Mudcat Café message #3879584 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162878   Message #3879584
Posted By: Daniel Kelly
01-Oct-17 - 07:12 AM
Thread Name: Origins: No More Songs (Phil Ochs) - Meaning
Subject: Lyr Add: NO MORE SONGS (Phil Ochs)
So I have been recording a few Phil Ochs covers and had avoided this one because it so sadly talks to his depression and the likely cause of his suicide just 6 years after it was released.

The lyrics are fairly cryptic and I wondered if anyone here might know who Phil is referring to in each verse?

No More Songs ? Phil Ochs

Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody home
I've only called to say I'm sorry
The drums are in the dawn, and all the voices gone
And it seems that there are no more songs

Once I knew a girl, she was a flower in a flame
I loved her as the sea sings sadly
Now the ashes of the dream can be found in the magazines
And it seems that there are no more songs

Once I knew a sage who sang upon the stage
He told about the world, his lover
A ghost without a name stands ragged in the rain
And it seems that there are no more songs

The rebels they were here, they came beside the door
They told me that the moon was bleeding
Then all to my surprise, they took away my eyes
And it seems that there are no more songs

A star is in the sky, it's time to say goodbye
A whale is on the beach, he's dying
A white flag in my hand and a white bone in the sand
And it seems that there are no more songs


The verse about the moon and rebels reminds me of 'The Rising of the Moon', but the only traditional song I know that Phil recorded was 'The Highwayman'.

"Took away my eyes" - pepper spray at the 1968 Democratic convention?

Is the sage on the stage Phil, or maybe Bob?

I've heard it said that this was a song about writers block, but I don't buy it.