love me, I'm a liberal

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Another phil ochs song. I am not fond of labels like liberal, conservative, radical, reactionary - at least not the way these words are used in the contemporary USA. Labels can be useful, especially on canned food - but they can so easily get in the way of real conversation. Feminist is another label that gets my ire. Hippie, Yuppie, DINK, labels and categories and cubbyholes - I think that these can deny each of us our humanity. Things just get so very twisted.
Some one that I get email from has a signature line that is cited as a quote from Jack Kerouac "I am not a beatnik, I am a Catholic." But even that self-identification can get distorted. I would like to think that I am Catholic and that Frances Kissling is not. But the reality is that anyone who was baptised Catholic is Catholic, just some of us are bad Catholics and some of us are worse. We are all sinners, after all.
I remember hearing several times that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. I have to admit that in my pharisaical self-righteousness I get angry and upset with those who simply warm the pews at Sunday Mass, or worse yet, use the church I love as a bludgeon while openly defying her truths. But I've been there too.
What was it that Matthew said about whited sepulchers, hypocrites, etc? Here it is, Mt 23:13-39

Love Me, I'm a Liberal
By Phil Ochs

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
E C#m
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
F#7 B7
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
G#m A
He got what he asked for this time
E C#m A B7 E
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
Of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
As long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crane?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democtratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Sonny Ochs says: "Lerner & Golden were both columnists with left-leaning tendencies. Harry Golden, a humorist, wrote some marvelous books and short stories. One I recall is his plan for integration in schools in the south (this was back when). Since the Southerners didn't mind blacks standing next to whites when making purchases in stores, he proposed that they take out all the chairs in the schools and let the students stand to learn. He called this "vertical integration."

Jason V. says: "Les Crane had a talk show based in NYC. Crane was quite liberal, and had many folksingers on his show.

Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon did a cover of this song with some updated lyrics (on their album "Prairie Home Invasion." Mojo Nixon sang this updated version solo on Comedy Central during their 1996 State of the Union show.

Chords supplied by Guy Matz and corrected by James Barnett.

Jan Hauenstein says ``Phil Ochs didn´t write the melody which comes from an old Irish folk song, "Rosin the Bow". That melody also found a new home in several American folk songs before Phil put it to good use. The melody for the "chorus-line" (Love me, love me, love me, I´m a liberal) is probably original Ochs, though.''


"The Church is a Hospital" is a very Orthodox statement, so I agree with it for your faith as well.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on April 11, 2006 9:31 PM.

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