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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Rog Peek Songs for/about Phil Ochs (133* d) RE: Songs for/about Phil Ochs 11 Aug 17

(Jim Clark)

I heard Phil Ochs on internet radio
One night late as I worked from my home
In an outlying province of the old imperial
Lost and forsaken U. S. of A.

And Richard Fariņa was harmonizing sweetly
To a song that I knew but had never heard
In the pre-dawn light of the millennial morning
I scratched these words on the back of a bill

Loaves and fishes and horses and wishes
The virgins go begging to the cold-hearted bridegroom
If Jesus was here he'd climb back on the cross
He'd walk straight back in the shadows of the tomb

Now it's thirty springs since the chair and the belt
And forty dark years on a fast motorbike
The country you loved is a dream you took with you
Now it's monkeys and demons and the ghost of John Train

Where men of the cloth preach murder and hate
And leaders are liars who prove war is peace
One nation under a vengeful God
Whose son disappeared on the road to right now

A mourning dove sang from a bush by my window
As a squad of Blackhawks roared up from the south
They're practicing up for their appointment in Samarra
Then all was quiet, the bird it had flown
Repeat last two lines.

Notes:-Jim said about the song -'One Night Late' is an original song I included as a CD single with my 2007 book NOTIONS- A JIM CLARK MISCELLANY. The book includes an essay, 'Tongue-Tied, with Sore Fingertips, and Little to Show,' about the writing of the song." Song and essay can be found on


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