Friday, March 24, 2006

Post an Antiwar Song? Done.

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a blog meme, but SG links to Julia who asks that you post the lyrics to an anti-war song on your blog. So my all-time fave anti-war song: "I Ain't Marching Anymore" By Phil Ochs. If you can, you absolutely need to find the live performance Phil did in Vancouver in 1968. He was still all depressed from Chicago, but it's just an amazing CD. "Marching" is the last song of the CD, and he opens it with a small monologue:

"I'll do for you now, for you nice people here, a protest song. A protest song is defined as something you don't hear on the radio. And they say you don't hear it because the guy can't sing or the words are no good, or because they play... the shit that they play. But it's all got to do with the process. All around the western trail, which includes England, and France, and Canada, and America they have the media syndrome, where they distort everybody's minds with mindless and mind-distorting distortions of the facts which led all of us in to the Vietnamese War and led all of us in to the Kennedy Assasinations.

So, what can you do? Here you are, a helpless soul, a helpless piece of flesh amid all this cruel, cruel machinery and terrible, heartless men. All you can do is turn away from the filth, and hopefully start to build something new someday. And it affects all of us - it affects the people here too.

So here's a turning away song."

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying, I saw many more dying
But I ain't marchin' anymore

(chorus)
It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the 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 marchin' anymore

For I marched to the battles 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 marchin' anymore

(chorus)

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin'
when they close the missile plants,
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 marchin' any more,
No I ain't marchin' any more

2 comments:

ettett said...

DW - a musician friend of mine, annoyed by the homogeneity of this year's South by Southwest festival was in need of the company of some kindred spirits. I thought immediately of Phil's intro to IAMA, fortunately you had already transcribed it for me to pass along to him. Thanks.

john said...

I've got to ask: how exactly did you find it on my page?

Just curious.