Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Phil Ochs – “Love Me, I’m A Liberal”

Daniel Ahrendt / May 26, 2011

Phils Ochs (The one that isn’t an infant)

The 60s American folk revival had many prolific protest singers in its service, but none were more sharp witted than Phil Ochs. Born on December 19th, 1940, Ochs developed one of the nation’s largest bodies of songs in the Vietnam era U.S and performed at civil rights rallies and labor union events as well as at the famous Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island with other folk giants such as Peter, Paul, & Mary, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan. After arriving in Greenwich Village in 1962, he quickly became an integral figure in the burgeoning scene and eventually staged his first “official” solo performance at Carnegie Hall in ’66. His life after the ’60s was fraught by artistic conundrums and a losing battle with mental stability, culminating in a personality crisis and suicide. Like so many American music geniuses he produced an astounding amount of work in a small, brutalized period, including songs such as  “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” “There But For Fortune,” and “Changes.”

Love Me, I’m A Liberal” wasn’t released on any recordings until his album Phil Ochs In Concert came out in 1966. While it wasn’t actually a true live album as some of the material didn’t come out in their respectively limited live recordings, it was the culmination of his acoustic career. The song in question is a sardonic portrait of the typical ’60s liberal; a hypocrite of aggravating proportions, individuals for whom racial tolerance was a virtue and acceptance wasn’t even an idea. Enjoy.


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