear from protest singers so clearly in the past, word it so well, and put it to music.

I would guess a few of you here might remember him, but probably not most. We could use a singer-songwriter like Phil Ochs again today. Where have all the protest singers gone ...

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To Jim Glover, thank you for introducing Phil Ochs to folk music, leftist politics and teaching him to play guitar.

Phil Ochs, "I Ain't Marching Anymore."

"I Ain't Marching Anymore"

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Oh, I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British wars
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't a-marching anymore

Oh I killed my share of Injuns in a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men a-lying
I saw many more a-dying
But I ain't a-marching anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the wars
Always the young to fall
Now look at what we've won with a saber and a gun
Tell me is it worth it all?

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others
But I ain't a-marching anymore

For I marched to the battle of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't a-marching anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the wars
Always the young to fall
Now look at what we've won with a saber and a gun
Tell me is it worth it all?

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For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
But I saw the cities burnin'
And I knew that I was learnin'
That I ain't a-marching anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin' when they closed the missile plant
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore
Call it peace or call it treason
Call it love or call it reason
But I ain't a-marching anymore
I ain't a-marching anymore


PHIL OCHS~I AIN'T MARCHING ANYMORE The Late, Great Phil Ochs(folk/social commentary singer)1940-1976 did more for Peace than any soldier ever did for war!
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David Watts

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Phils Ochs recorded many really good protest songs. Wish he were still here. He had a way about him that I think would get people, especially young people, to listen and to think about what is really going on in this upside-down, inside-out, mostly- anymore-inhumane, world.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 2:33:49 AM

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Thank you for posting this, David. Like you, I wonder where the song-gods went. And I wish they would come back

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 4:03:41 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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The media would not touch Ochs today. There are protest singers out there but their audience is very limited.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 1:52:17 AM

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There are still lots of good topical "protest singers" around. They don't get anywhere near the airplay even Phil got. Look for David Rovics, and you will find what you are looking for.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 6:51:55 PM

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thanks, b.ross. will definitely look for David Rovics. (can ya' tell I miss the ol' days?) :)

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 7:17:56 PM

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Thanks, I just looked and he has quite a number of songs. I listened to a couple and they are good.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 10:38:01 PM

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I'll check him out. Thanks.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 10:10:01 PM

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Nice job David! but post a few more videos please:)

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 6:52:56 PM

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Here is our local protest singer from Greenfield, Ma., Ben Grosscup singing his updated version of Love Me I'm a Liberal.

.youtube.com/watch?v=GqNxne97ubc


Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 8:57:10 PM

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Very good! Ben brought the lyrics up to date and does the song really well. Thanks.

When I first listened to Phils Ochs' song "...I'm a Liberal," I just had to smile. It made me chuckle listening to Ochs sing the irony of what a liberal can be.

But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

:)

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 10:54:24 PM

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There was much more to the sixties than even old hippies give it credit for. The peace and freedom awakening came down from above.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 9:13:14 PM

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Dave Lindorff

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I was in Central Park for the celebration of the Vietnamese victory over the US and the end of that horrible war, and heard Phil Ochs play what I believe was one of if not the last public performance of his too short life. Joan Baez got up on stage with him. He sang beautifully, bringing us all to tears, but he hung his head throughout his event, and was clearly deeply depressed, with Joan kind of propping him up. It was a bit over a year later when he killed himself. I remember that too. I was part of a group running an alternative paper, the LA Vanguard, in Los Angeles. We had the awesome Ron Cobb as our cartoonist. A close friend of Ochs, he came in one day in tears and told us of the suicide. Then drew a Cobb classic about it which we ran that issue.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 10:59:23 PM

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I tried to find the Cobb classic cartoon that Cobb drew regarding Ochs. Could not find it...

It must have been hard watching Ochs hang his head throughout the performance... And it must have been extra hard on Joan hearing Ochs took his life apparently not long after they sang together.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 5:23:07 AM

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I have the actual article that Cobb cartoon appeared in. It's in a bound set of hard copies of all the issues of the Los Angeles Vanguard newspaper I ran. I have to dig it out of one of the boxes of books in my office. When I find it (maybe today?) I'll take a photo of the cartoon and post it here.


Meanwhile ya'll should google "Ron Cobb cartoons". He is not just an amazing artist with wit and political acumen. He also was contracted by LucasFilms to design the creatures in the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie.

Dave Lindorff

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Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 11:39:18 AM

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

Thanks Dave. It is neat you actually have the cartoon; but don't spend much time trying to dig it out. I do appreciate the thought though. I will check back but first, I am going to check out some of Ron Cobb's cartoons... :)

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:12:58 PM

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After just a quick check of Ron Cobb's cartoons I am hooked. There are so many I could have copied here but I just grabbed two. The second one about the "Industrial Revolution" is interesting; partly because he did the cartoon in 1968! That cartoon is a lot more pertinent to today than it was back then!


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Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 4:45:16 PM

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Carol R Campbell

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I've been trying an old-fashioned version of Subversion: I am encouraging all the 'Lovable Liberals' I meet, to gather their Families and friends for the next 3 Day Weekend; and challenge them to a Monopoly Party.

Beer and Hot Dogs & Non-stop Games - Winner takes All, with a New Winner everyday!

Should result in the 'Winners' having as many Enemies as Trump, Mueller, and Jeff Bozo - Oops, that should read Jeff Bezo.

The Sore-Losers will be looking for a good Revolution to join - and/or, organizing Firing Squads to take out the Capitalistic Bastards who grabbed all the money!

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 11:16:03 PM

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"Lovable Liberals," all vying to be the take-all winner. Carol, I think this idea of yours has some potential! But be careful, don't YOU be the winner-take-all. They might mistake you for being a Capitalistic Bastard.

A few more 'Lovable Liberal' lines from Phil Ochs:

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 3:24:45 AM

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Reply to Carol R Campbell:   New Content

LOL! That sounds like an idea worth passing around. I will! Thanks.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 10:08:08 PM

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Michael Dewey

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Some people may not give this a chance. Rock and Roll are the Pearls (As I call the peals) of Thunder kept secret in Revelations 10, and have been revealing some of the mysteries of the great spirits up above. They are also the holy people whose power is about shattered in Daniel 12:7. Please notice that the only 2 times someone raised his hands and swore about these times was in both Daniel 12:7 & Revelations 10 so the 2 do tie together. All am trying to say is these latter days are not going to happen the way that the church has said they were going to happen.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 3:51:55 PM

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