Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore – meaningful lyrics.

Phil Ochs


Phil Ochs was one of my heroes – a man who was prepared to speak out for what he believed. The establishment labelled him a Protest Singer. There is a lot to protest about. What they meant by their demeaning label was that he was a man who put meaning into his songs. They were not trite. They had feeling, passion and purpose.
Phil sung to raise awareness and change the world.
He wanted it to be better.
He was an optimistic idealist. He believed you could change the world.
I’m an optimistic idealist too. I want a better world and I believe you can bring that about through singing, writing and raising awareness.
I believe we do change the world.
The only problem being that there’s lot who want it just as bad as it is. They profit from it. They are pushing the other way.
I believe if we don’t continue to push it will slide into being ven worse. But if enough of us believe in making it better we can change the zeitgeist.
It’s that simple,.
Phil believed that the warmongering of nations was wrong. There are better ways to deal with issues. Violence breeds violence. History proves him correct.

This is his most famous anti-war song:

I Ain’t Marching Anymore

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 marching 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 marching anymore

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 marching 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 marching anymore

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 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 marching 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 marching anymore
No, I ain’t marching anymore

Read more: Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore

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