The War Is Over(1968)
By Phil Ochs
Album: The War Is Over: The Best Of Phil Ochs

Leave the old and dying America and use your creative energies to help form a new America, which would be de-militarized, more humanistic, where the police are less hostile and closer to the community, where the wealthy are not given unleashed power for the exploitation of the people. .... PhIl Ochs , excerpt from Broadside magazine interview (1968; published 1976)

The War Is Over
The Best Of Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs

Ochs' moral standards may have been impossibly high and improbably naive, but as
an individual, Ochs' impact on music and activism has been far greater than he would have
ever dreamed. The turning point for Ochs came during the 1968 Democratic Nationa lConvention
in Chicago, where angry students and other antiwar activists were literally beaten down by authorities
during demonstrations against the conflict in Vietnam Ochs was severely affected by the police brutality
in Chicago and by the defeat of the new left in general. He lost all hope for the future of his beloved country,
he had reached a point where he had simply lost all inspiration.  Ochs  spent his final autumn in an alcoholic fog,
wandering about New York City in a near-homeless state. He had changed his identity, resigned to his
belief that the moral, compassionate Phil Ochs of his youth had died along with his ideals.
Excerpt of article by Mark Kemp, Music News Editor, Rolling Stone, New York, 1996


Silent Soldiers on a silver screen
Framed in fantasies and dragged in dream
Unpaid actors of the mystery
The mad director knows that freedom will not make you free
And what's this got to do with me
I declare the war is over
It's over, it's over

Drums are drizzling on a grain of sand
Fading rhythms of a fading land
Prove your courage in the proud parade
Trust your leaders where mistakes are almost never made
And they're afraid that I'm afraid

I'm afraid the war is over
It's over, it's over

Angry artists painting angry signs
Use their vision just to blind the blind
Poisoned players of a grizzly game
One is guilty and the other gets the point to blame
Pardon me if I refrain

I declare the war is over
It's over, it's over

So do your duty, boys, and join with pride
Serve your country in her suicide
Find the flags so you can wave goodbye
But just before the end even treason might be worth a try
This country is to young to die

I declare the war is over
It's over, it's over

One-legged veterans will greet the dawn
And they're whistling marches as they mow the lawn
And the gargoyles only sit and grieve
The gypsy fortune teller told me that we'd been deceived
You only are what you believe

I believe the war is over
It's over, it's over