"Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends" as written by and Phil Ochs....
Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
C Em F G
They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
E Am
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
F Am Dm G
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
C Am Eb
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Cm F
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Riding down the highway, yes, my back is getting stiff
Thirteen cars are piled up, they're hanging on a cliff.
Maybe we should pull them back with our towing chain
But we gotta move and we might get sued and it looks like it's gonna rain
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Sweating in the ghetto with the (colored/Panthers) and the poor
The rats have joined the babies who are sleeping on the floor
Now wouldn't it be a riot if they really blew their tops?
But they got too much already and besides we got the cops
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends.

Oh there's a dirty paper using sex to make a sale
The Supreme Court was so upset, they sent him off to jail.
Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine. (*)
But we're busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Smoking marihuana is more fun than drinking beer,
But a friend of ours was captured and they gave him thirty years
Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag, besides we're much too high
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends





Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Outside of a Small Circle of Friends" as written by Phil Ochs

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI'll comment on a Phil Ochs song!!!! :-)

    Alright, the honky-tonk piano in this song and it's sing-songy-ness contrasts sharply with the lyrics of the song, indicating that the narrator of the song is using an ironic point of view. This song mocks liberal-minded individuals (specifically during the sixties) who believed the world should change, but do not take any action toward this goal. The first verse seems to refer to an incident in Queens in 1964 in which a woman got killed, but was clearly within earshot of several people's windows. No one called the police or assisted her. In the third verse, the use of the word "colored" indicates an insensitive view of the racial issue, and the indifference of these people to the problems faced by African Americans.


    I really like this song....I'd never heard that additional verse though....that's interesting...
    VoOrHeEson May 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like the way the song progresses. It starts out with an incident involving one person (inspired by the Kitty Genovese murder).

    The next verse involves a larger group but can still be rationalized as being of interest to a (relatively) small circle of friends - just not as small as in the first verse.

    By the third verse, he has worked his way up to a large segment of the population.

    The fourth verse involves rights of the whole country.

    The irony in the fifth verse is that it refers to " a friend of ours" but still he says it would not interest anyone outside of a small circle of friends.

    The song concludes by repeating the first verse. It reminds us that if we ignore an injustice to one person, then it is easy to ignore more widespread injustices, and soon we are victims, too.
    vweston December 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWHY DOESN'T ANYONE COMMENT ON PHIL OCHS SONGS!? He's great, I love this song...kids, lets watch out for each other...there are too many cases like Kitty Genoveese's in this damn country
    EyesSoBrighton April 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy don't people care about other people? That's the single biggest problem with a capitalist society.
    Relinquo1on May 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBecause you aren't supposed to help anybody but yourself. Capitalism, especially American capitalism, expects you and YOU alone to resolve your problems. I just read something that said the police aren't legally obliged to protect you. Some people in Iowa were murdered and robbed and 911 dispatcher was busy with other calls and didn't even bother to tell the police when the kidnapping call came around.
    OpinionHeadon September 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the way the song progresses. It starts out with an incident involving one person (inspired by the Kitty Genovese murder).

    The next verse involves a larger group but can still be rationalized as being of interest to a (relatively) small circle of friends - just not as small as in the first verse.

    By the third verse, he has worked his way up to a large segment of the population.

    The fourth verse involves rights of the whole country.

    The irony in the fifth verse is that it refers to " a friend of ours" but still he says it would not interest anyone outside of a small circle of friends.

    The song concludes by repeating the first verse. It reminds us that if we ignore an injustice to one person, then it is easy to ignore more widespread injustices, and soon we are victims, too.
    vweston December 20, 2007   Link

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