Phil Ochs - Iron Lady Lyrics

Have you seen the iron lady's charms
Legs of steel, leather on her arms
Taking on a man to die
A life for a life, an eye for an eye
And death's the iron lady in the chair

Stop the murder, deter the crimes away
Only killing shows that killing doesn't pay
Yes that's the kind of law it takes
Even though we make mistakes
And sometimes send the wrong man to the chair

In the death row waiting for their turn
No time to change, not a chance to learn
Waiting for someone to call
Say it's over after all
They won't have to face the justice of the chair

Just before they serve him one last meal
Shave his head, they ask him how he feels
Then the warden comes to say goodbye
Reporters come to watch him die
Watch him as he's strapped into the chair

And the chaplain, he reads the final prayer
Be brave my son, the Lord is waiting there
Oh murder is so wrong you see
Both the Bible and the courts agree
That the state's allowed to murder in the chair

In the courtroom, watch the balance of the scales
If the price is right, there's time for more appeals
The strings are pulled, the switch is stayed
The finest lawyers fees are paid
And a rich man never died upon the chair

Have you seen the iron lady's charms
Legs of steel, leather on her arms
Taking on a man to die
A life for a life, an eye for an eye
That's the iron lady in the chair

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Phil Ochs Iron Lady Comments
  1. Sheila Bloom

    Relevant today. How many innocent people have died?

  2. Mackie

    I'm here because of the Aileen Wuornos documentary

  3. fence headstone

    kinda sounds like the smiths. musically and vocal melody-wise that is. not the vocal-tone

  4. LayLyra Valrian

    RIP AILEEN WUORNOS. I understand your pain and i pray for your strength to help me through my journey in life. pray that i won't get raped and that i wont falter in who I am and from what I do.


    I also came to this song because of Aileen. The treatment and the sentence that she was given was unfair, the way the media played her, the way her lawyer and the lady that adopted her profited off her as well as her lover... She did not deserve the death penalty. And as she said on the way out of court when she was given three death sentences after pleading guilty: "Putting someone who was raped, to death? You fucking motherfuckers."

  5. doctortabby

    I can't believe that as long as I have been a Phil Ochs fan, today is the first time I heard this song. Gotta love uncovering a hidden gem! I often don't agree with everything Phil has to say, but nonetheless, I love how he says it! What a composer and a wordsmith this guy was. Phil may be my favorite liberal! :-)

    Pepe lepew

    doctortabby you must hear diamanda galas version !!!

    Jack Timson

    "my favourite liberal"

    Jesus fucking Christ. I take it you've somehow never heard "Love Me I'm a Liberal" either?


    Jack Timson: I've heard it, Jack. I don't see the point of your comment, nor do I see the point of the stupidity in the way in which you flippantly referred to your creator.

  6. Celebrating Phil Ochs

    Be sure to check out the Facebook group Celebrating Phil Ochs' 75th Birthday and the website Celebrating Phil Ochs.

  7. Elathan Nájera

    No tan poderosa como la versión de #DiamandaGalás, pero tiene una hermosa esencia. Única.

  8. ChiTownDi1

    I do!!!

  9. manthasagittarius1

    Go and find Diamanda Galas' cover of this song. Unbelievable. It's up on youtube.

  10. Julian Hernandez

    Maybe one of the greatest covers ever. But, who remembers Phil Ochs? ¡Joder!

  11. allelbows97

    i totally agree!!

  12. sex6cult9revolution

    RIP Troy Davis.

  13. Thomas Robinson

    Today, Troy Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection. This song begs us to stop the unlawful killing of men who our system has failed and whose souls we don't know or want to understand. TOO MUCH DOUBT!!!


    Thomas Robinson 34 people saw him kill a police officer. Good riddance I say

  14. superhoga

    I"m all in favor of executing murderers, but I'm against the death penalty because I don't trust the courts to get it right.

  15. wallycally

    Thankyou for loading this one on. Couldn't find it anywhere. Love it so much.

  16. Desert Rain

    How interesting, I heard a cover of this song by the Celtic Rock band Tempest off their 2001 album Balance. I feel that's the best version, but damn, hats off to Phil Ochs for writing such brilliant and thoughtful lyrics. Way ahead of his time he was, a shame he took his own life in 1976.