Coundown To Oblivion – Top Five Anti-War Songs…….# 5

I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore- Phil Ochs

Authored by Dale Nickey:

Phil Ochs died a broken man. A handsome, earnest semi-talent who had the misfortune of plying his ’young man with a message’ trade at a time when Bob Dylan was plowing exactly the same furrow with seismic results. Ochs eventually lost his voice, his muse, his mind and succumbed to alcohol in a vain attempt to squash the paranoia and demons that consumed him. And some say he suffered living in the shadow of an American icon (Dylan) that was everything Ochs wanted to be.

Nevertheless, Ochs left a few gems in his wake. One of them being the (1965) anti-war classic, “I Ain’t  Marchin’ Anymore”.  Ochs takes the ‘universal soldier’ angle and arms the tune with a supple melody and meaty harmonic structure. Ochs gives us a laundry list of America’s wars going back to 1812 and asks the question that nags all historians, “tell me is it worth it all…?”  A graceful bridge section gives respite from the the barrage of verses.  “I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” is a classic Folk song from a classic Folk artist. It’s a period curio to be sure, but this performance still stands the test of time.



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