On the transportation of Phil Ochs to the modern world
Call it “Peace” or call it “Treason,”
Call it “Love” or call it “Reason,”
But I ain’t marchin’ any more, – Phil Ochs
The Man, the hero, (well my hero anyway)
Stepped out of the time machine
He looked around
He looked up and down
He marvelled at the new
He harked back to the old
He whispered, he screamed, he cried:
But what about the songs we sang?
What about the marches we marched?
Where did it all go wrong?
Why have so many innocents died?
He wondered at technology,
He longed for simpler times
He was undone by the misery
And all the endless crimes
But he stood tall and sure and stated once again
We are only as strong as the weakest of men
We are only as free as a padlocked prison door
But why oh why did they not listen?
Why did they not learn?
Why does brother still kill brother?
Why are the poor still trodden down?
And I looked the great man, the voice of reason, in his eye
And I told him I didn’t know
I told him I was ashamed that I hadn’t done more
I said that in the end I had given up
I ain’t marching anymore
And he laid his hand upon me
And he spoke so soft and sweet and raised me from my knees
To stand upon my feet
He said I too, I think would have given up
No more to fight the good fight, I fear
Please, won’t you take me home now?
He whispered through his tears.
And in the darkness, in the long cold night
I hope, I dream, I cry for wisdom and fortitude
For courage and great strength
But when history is my witness
And I see that all I did was ‘ere in vain
Then I too will leave here to be free of the sting,
The agony, the shame.
We did not listen to our poets nor hark our minstrels words
And on and on we spiral down
With each advance
With each new toy
We make out world a little worse
But much worse by far is the truth
For we do not listen still.