Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Greatness of Phil Ochs

I do not delve enough on this blog into cultural topics.  It is a deficit and one I do periodically lament.  I am not sure why, to be honest, because I am every bit a part of this society as the next person.  And musically, I pretty much listen to almost all types, even the occasional country music song, along of course with classical, jazz, hip-hop, rap, punk, and rock.  Still, I have not always been what you would call a fan of folk music.  To be sure, because of my upbringing, I grew up with union songs like this.

Nevertheless, outside of the standard union ballads of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, since they wrote so many labor songs, it was not until my adult years that I began to explore and gain a greater appreciation for folk music.  My discovery of Phil Ochs was a revelation for me.  I did not begin listening to Ochs until I was in college and I wondered how on earth I had not heard of him before, although I had grown up after his death.  Well, this may be why so few Americans know of the sacrifices made by our laboring classes in the 19th century to bring us the 8 hour workday--because the people who own this country, and your contract, do not want you to know.

There is no better time than the present to remedy this shortfall.  Without further ado, one of my favorite folk songs from one of this country's most underrated folk singers.

OK, he had another that I am really partial to, as well.

Whoever posted those, a million thank yous. 

And to those of us who have these songs handed down to us, we should do more than just appreciate them.  We should disseminate them en masse.  Who knows, in maybe a few more years the wars really will be over.  The peoples we bomb, occupy, and oppress deserve nothing less.

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