For those of you who are old enough to remember 1971, if you thought things were bad back then…hoo boy.
We sure could use another guy like this these days.
Although I’ve long been aware of him, I never paid much attention to Phil Ochs before, well, just now. But for some reason, he’s been on my mind lately. Like many other artists, he’s certainly proven to be much more popular in death than in life, and it’s too bad he didn’t live to see the culture come back to valuing what he had to say. At least to some extent. As others have noted, most of his songs are still topical today — just substitute names of current leaders for past ones, as in this great job done by Eddie Vedder last year. (Updating references in protest songs is an honorable tradition, and even Phil himself took part — the song in the video is his own rewrite of one of his earlier songs, “Here’s to the State of Mississippi.”)
Happy holidays, peace on earth.