Phil Ochs – When in Rome (+ guitar chords)

This very well may be one of the most violent lyrics in music, but Phil Ochs as a 68’er, can only be understood through an understanding of those events. He was not a prophetic writer as for instance noted by Peter Yarrow (as quoted from the documentary There But for Future), he was writing in protest! Understanding the violence in these lyrics is to understand the violence that Phil Ochs, and most of his contemporaries, were enduring. Although most of us have […]

Constantine P. Cavafy – Ithaca

As you set out for Ithaca, hope the way is long, full of reversals, full of knowing. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon you should not fear, never will you find such things on your way if your thought stays lofty, if refined emotion touches your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, savage Poseidon you will not meet, if you do not carry them with you in your soul, if your soul does not raise them […]

Leopardi – To the Moon

Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) is considered a pessimist by most, if not all, his readers. Most of his poems are not only sad, they reek of depression. His readers remember him as someone who had poor eyesight, mostly due to his vigilant reading in a dark room with only one candle. Some claim he was poor, though that is most likely a misconception. And in addition to that, his reading was probably a cause for him […]

Phil Ochs – Changes (+ guitar chords)

In an interview in 1967, Phil Ochs is introduced in a peculiar way. The hostess of ‘Come, read to me a poem’ summarizes Ochs by saying: “Much of the poetry written today, is the poetry written as music … much of that music has beautiful words to it too”. And isn’t that the case with this particular ‘poem’. Phil Ochs was more than just a musician, he was a 68’er. This is not recognized by Anglo-Saxons […]