Phil Ochs : Ringing of Revolution

[For Leigh, Leigh, and PEte.]

In a building of gold, with riches untold,
lived the families on which the country was founded.
And the merchants of style, with their vain velvet smiles,
were there, for they also were hounded.
And the soft middle class, crowded in to the last,
for the building was fully surrounded.
And the noise outside was the ringing of revolution.

Sadly they stared, and sank in their chairs,
and searched for a comforting notion.
And the rich silver walls, looked ready to fall,
As they shook in doubtful devotion.
The ice cubes would clink, as they freshened their drinks,
wet their minds in bitter emotion.
And they talked about the ringing of revolution.

We were hardly aware, of the hardships they beared,
for our time was taken with treasure.
Oh, life was a game, and work was a shame,
And pain was prevented by pleasure.
The world, cold and grey, was so far away,
in distance only money could measure.
But their thoughts were broken by the ringing of revolution.

The clouds filled the room in darkening doom,
as the crooked smoke rings were rising.
How long will it take, how can we escape,
Someone asks, but no one’s advising.
And the quivering floor responds to the roar,
in a shake no longer surprising.
As closer and closer comes the ringing of revolution.

So softly they moan, please leave us alone,
as back and forth they are pacing.
And they cover their ears, and try not to hear,
with pillows of silk they’re embracing.
The crackling crowd is laughing out loud,
peeking in at the target they’re chasing.
Now trembling inside the ringing of revolution.

With compromised sway we gave it half away,
When we saw that rebellion was growing.
Now everything’s lost, as they kneel by the cross,
where the blood of Christ is still flowing.
Too late for their sorrow, they’ve reached their tomorrow,
and reaped the seed they were sowing.
Now harvested by the ringing of revolution.

In tattered tuxedos, they faced the new heroes,
and crawled about in confusion.
And they sheepishly grinned, for their memories were dim,
of the decades of dark execution.
Hollow hands were raised, they stood there amazed,
in the shattering of their illusions.
As the windows were smashed by the ringing of revolution.

Down on our knees, we’re begging you please,
we’re sorry for the way you were driven.
There’s no need to taunt, just take what you want,
and we’ll make amends, if we’re living.
But away from the grounds, the flames told the town,
that only the dead are forgiven.
As they vanished inside the ringing of revolution.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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