Phil Ochs – Power & Glory

This is the ultimate in patriotic songs. Do you love your country as it is? Is that patriotic? To love it right or wrong?

Or do you want to change it to become something better?

Phil was saying that a country is only as good as the freedom it gives people, how it treats the poor and its system of justice.

I would add to that the way it treats nature.

We in the West have tremendous power. Are we using it to create a fair just world?

I think not.

We are using our power to control people, to wage war, to exploit people. We are creating an unjust society in which the wealthy elite have all the power, control elections with their funding, control government with their lobbying and exploit everybody else for profit. A land where justice is metered out to the poor but doesn’t apply to the rich, where taxation is accounted to the last penny for the poor but is evaded by the rich. A land which is being systematically destroyed for profit as open cast mines, deforestation and sea-bed trawling destroys habitats and wipes out wildlife.

We live in a land that is exercising its power but has no glory.

So what is the strength of freedom?

It’s glory does rest with us all. We have the power to democratically vote in people who are honest and will represent us and not that powerful elite. I do not think that can be found in the lies of a self-serving billionaire or of a party that represents business executives no matter how glib they may sound.

I want to live in a country that has glory because it does the right things and has moral integrity. We are far from achieving that. There is no glory to be seen. This is a country that sells itself to the highest bidder. We are the whores of the world.

Power and Glory – Phil Ochs

Come and take a walk with me through this green and growing land
Walk through the meadows and the mountains and the sand
Walk through the valleys and the rivers and the plains
Walk through the sun and walk through the rain

Here is a land full of power and glory
Beauty that words cannot recall
Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom
Her glory shall rest on us all, on us all

From Colorado, Kansas, and the Carolinas too
Virginia and Alaska, from the old to the new
Texas and Ohio and the California shore
Tell me, who could ask for more?

Yet she’s only as rich as the poorest of her poor
Only as free as the padlocked prison door
Only as strong as our love for this land
Only as tall as we stand

Here is a land full of power and glory
Beauty that words cannot recall
Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom
Her glory shall rest on us all, on us all

 

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