MOVEMENT 4: REMEMBRANCE
When I saw Phil, I still believed that what I did, what I said really made a difference. His voice was strained from continuous song and cracked in perfect juxtapose to America's pain: the crucifixion of a president, murders in Mississippi, the massacre of convention, the ashes of flags waved for a war without meaning. There was so much to sing. He was buzzed, often forgetting the words. A ragged troubadour on a make-shift stage, unafraid, proud and acceptably self-righteous, recounting a time when stars were too far, insanity too close and hope a smoky dream riddled and twisted by lies and attrition, bigotry, napalm, and cowboy king police taking careful aim at the skulls of children. Somewhere within the dissonance of distorted nationalism, came song, with each abomination, came song, with each blasphemous attempt to justify policy, came song. In a moment, hovering somewhere between rage and commitment, conscience and duty, clarity and confusion, red, white and blue, the words he sang were mine. One of his hands combed back sweat soaked strands of lank brown hair, the other drew rebel strength from a quart of Drewry's. I sang along. I still do.
By Michael Gabryszewski
Gabryszewski, Michael. “Remembering Phil Ochs.” Sensations Magazine, no. 36, Winter2004, pp. 54-55.