A Bit Like You And Me Radio

January 18, 2012

Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marching Anymore (1965)

Born in 1940, this protest singer (or topical singer, as he preferred) wrote tons of songs against the USA’s involvement in Vietnam throughout the 1960s. He performed at anti-Vietnam protests, civil rights rallies, student protests, and labor events throughout the ‘60s. Sadly, the 1970s saw his mental health deteriorate and succumb to bipolar disorder and alcoholism before taking his own life in 1976.

This song, sometimes thought of as his signature song, was written as the USA’s involvement in Vietnam began to grow. He stated, “the fact that you won't be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it.” In 1968, he performed the song outside of the Democratic National Convention, which led to hundreds of males to burn their draft cards in protest. He called it the highlight of his career.

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Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marching Anymore (1965)

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Lyrics:

Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British wars
The young land started growin’
The young blood started flowin’
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Injuns
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lyin’
I saw many more a-dyin’
But I ain't a-marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the wars
Always the young to fall
Now look at all 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 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 ’a killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marchin' anymore

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

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese skies
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burnin’
I knew that I was learnin’
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' anymore

No, I ain't marchin' anymore

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