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Bob Dylan – She Belongs to Me Lyrics 15 years ago
yeah, I also notice that the lyrics basically contradict the title of the song.

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Simon and Garfunkel – The Dangling Conversation Lyrics 15 years ago
When I hear this song, I always imagine the characters being sort of like Frazier Crane and Lilith from the TV show...I guess because it all seems so over-intellectual and high culture. Especially the questions in the last verse about "analysis" and "the theatre." Of course, in the TV show Frazier and Lilith did end up breaking up so I guess this is one form of art imitating another or something.

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Grateful Dead – St. Stephen Lyrics 16 years ago
This song may or may not be about Stephen Gaskin, a late sixties San Francisco counterculture figure who later moved (along with quite a few other hippies) to Tennessee where they founded the commune/intentional community called "The Farm" which still exists and where Stephen is still living. I have met him several times and nominated him to be the Green Party candidate for President in 2000.

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Phil Ochs – Here's to the State of Richard Nixon Lyrics 16 years ago
I think this is on some hard to find compilation album, not sure what the title of the album was. It was also IIRC originally released as one side of a single. It is basically a re-write of "Here's to the State of Mississippi" which was on the "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore" album.

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Phil Ochs – Draft Dodger Rag Lyrics 16 years ago
This song is about the likes of Danny Quayle and George Dubbya Bush. The sort of rich cowards who are all for war just so long as they don't have to do any of the killing or dying. Who don't think twice about sending other people to kill and be killed so that they may have their money, oil, and power.

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Phil Ochs – Cops Of The World Lyrics 16 years ago
Like so many of Phil Ochs' songs, this one remains relevant many years after his tragic suicide. I wish he had found the strength to stay alive and keep writing and singing, because we need him now more than ever, in these days of Gee Dumbya "Baby Doc" Bush and his Gang O'Fascists.

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Phil Ochs – Here's to the State of Richard Nixon Lyrics 17 years ago
I have updated this one to "Here's to the State of Georgie Dubbya!" Everything that Ochs says about Tricky Dicky is even more true of Little Georgie, the Coward in Chief. I change the Billy Graham reference to Jerry Falwell, although last I knew Graham was still around.

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Phil Ochs – Love Me, I'm A Liberal Lyrics 17 years ago
This is a VERY relevant song once again, with the sell-out Establishment Democrats taking pot shots at Ralph Nader and the Green Party. The Greens are the ones who are really working for progressive values, but the Dems try to shame people into voting for their Republican-wannabe candidates instead.

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Simon and Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence Lyrics 17 years ago
Another song based (at least in part) on the Genovese case is "A Small Circle of Friends" by Phil Ochs. The Ochs song is also more generally about people's indifference to the suffering of others.

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Simon and Garfunkel – The Sun Is Burning Lyrics 17 years ago
Nuclear war...this song is about nuclear war, and the aftermath when there will be much death and suffering. This song was written around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, and when the Cold War was in full swing.

This song is a chilling reminder of why we need to work for peace. Hardly anyone will survive a nuclear war, and those who do survive will not have much to look forward to.

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Simon and Garfunkel – A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission) Lyrics 17 years ago
This is a spoof on Bob Dylan, specifically, his song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" which is sung in a similar talking blues/rapping style. The line "It's alright ma, everybody must get stoned" references two different Dylan songs: "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "Rainy Day Women" which has the "everybody must get stoned" refrain.

At the end of the song are some additional words that are not shown here: "Folk Rock!" and "I lost my harmonica, Albert!" Folk rock was the genre that Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel were a part of. Albert refers to Albert Grossman, Dylan's manager at the time. Many of Dylan's songs featured harmonica solos.

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Grateful Dead – Morning Dew Lyrics 17 years ago
It is about the aftermath of a nuclear war. You cannot go out for a walk in the morning dew because of the fallout. The baby, the young man, all the people that were once alive are not anymore. Bonnie Dobson was the author and original artist for this one.

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R.E.M. – The Flowers Of Guatemala Lyrics 17 years ago
The flowers cover the graves of the people who were killed by the United States-backed military regime in Guatemala. The United States government backed a coup in 1954 that overthrew a democratically-elected government in Guatemala and replaced it with a fascist dictatorship. Many years of extreme suffering were the result.

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R.E.M. – Exhuming McCarthy Lyrics 17 years ago
The quotation in the middle comes from an actual 1950s US government hearing that McCarthy was involved in. I can't think of the name of the person who said it, but he was saying it to McCarthy.

To me, this song is about the Reagan/Bush I years when the extreme right-wing anti-Commie mentality of Joe McCarthy was brought back again. The Reaganites symbolically "exhumed McCarthy," or brought him back from the dead.

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The Beatles – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Lyrics 17 years ago
I went to a Grateful Dead show in Chicago in 1994, and they opened the second set with this! John is my favorite Beatle, and it was so cool to hear the Dead play this song. They had a big video screen, and did a close up of Jerry Garcia singing the verses.

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The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever Lyrics 17 years ago
Last fall I heard the Other Ones (band made up of former Grateful Dead members) do a cover of this and it was GREAT!

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Simon and Garfunkel – Kathy's Song Lyrics 17 years ago
Kathy also appears in the song "America," riding the bus and hitchiking around the country with Simon.

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Simon and Garfunkel – Bleecker Street Lyrics 17 years ago
Bleecker Street runs through the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. It is sort of the east coast equivalent of Haight Street in San Francisco, a place where countercultural (hippy, beatnik, etc.)stuff tends to happen.

The poet reading his crooked rhyme seems to be based on Allen Ginsberg, since his "Footnote to Howl" repeats the word "holy" quite a few times.

The thirty dollar rent is a definite clue that this is not a new song! Thirty dollars won't even get you a day's rent in New York City these days!

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John Lennon – How Do You Sleep? Lyrics 17 years ago
The "another day" line is also a reference to a Paul song, in this case a solo song called Another Day.

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John Lennon – John Sinclair Lyrics 17 years ago
John Sinclair is cool! I met him a few weeks ago at the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, and got a signed copy of his newest book of poetry. He is originally from the Flint, Michigan area. He was one of the leaders of the late sixties counterculture in Ann Arbor/Detroit, and currently lives in New Orleans.

Anyway, you know you must be important when John Lennon writes a song for you! Yes, Sinclair was originally sentenced to ten years in prison for giving an undercover cop two joints (that's where the "ten for two" comes from). There was a "Free John Sinclair" rally at Crisler Arena (University of Michigan basketball arena) featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Phil Ochs, and Allen Ginsberg among others.

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Indigo Girls – Blood and Fire Lyrics 17 years ago
I am not sure about "never playing it live," but I do remember at one of the shows I went to, people were shouting out requests for this song. Amy refused to play it, and in fact said that this was the "No Blood and Fire Tour!"

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Country Joe McDonald – Grace Lyrics 17 years ago
"Janis" by Country Joe is about Ms. Joplin, this song is about the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick.

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Country Joe McDonald – Janis Lyrics 17 years ago
A song for the one and only Ms. Janis Joplin. If you listen to this with your eyes closed, you can actually feel the presence of her spirit.

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Grateful Dead – Black Muddy River Lyrics 17 years ago
This was also the last song that Jerry ever sang in concert. It was part of a rare (for the Grateful Dead's later years) two-song encore at their last concert in Chicago. The other song in the encore was "Box of Rain," with the sadly appropriate final line "Such a long time to be gone and a short time to be there."

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Phil Ochs – Rehearsals For Retirement Lyrics 17 years ago
Along with "No More Songs," this is a pretty accurate depiction of what Phil Ochs was suffering from in the last few years of his life. These two songs bring tears to my eyes, as I think about the gentle soul who wrote them, and was ground down by a cruel and uncaring world. "The armies who killed a country" is an especially touching line, which could refer to any number of things including Vietnam, Chicago 1968, or any of the southern cities where the civil rights battles were fought.

I only hope that Phil's spirit is comforted in knowing that others have picked up the torch and are keeping it lit.

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Phil Ochs – No More Songs Lyrics 17 years ago
This was the last song on the last studio album that Phil Ochs recorded. He suffered from mental illness, and in this song you can sense the sadness and desperation that led him to commit suicide in 1976. I wish that he had been able to deal better with his depression, because he truly was a gifted songwriter and musician who was not afraid to take on the powers that be in his songs.

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Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues Lyrics 17 years ago
And, don't forget Allen Ginsberg wandering around in the background of the video!

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Bob Dylan – Ballad of Hollis Brown Lyrics 17 years ago
This is Bob Dylan telling it like it is. Yes, it is not a happy song, but this is the effect that poverty can have on people. This is what the folk/protest singers are supposed to do...describe social problems in a truthful way, without any sugar on top.

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Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall Lyrics 17 years ago
I think the white ladder line refers to an escape route that has been rendered useless. The ladder cannot be used because it is all covered with water.

This is one of my favorite Dylan songs, and it seems to get more relevant all the time. Doesn't the line "I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" make you think of Columbine and all the other school shootings that have been happening lately? The "white man who walked a black dog" and "black branch with blood that kept drippin'" would seem to refer to racism. The "young woman whose body was burnin'" reminds me of the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack.

This is such a powerful song, with so much symbolism. A prime example of why Bob Dylan is so highly thought of in the rock/folk music field.

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