Phil Ochs - Draft Dodger Rag Lyrics

Oh I'm just a typical American boy
From a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Dodd
And keeping old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve
I knew better dead than red
But when I got to my old draft board
Buddy, this is what I said

Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, my feet are flat
And my asthma's getting worse
O think of my career, my sweetheart dear
And my poor old invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a goin' to school
And I'm working in a defense plant

I've got a dislocated disc and a racked-up back
I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits
And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
I can hardly reach my knees
And if the enemy came close to me
I'd probably start to sneeze

I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies
But one thing you gotta see
That someone's gotta go over there
And that someone isn't me
So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell
Yeah, kill me a thousand or so
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
I'll be the first to go

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Rand Lyrics

Phil Ochs Draft Dodger Rag Comments
  1. Some Thing

    What is good for?
    Absolutely nothing.

  2. William Bruce Wilhite

    Outside of being dead, I think he's got it covered.

  3. lwc2009

    Trump campaign song...Ted Nugent can sing it for him...what a pair!!!

  4. Voelund

    Shouldn't this be the anthem of the #45 president of the U.S. of A?

  5. orange juice

    me when the military officer comes over and he sees my guitar:

  6. Guy Pseudonym

    Here's to the chickenhawks in power today.

  7. Pedro Meza

    I recall this song, I grew up worrying about the draft and through highschool a lot of US would get married once we became 18, but a few got a girlfriend pregnant at 17. I enlisted in 73 when I became 18 and had to pick up my Draft Card I was #54.

  8. nikirki25

    It is an Everybody-I-know Song

  9. Sealand

    Time to head to Iran

    Ligma Knutz

    They can kill me here because I'm not going over there.

  10. Samantha Maxis

    Everyone in three US rn with ww3 around the corner

  11. Samuel vi Britannia

    *Write that down! Write that down!*

  12. Abigflamingstink

    Well, this is distressingly topical :/

  13. cirrus

    time to bust this out again

    muffuletta yum

    🤣🤣🤣 I shouldn't laugh, but I laughed sooo hard when I read this!!!

    jo egleton

    @muffuletta yum You won't be laughing when your government calls you up into the army to fight for you country

    muffuletta yum

    @jo egleton Probly not

  14. Mark Davis

    anthem for 2020 apparently.

  15. Nick Sexton

    welp off to iran

    orange juice

    you know how to use the bluetooth in the tank, bud?

  16. John Heffelfinger

    I got drafted in June of 1971, one week before the draft ended - what luck. But, long story short and believe it or not, I ended up singing this song (and a choice few others) as part of some riot training being conducted for the MP Corps I got drafted into. The brass knew I had a guitar in my locker, and to help make a staged "hippie protest" feel more realistic for the training scenario, they set up a PA system and had me do a few anti-war numbers. Much obliged!

  17. Bart Tare

    Great song.

  18. cathy struska

    If Trump starts a war, best memorize these words young man!!! TJ STRUSKA

  19. HKVeteran

    The way his singing is less than crisp makes me laugh

  20. Phil Mann

    "I always carry a purse." Heh heh, in '68 you could sing that and everyone laughed. Today, "homophobic" Phil would be persona non grata.

    Ma Pa

    You mean, today reactionary dipshits would cry about their first amendment right being infringed or something. And as someone who had some ancestors Gulag'd for being LGBT, because homosexuality obviously is ''bourgeois Western Imperialist decadence'' or something, I'm not exactly convinced that ''everyone laughed'' back then. Some straight 'Muricancs maybe.

  21. sha11235

    RIP to Castro.

  22. Night Shiin

    I felt that

  23. Pauline Rothstein

    I dedicate this song to Max Klinger!!!!!!!!!

  24. Djinntonic

    Phil forgot to mention bone spurs.

  25. Tatonka Smith

    When does he address bones spurs?

  26. Fite-4-Ever

    when we invade Iran this is what I'll say to the draft board


    I got some news for you

    Samuel vi Britannia

    How prophetic...

    Angel Soichuk

    A prophet

    Kosh's Shadow

    Not "You can get anything you want/At Alice's restaurant"?

    Evan Richards

    Literally what I was thinking!

  27. wittywop

    I dedicate this song to Donald Trump.

  28. Susi quiu

    Oh, solo soy un chico americano típico de una ciudad americana típica
    Yo creo en Dios y el senador Dodd y una vieja-Keepin' Castro abajo
    Y cuando llegó mi hora de servir supe "mejor muerto que rojo"
    Pero cuando llegué a mi antiguo tablero de reclutamiento , amigo, esto es lo que dije:

    Sarge, solo tengo dieciocho años, tengo un bazo roto
    Y siempre llevo un bolso.
    Tengo los ojos como un murciélago, y mis pies están planos y mi asma está empeorando
    Sí, piensa en mi carrera, mi querido amor y mi pobre tía inválida
    Además, no soy ningún tonto, voy a la escuela
    Y yo soy trabajando en una planta DEE-Fense.

    Tengo un disco dislocado y un devané de vuelta
    Soy alérgico a flores y los insectos.
    Y cuando la bomba golpea, me sale epilépticos encaja
    Y soy adicta a un mil drogas.
    Tengo la debilidad , no puedo. tocar mis dedos.
    puedo Apenas llegar a mis rodillas
    Y si llegara el enemigo. acercara a mi.
    Me probablemente empezar a estornudar

    Sólo tengo dieciocho años, tengo un bazo roto
    Y siempre llevo un bolso.
    Tengo los ojos como un murciélago, y mis pies están planos y mi asma está empeorando
    Sí, piensa en mi carrera, mi querido amor y mi pobre tía inválida
    Además, no soy ningún tonto, voy a la escuela
    Y estoy trabajando en una planta DEE-Fense.

    Ooh, odio a Chou En Lai, y espero que muera,
    Onething tienes que ver
    Ese alguien tiene que ir allá
    Y ese alguien no soy yo
    ¡Así que te deseo lo mejor, Sarge, dales el infierno!
    Matame a mil o menos
    Y si alguna vez consigues una guerra sin sangre y sangre.
    Seré el primero en ir

    Sí, solo tengo dieciocho años, tengo un bazo roto
    Y siempre llevo un bolso.
    Tengo los ojos como un murciélago, y mis pies están planos y mi asma está empeorando
    Sí, piensa en mi carrera, mi querido amor y mi pobre tía inválida
    Además, no soy ningún tonto, voy a la escuela
    Y estoy trabajando en una planta DEE-Fense.


    thank you for putting in the translations!

  29. Stephen Sanfilippo

    I'm one of the tens of thousands of poor bastards who opposed the Vietnam War, but wound up going anyway. The people who favored the war and didn't go, like "Bone Spurs" Trump and Dick Chaney are the WORST!!!! I spent yesterday, April 9, 2019, listening to Phil Ochs. He was the Best, and I'm including Joe Hill and Utah Phillips. How much we need him now. Keep singing his songs!!! Pass them on to the new and the next generation of those who strive for economic and social justice, an end to racism, and world peace.
    Show less


    Pedro Meza

    The song needs updating, because gay and lesbians can serve.

    orange juice

    @Pedro Meza Not gay murderers, right?

  30. Appen Zeller

    Phil Ochs was not inciting you morons to be communists for Gods sake. Just to improve things...

  31. Appen Zeller

    Thanks for eliminating my long post damn morons !

  32. rockedtwatcat

    phil ochs was too fucking good for this world ♡

  33. Tarja Taylor

    Changes one of most beautiful songs ever to me

  34. Tarja Taylor

    Thank God for happy tunes after changes though beautiful

  35. Desert Fox

    Draft dogers should be executed

    GrassyMania B

    For example, trump

  36. Dan Dales

    If it wasn't for the heros who stood up for what was right and said hell no the war would still be going on.

  37. Capt. Cowboy Ukyo

    Am I the only one that doesn't understand how this is a protest song? It seems like its making fun of the ridiculous reasons draft dodgers gave.


    Its a critique that targets those that actively supported the war as long as they wouldn't fight in it. Its not a critique of those who protested the war or draft dodged because of their opposition to the war.

    Capt. Cowboy Ukyo

    farmboy10001 Ahh, thank you

  38. Alexa Penn

    Walter Teague - i hope you're still around giving t-Rump hell!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Jim Haley

    Well I serve my country in the United States Air Force during Vietnam and I have no regrets.🇺🇸🇺🇸 when I hear this song I think of trump


    Draft dodging was the one good thing trump has done lol

  40. heresthadude1080

    I hate socialism and communism, but war ain't even the best way to combat it.

    Jack James

    and you couldn't give a reason why LOL

    Brainwashed American muppet

  41. ANNA MAE Devlin

    THE DRAFT DODGER, wants a parade! DON'T GIVE IT TO HIM!

  42. melancholics_

    Oh, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
    I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down
    And when it came my time to serve I knew "better dead than red"
    But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

    Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
    And I always carry a purse
    I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
    Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
    Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
    And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

    I've got a dislocated disc and a wracked up back
    I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
    And when the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits
    And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
    I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
    I can hardly reach my knees
    And if the enemy came close to me
    I'd probably start to sneeze

    I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
    And I always carry a purse
    I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
    Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
    Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
    And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

    Ooh, I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
    Onething you gotta see
    That someone's gotta go over there
    And that someone isn't me
    So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell!
    Kill me a thousand or so
    And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
    I'll be the first to go

    Yes, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
    And I always carry a purse
    I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
    Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
    Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
    And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant


    Well, everyone dies, just you want them to die at a certain time.

  43. TimesNewLogan

    An army of volunteers, who actually want to go overseas and fight, is far more practical than any draft.


    They used to call those mercenaries but now they're apparently "enlisted"


    @XxLeCaptainxX No. Mercenaries draw much better pay.


    @rondaleroi Round up all the healthcare costs, retirement, education, etc and it's absolutely a mercenary system. The military's number 1 enlistment motivator is benefits.

    Ob Fuscated

    @XxLeCaptainxX Learn to speak English, teentard troll. Conscription is slavery.

  44. Jamie M L

  45. Andy Dabilis

    Trump's personal favorite of course, but Bill Clinton's too ....


    why should rich people have to fight, they only start the wars?

  46. Tobit Glenhaber

    You can get anything you want in Alice's Restaurant!

    Phil Mann

    "If two people come in, singing in harmony, they'd probably figure they're faggots and reject both of them."

  47. wittywop

    Sorry. I forgot to mention Bill Clinton as well.

  48. wittywop

    Trump's theme song from the 60's.

  49. fisherdisco

    At least he doesn't have any bone spurs

  50. Caelvanir

    This ones for you Trump.


    draft dodging is like the one justified and relatable thing trump's done..

    we come full circle when libs justify war to own trump 🙃🙃🙃

    N Canas

    @gspice I think you're missing the point of the song. It's targeting those who support war but refuse to participate in it. Like our pussy grabbin, hamberder munchin, big red button president.

  51. Alex Bland

    For anyone giving those who dodged the draft hell, answer this:

    How is the draft not conscription/slavery?

  52. Nikole Powell

    a true draft hero

  53. Jay Mercha

    What if they called for a war and nobody showed up. Wouldn't that be great!
    I never registered for the draft. Not because I'm a coward...far from it.
    I saw no reason to fill out a card with my name, address and my birthday with my
    name, address, and my birthday.
    What they really wanted was my signature and permission to use my body to kill innocent people.

  54. Tom Ashton

    Chair Force Rag

  55. not a Clue

    Little bit more offbeat - I 'missed' conscription by two months due to birth date ( in the other sense never missed it at all - quite happy not to be in military ) . Yerars later worked for MoD , testing equipment , years after that o torpedo then radar project . The interesting item re torpedo - that many joined project assuaging their conscience with attitude "they will never use it" - as the excuse to themselves . Used to sink the Bel Grano . Each person had meeting with the director - asked the same question - whether willing to work on project that kills people - so no excuses for them , and they got 'upset' . Few computers around then - uni or military , when they edging me to theweapon , I left to join passive defence project

  56. David Klein

    I fully get it. A rich white boy should get out of service if he can, so the poor and disenfranchised will go instead- and who cares about them, who cares about others........That's the admirable attitude!

    Alexa Penn

    yup - but anyone can protest in case of a draft - i knew
    quite of number of guys who did in various ways - from a psychiatric problem to grabbing a phial of own blood and drinking it (he was desperate).

  57. Steven Rowitt

    Viet Nam was a poorly fought war.  We got into it to save the French (where have I heard that before). It may have had important reasons to begin with, but we should have left it to the Vietnamese. The only thing I ever won was the draft lottery. My number was 28.  Fortunately for me, it was 1971 and the war was winding down.  I was already heavily involved in a heroin addiction, that would continue until I was delivered from it by God's grace several years later. So they didn't want me to add to the enormous problem of addicted vets returning from service.  I ended up with a 1-Y. I jokingly explained that after the women and children are called to serve, they might get to me. To sum it up, these were serious times and I don't think it is a good idea to demonize those who decided to honestly resisted. My dad, a member of the greatest generation who served in WW II was ready to put me on a plane to Canada. He knew that war was FUBAR from the get go. Perhaps a C.O. status would have been more in line with an anti war posture, but that's a matter of personal conscience. I appreciate all who went and fought. I think that politicians can be incredibly short-sighted. The loss of our blood and treasure in Iraq when President Obama pulled us out after we achieved victory was close to unforgiveable. Yes, you didn't like the war, so you make damn sure we would lose everything we gained by completely pulling out with lame excuse we couldn't get a status of forces agreement. Really? We owned that country. We liberated them from a tyrant,  and then  failed to get a status of forces agreement. That was either gross incompetence or criminal negligence. Sorry for digressing. It's this kind of partisan BS that discourages people from serving.

  58. David Hague

    I avoided being drafted by enlisting in the Air Force; I served until 1995.

  59. David Hague

    I avoided being drafted by enlisting in the Air Force; I served until 1995.

  60. firebase delta

    I fully respect this song and Phil --    and of course it goes great with Love Me I'm a Liberal ----  USMC 1964-1972

  61. Tamarra James

    I was part of a team running draft dodgers into Canada, and to this day count some of them among my closest friends. Phil was an amazing voice for our time....and his words are as relevant today as they have ever been. Crank up the volume and introduce his music to those who need to hear the truth,


    For every draft dodger, someone had to replace them, so...

    Tamarra James

    Not-So-SuperNova that undeclared war was one of the most evil things the USA has done to its citizens. They weren't old enough to buy a drink or sign a contract, but they were old enough to give a gun and point them at strangers to kill. In the end result nobody won except the industrial war complex...the same guys who make money whenever the USA or some small country they decide to support is fighting. The whole thing broke so many young people it was criminal.

    Alexa Penn

    @Not-So-SuperNova i don't like this so-called rationale - anyone could protest - if we had all let outselves be drafted for a stupid war, we would have been sheep to the slaughter. even in WWI and WWII there were some people who just would just not kill other people - and were not drafted on religious grounds. this kind of reasoning is totally circular.

  62. Billy Bloomer

    I'm so glad to be part of a generation that was never forced into a war.


    Billy Bloomer they don't have to institute a draft anymore. They just screw down poor people so damn hard that the economic security supposedly provided by military service becomes an attractive alternative to working at Walmart or selling drugs. Think back to your classmates: does this idea ring a bell?

    Bat Man

    Military service is used as a form of employment for poor people who dont have much chance in the job market.

    My classmate got a girl pregnant at 15 & his parents urged him to either get a job or enlist into the national guard.

    He enlisted after finishing high school since it was either that or his parents would treat him as a lost cause for grinding in some dead end job

  63. Commie Killer

    I'm 17 so this song is pretty far off from my generation, I can only imagine what would happen if some of the kids my age were drafted today.

    Spooky Scary Commieman

    Well they weren't drafted, but in the Iraq war(I believe it was) the U.S broke a bunch of child soldier laws and sent 60 17 year olds into front line combat.


    The economic draft is very effective. Many young people have so little opportunity in a USA still crippled by reaganomics, that military service is their only choice. It was part of the plan from the outset. You don't need a draft if you keep enough people poor and desperate.

    Nestor Makhno

    fuck that If they started a draft I'm dodging.

    Capt. Cowboy Ukyo

    Erwin Rommel You names yourself after a military leader yet you want to dodge a draft? Ironic

    Kyle Shiflet

    In the south most guys would loved to be drafted me I would burn my deaft card

  64. Feudi Pandola

    Didn't Ochs commit suicide?

    Arianrhod Hyde

    yes. why?

    Howard Harawitz

    Same reason so many artists (and others) do -- clinical depression.

    Nancy Benefiel

    He suffered from severe bi polar disease and alcoholism

  65. Joe Sitter

    I was only 9 in 1965 when I 1st heard my older sister playing her guitar and singing this very nice song that I enjoyed so much. I really love you dear sister, Diane. Thanks for teaching me (along with our Mom & Dad) to hate war as I do.

  66. Tanya Raven

    I think we just found Donald Trump's theme song.


    Nancy B, then such friends must be radical anti-environmentalists and anti- human and civil rights, imprimus the right not to be assassinated for one's political beliefs and activism. Research Berta Caceres.


    flyingmerkel6, he never worked at a defense plant.


    Nancy B *against women protesting and publishing her husband's serial sexual assaults (and in the case of Juanita Broderick, battery) of them. And for women who like herself enjoy child trafficking for sex, organ harvesting and adrenochrome. And ask any female native worker at foreign textile corporations in Haiti her response as SOS to their request for a minimum hourly wage increase from 28 to 60 cents per hour: she batted it down to a well below subsistence 30. And the once thriving female workers and professional classes in Libya who enjoyed the highest civil rights and prosperity in Africa, before Hillary razed it all and left the nation a ground zero for its native inhabitants, now a thriving world slave market. May she be only your local political "representative." Learn the difference between dead-metaphor labels and sociopoliticoeconomico realities. Your admiration is abysmally ignorant, and sexist, my-gender-right-or-wrong.


    not fighting in vietnam is just about the only good thing trumps ever done


    @JudgeJulieLit The child sex lie again? Don't you ever get tired of repeating the same stale old lies?????????

  67. Voice of Innistrad

    We were listening to this in my US History class while in our Vietnam War lesson.

    I actually like this song, even though I'm not a fan of the genre, this is still amazing

    William Robinson

    I'm not really a fan of the genre either, but Phil Ochs is virtually the only musician/group that doesn't play swing or 'classical' music I listen to.

    William Robinson

    He's lyrics and his music connect with me.

  68. Dale Wolitski

    written for that loser Nugent...

  69. Howard Harawitz

    I heard him sing that at an anti-war rally in Berkeley.

    Nancy Benefiel

    +Howard Harawitz I think Phil was at almost every demonstration I ever went to. I'm so glad I got the chance to actually meet him.

    Z.M. Wise

    At least you people had that opportunity. You're so lucky. What a visionary! What a poet! What a man of innovative ideas!!


    time to start learning the words to this again, gunna need to have them down pat for the reply to the draft email/text message you get this time round :P
    you have been drafted, if you chose to run we have your meta data and national facial recognition programs + camers on streets on police and in police cars :P

    Heidi C. Franks

    very cool.

  70. John B

    I Am with You All the way Phil.   I Ain't marchin eather, Unless it's to Help the Victims of Our Bombs!

  71. Beretverde

    Remember, for every draft dodger...someone had to take their place.


    @Timothy Daly
    Yeah I hear you. My point was why do you blame the draft dodger for "causing another go in one's place" and not the government who forced people into making the decision between fighting a war they didn't believe in and sending someone else into harms way?

    But yeah, I agree with you and the whole public stand thing. Unjust power needs to be confronted, not hidden from.

    Timothy Daly

    What unspeakable crimes are you talking about??? Maybe from the Nixon/Johnson bombings of N. Vietnam, parts of the South, Cambodia and Laos, but (except for My Lai where everyone was totally bored, expecially those 20 or so who took part in that atrocity, no 'enemy' to fight, and totally wasted on drugs due to availability of same from incoming ships. Of course those should-have-been-lined up in front of a firing squad gave the rest of the 99.99999% infantry (<9% of total military in Vietnam) a black eye, and some of those who did dodge the draft made hay of all that to make themselves look justified in running away. Speaking for myself and those I served with there, we treated civilians and especially kids with respect and kindness. But then most people believe what they want to believe to suit their own needs, positions, 'faith, etc. Nothing contrary is allowed into those belief systems, and only the dogma, propaganda, and false premises emit.


    @Timothy Daly
    It's not about individual acts, like treating kids nice and stuff like that. It's being part of the US war machine, which killed 2 to 4 million people in South East Asia over the course of the war. A war fought on paper for "freedom" but in reality to serve as a funnel for war profiteers to sell arms to the government and for the government to try and establish economic hegemony over the peninsula.

    I know the Viet Cong and the Communists weren't saints and did awful awful things after the war. But the average member of both of those organization was driven to them by staggering poverty after decades of French colonialism, a brutal South Vietnamese dictatorship, and American bombs and chemicals falling on their homes. These were immensely popular organizations, which is why the Americans and the South Vietnamese government feared elections so much. In short, the war drove people to join the Viet Cong and then the US slaughtered them wholesale as enemy combatants.

    Every troop on the ground helped with that. And that doesn't necessarily make them bad people. In fact, most of them, yourself included, are probably pretty good people. They could, like you, have never committed a war crime or anything. But they were indirectly part of a crime.

    I just can't imagine hating a draft-dodger for choosing not to participate. Maybe they did it for selfish reasons, or maybe because they really objected to the war, but at least they didn't participate. Sure, someone else may have been forced to go. but that wasn't the draft-dodger's doing, that was the government's. They imposed the draft. They started an unjust war.

    Rick Himdersun

    Well said.

    Alexa Penn

    That's ridiculous - no one had to take anyone's place. You got drafted
    or volunteered. >:|

  72. Dennis Keyes

    I survived the Viet Nam era. I used the system against itself. All through college I received assistance from a local Conscientious Objectors organization. I had lottery number 78 which after graduation and removal of my 2s deferment prevented me from getting a job i n my chosen field since it was a full time position that they could not risk me taking the job and then being called up for the draft. Now that would be illegal, denying me the position since that would now be sexual discrimination since women were not drafter. However, it was legal then. I had everything prepared, all my documentation, properly completed paperwork,statements from everyone that I needed. I did not burn my draft card, but waited the system out, and just by luck, the draft was called off two days before I was to appear before the draft board to defend my stand. No military benefits, nothing, and I can't go back and retro file a suit against the people who would not hire me, but I used the available resources at the time and prepared to defend my beliefs, and I do have flat feet, but that has not kept me from doing anything I choose to undertake.

    Appen Zeller

    Jerk...and I bet you are a democrat ...enjoy. Freak. Flat feet,,,oh do I have to laugh. My Dad made that joke since WWII as he made every damn effort to conceal his sort of flat feet to get in the service and he did. How to fake arches..101. So proud are you ? Damn.........

  73. Dan Heiting

    i carry a purse

    Marie Little

    +Dan Heiting So do I. That's why I can't go to North Carolina.

    Appen Zeller

    Who would guess.

  74. Michael E

    I was drafted in '69 and reported for my induction to Fort Holabird, Md. with a Viet Cong flag on my shoulder. Plus there were protesters outside the gate supporting my draft refusal. They couldn't get rid of me soon enough and kicked me and my VC flag off the base with a letter of debarment forbidding me to enter the base again without written permission. After that, they bumped me up from 1-A to 1-A delinquent and drafted me again. When I showed up for the bus in DC, they didn't have written permission for me to reenter the base, so I couldn't board the bus. Finally, I was indicted by a Grand Jury for draft refusal, and the FBI arrested me. Then I agreed to submit to induction, but in fact had no intention to do so. I went back to Kansas City where my draft board was and reported for induction. I refused to sign the anti-communist oath, and created a commotion so they assigned a Navy guy to guard me through the process, and sent me to a civilian psychiatrist. I told the shrink, I was ready to be inducted, that my war was not in Vietnam but right here in America -- just put the gun in my hand and I'd know where to aim it. Finally, that got their attention. The shrink called my guard in for a private talk. I believe he was told it was best not to talk with me and we returned to the induction center. It was late in the day and the other draftees had been inducted and sent on their way. The commander of the induction center could barely control his anger as he handed me a new draft card classifying me as 4-F and announcing, "You are not now nor in the future eligible for military service." Thanks to Phil Ochs for all those songs that got us through that war. I was just one of hundreds of thousands who refused to serve, fled the country, or deserted, while millions simply didn't bother to register. We haven't had a draft since that time for obvious reasons.

    Atomic Gamer

    @TheHG12 And no, it's not courageous to kill people for no reason. It's courageous to fight a war that you probably don't support just because you love your country. There is a reason it's called war and not murder, it's you or the enemy.

    Comrade Wildcat

    I like the part when you told them your war was not in Vietnam, but in America, and if they'd give you a gun you'd know who to shoot. God damn legend you are.

    Patricia Tonkin

    @xx_twiz_xx Just what I wanted to say!


    @Timothy Daly you got some ego issues bud.


    thank you for your humanitarian service and for sharing this story and inspiring people to uphold justice and morality in the world!

  75. Music is my sanctuary

    Inspiring to say the least.

  76. Ducksoup67

    Happy 75th Phil!!!

  77. Julie Mead

    "clap clap"

  78. Bob Pierce

    Phil was a visionary who saw the big picture.................of course he was silenced

    Michael E

    +Bob Pierce Phil Ochs was never silenced. He's here right now stirring the pot for another generation.

    cynthia anthony

    +Michael E Phil paid with his life...not all damage is visible...

  79. M Johan

    Lmao this is for Ted nugent, Limbaugh, Cheney,bush, John Wayne, Romney and every other coward who is pro war and all for bombing other poor countries but run away when their country calls them to go fight the wars that they were all for. Republicans are cowards.

    Blake T

    The crux of these indictments of character isn't in their decision to dodge the draft, it's their war mongering and pro-militarism in light of dodging the draft. The hypocrisy is astounding and terrifying that many of these people hold positions of power and actively aim to increase our war efforts across the world.

    Don Currie

    You mean Obama???


    You realize Bush was in the air force right?


    @dmkwils With luck you'll choke to death on it.


    @boolin Daddybush was in the Air Force. Dumbya was in the reserve. George McGovern, the guy the right hated so much piloted a bomber. John Kerry was a war hero, and the right made up bullshit stories to smear the guy because although he walked the walk, he didni't do the goosestep for them.

  80. Stephen Hoyt

    I played this in protest of the Las Angles DODGERS beating the NY Mets

  81. James Hannon

    Dick Cheney's theme song.

  82. John Acord

    The Army will find a use for you

  83. Celebrating Phil Ochs

    One of his funny songs. Be sure to check out the Celebrating Phil Ochs 75th Birthday Facebook page or the Celebrating Phil Ochs website.

  84. Brandon Davidson

    Does this not sound like a Johnny Cash song, specifically with the guitar part?

  85. RadioFreeLondon

    Word of advice......Never be a volunteer.


    @Abiasaf López
    Thank you for asking and i do appreciate your questions. I would be glad to answer any furthere questions to the best of my ability. cheers ..


    @RadioFreeEuropeInRebellion you might like steel eye spans "fighting for strangers" its a rather old song, still pertient today


    @ryan law ok .,,tell me more


    For anything...

    Michael Warne

    Remember...never volunteer for anything

  86. RadioFreeLondon

    My dad tried this...It did not work. I gave it a shot myself but i was a volunteer Soooo.


    +RadioFreeLondon He should have tried the Ted Nugent trick. Crap yourself for a week then show up.

    Michael E

    +RadioFreeLondon I did my research with friends who'd been drafted in peacetime, and they had various ideas but they all said, if you do get drafted, raise hell at once, and don't be subtle about it. Don't salute, don't put on the uniform, refuse, refuse, refuse, and you'd be discharged in just a few days.

  87. hermenutic


  88. zymelin21

    how we miss his songs to- day. think of the songs he could have written about the present.

    Tamara Jacobs

    +zymelin21 Definitely.

    Ellen Eckstein

    Roger that

  89. terri purcell

    Memories memories all great

  90. Donald Mostrom

    I knew of this song in the early '60s (it is dated 1959) and still ended up serving two tours as a medic in Viet Nam. In the 1990's, a band I played with started doing this tune dedicated to all the dodgers who were then rising in politics. By late 2000, we were dedicating this tune to "Chicken" Dick Cheney and "The Shrub" (James Lee Burke's appellation). I find it both hilarious and disgusting how the right-wing chicken-hawks who never served have attacked people like Max Cleland and John Kerry for their putting themselves in danger for our country. There seems to be an excess of right-wing wannabees and sunshine patriots that should pay more attention to Mr. Ochs!

    mike o'diomasaigh

    Thanks, 91 bush.

    Ob Fuscated

    @1775Dreamer Nixon extended the war to get re-elected and tried to subvert the electoral process by suborning espionage against his political opponents.

    B Dan

    @Nancy Benefiel Nixon got in trouble for the cover-up, not the incident. He had nothing to do with the break-in or espionage you dumb bitch.

    Pedro Meza

    I to worried about the draft while growing up, and was happy it stopped in 72 when I was 17. The following year when I became 18 I enlisted in the army but had to pick up my Draft Card, I was #54.

  91. Richard Goffin-Lecar

    I love this - a political song with a sense of humour.

    john landis

    poor phil,he killed himself in a fit of depression

    JS Baird

    And dead serious.


    It's humor with a serious bite.

  92. Greg Boardman

    Hello Friends...the Knight Watchman... greg boardman band

  93. Josh Kershenbaum

    love this song. RIP Phil. 

  94. marcel Cannon

    Brave sir Robin ran away he so bravely ran away~

    john landis

    I'm not quite dead yet, thank you very much! and where's my shrubbery?!

  95. Raymond Lauzzana

    I think you anti-socialists need to get some education.

    Oscar Yeager

    Burn commies alive




    We are educated and that's why we know capitalism works better than any other system practiced so far.


    @Oscar Yeager Funny guy. Guys like you make people nostalgic for the guillotine. There are a great many things worse than communists. Republicans, for one.


    @Scott or brainwashed?

  96. Okie dokie

    It's been almost 50 years since Phil Ochs did this..and it still pisses people

    Timmie Reilly

    Not me - I can't get enough him.

    Heidi C. Franks

    well actually this 3rd world cUntry does

    cathy struska

    Because is true. That pisses off the right more than anything....TJ STRUSKA