Saturday, August 02, 2008

So Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, I'm a Liberal

Phil Ochs (1940-1976) was an important voice in the antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam. His songs had a sharp edge, often combined with real humor. I saw him perform at the University of Minnesota, in front of thousands, after Nixon invaded Cambodia, and the school was virtually shut down. He had serious personal issues as alcoholism, manic depression. He wasn't associated with a group, but he was a Gene McCarthy supporter in 1968. He performed at Grant Park, during the 68' Democratic Party convention. This Youtube video is not Phil.

I'm A Liberal

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal



Red Jenny said...

I love this song. Hilarious!

Dave Brown said...

Was this a trick? 1968 was his political rebirth at the Democratic Convention according to your Wikipedia link.
His suicide was 1976.
Obviously this was a huge loss for us all.
Death to capitalism not your self!
Thanks for the post.

Memet Çagatay said...

Hello Ren,

I first heard Phil Ochs' name a couple of years ago when I came across Evan Greer's cover of "Love me I'm a Liberal". I was fascinated by the song so that I couldn't resists to admire its original writer. This is still one of my favorite Ochs' songs.

Everyone knows that this song is a sarcastic critique of the hypocritical political attitude of liberal democrats. This is explicit. But, it also represents a particular political posture which is also commonly assumed by liberals. It is the obsessive activity, ie. excessive participation in artificial political rituals just to avoid the encounter with the unpleasant consequences of real political activity.


jams o donnell said...

I'd not heard this song before Ren, thanks for sharing

Graeme said...

Ha! I love it.

Mad Zionist said...

Very clever. Not that I buy into the politic, but I do respect the way he called out the phony, hypocritical, latte liberals.

Frank Partisan said...

Red Jenny: Thank you for visiting. I wish you did more often.

Dave: I fixed the post.

Jams: I think you'd like Och's other songs as well.

Graeme: He sang in front of thousands, at the University of MN.

Mehmet Çagatay: Really good point. Not many understand Marx as well as you.

MZ: Are you going to write Love Me I'm A Liberal Zionist Self hating Jew?

troutsky said...

Sweet. I'll be singing this at the next Obama rally.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Another thing it points out is how liberals are always passing or promoting laws for other people to follow while knowing damn well they would never adhere to them themselves. In the line about busing for instance.

Your typical hypocritical liberal will gladly pass laws forcing everyone elses kids to ride buses in some cases two hours a day, while they send their own kids to private schools. Of course, their own kids are more highly evolved than all us common folk, so they don't need to do that.

Since gas prices are so high and we have such an energy problem, and all those carbon exhaust fumes are (supposedly) contributing to man-made(up) Gorebal Warming, maybe they'll do something to reduce the number of school buses and the miles they put on the road and actually invest money in local schools and allowing people in their own neighborhoods to actually attend those schools.

I wouldn't count on it though. Your typical limousine liberal will find an excuse to keep that old system going. After all the more gas that is burned on the road and the higher gas taxes on that gas and diesal fuel is, then the more tax money they can rake in.

You know, for "infrastructure".

Larry Gambone said...

I remember Ochs and his fine songs back in the 1960's. What a pity he suffered from depression and killed himself. Thanks for posting this fine puncturing of liberal hypocrisy, Ren.

celticfire said...

<-- misses Phil Ochs :*-(

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: Conservatism doesn't have answers either. That is why we are seeing the death of it. Conservatives are losing the cultural role, and politically they oppose popular programs.

Bush died when he attacked Social Security. The land the oil companies want, contrary to what both liberals and conservatives say, is not for drilling. It's for speculation.

McCain owns more homes, and wrecked more airplanes, than most will ever do.

Troutsky: Obama isn't really a liberal. I would say he is close to Bush41.

Celticfire: He was good in person.

Larry: See this.

Entdinglichung said...

the updated version of Jello Biafra/Mojo Nixon

Ducky's here said...

Renegade, some of the off shore dust up is about speculation but the prize is ANWAR.
Politicos want to get us back to a "drill and drive" energy policy as soon as possible in order to keep folks comfortable. If an American feels fat and comfy then he thinks he's free.

Red Jenny said...

Entdinglichung, that Dick Scary vid is great! I have to pass it on.

white rabbit said...

I knew Phil Ochs basically through the 'Tape from California' album - wonderful stuff, sad life - he deserves to be much better known.

Frank Partisan said...

Entdinglichung: I've heard the updated version before. To update it more, it needs a Chavez verse.

Ducky: The oil at ANWAR, like any oil, will sell on the open market, like other oil. There was a bill to the effect that the oil from ANWAR can only go to the US, but it was defeated.

white rabbit: "Small Circle of Friends" is a nice song too.

Mariamariacuchita said...

I saw him sing once.. I did not know he committed suicide. He and John Prine were both witty and able to hit the mark of hypocrisy during this time. This song gave me chills. Thanks for the memory.

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