Phil Ochs: Empathy, Beauty, and True Protest

One of the many things that has always struck me about Phil Ochs, was his remarkable capacity for empathy. “There But for Fortune” is the most obvious example (which I will address in another diary), but consider the following gorgeous, virtually encyclopedic, “The Flower Lady,” a meditation on self-imposed isolation, as if everybody—the rich and the poor,  artists and their art, men and women, the Left and the Right, the drunk and the dry, the young and the old—were so wrapped up in their own concerns, their own pain and suffering, that they don’t even perceive those in their midst that they could help and—at least in a small way—lessen the sum total of suffering in the world. I pick this version from a 1966 Montreal concert (there’s no video, just a still picture) because he sings all seven verses.

Read more at Phil Ochs: Empathy, Beauty, and True Protest

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