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Terreson Profile
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What a find! Phil Ochs


Maybe some will remember how Phil Ochs was an ardent anti-war and civil rights folk singer back in the sixties. Maybe some will remember his voice. Maybe some will remember he killed himself in the early seventies.

I bet few will remember how he took an old poem, a ballad by Alfred Noyes, a contemporary of Eliot's, about a Highwayman robber and put it to music. It sings as true to me now as it did the first time I heard it in '69.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9fWjzYiRUE

Tere
Feb/25/2010, 1:00 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


"though Hell should bar the way."

Beautiful. Thank you.

Chris
Feb/25/2010, 9:39 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


You are welcome, Chrisfriend. I thought I said this last night. I must have watched the video a dozen times. I was remembering reading the poem in Junior year English class, and then hearing Ochs's cover. It was one of those dual events that helped turn me to poetry.

Now fastforward ten, maybe twelve years. I am sitting in a late night diner in Providence, R.I., the town where diners got their start. After midnight and after I closed the restaurant I managed. Diner is packed with late night workers, students, and people trying to sober up. Then this beautiful boy stands out of his booth and recites the whole of the poem. The diner car goes silent, even the cook is not barking out orders. That night I knew he was more a poet than I was.

I've told the story elsewhere. But it bears repeating.

Tere
Feb/25/2010, 8:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


After hearing Ochs version (I was not familiar with the poem) it seems written to be sung...or...recited after hours in a diner somewhere in the wee hours of the morning.

It's an eerie, lovely thing.

Chris
Feb/26/2010, 8:43 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


Oh good! You went to the poem. Chrisfriend I am sitting here chuckling at a certain irony the poem, and my love of it, points to. At poets.org there is a member for whom I am all but the anti-christ. He is a formalist or I guess a neo-formalist forever insisting on traditional, closed form versifying. More than once he had tried to embarrass me by saying to the board I know nothing about the old, prosodic rules. He was also forever extolling the poetry of Robert Service who, like Noyes, traded in the traditional stuff and whose ballads I also respond to.

Sweet is the irony, ne's pas?

Tere
Feb/26/2010, 7:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
libramoon Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvK1n6ArYMc

Jim & Jean cover of Phil Ochs' Crucifixion

Last edited by Terreson, Jul/10/2010, 11:50 am
Jul/9/2010, 9:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


Libramoon my edit amounts to adding the hyperlink function to make the site more accessible. Hope you don't mind.

Tere
Jul/10/2010, 11:52 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


Wow! What an exquisite cover and new to me. I don't know about anyone else, and dating myself, but I miss the habit of ballading, so to speak. I suppose there is rap...I suppose.

While listening I found this video. I think the graphics bring out the universal thing Ochs had taken in. Sure miss him and his kind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd8sirz99zo&NR=1

Tere
Jul/10/2010, 12:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
libramoon Profile
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Re: What a find! Phil Ochs


Thanks. It is often my favorite song.
Jul/10/2010, 3:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 


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