The Crucifixion (8:44)

Cover of Pleasures Of The Harbor

From Pleasures Of The Harbor and 6 other releases

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And the night comes again to the circle studded sky
The stars settle slowly, in loneliness they lie
'Til the Universe explodes as a falling star is raised
Planets are paralyzed, mountains are amazed

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • Chumsicles

    I love Joseph Byrd's other work but honestly I think this could've been even better. I think the lack of drums is what keeps the album version from being really great. Some parts work but others just sound very out of time and are too high in the mix. Also Phil was just not a very 'psychedelic' guy......

    9 Apr 11:51am Reply
  • bohemian_chic

    This may well be Phil's masterpiece (from a songwriting perspective). Unfortunately, the very strange psychedelic arrangement on a few album versions ruin the song, but in live versions when Phil is able to speed up and slow down, it is just breathtaking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIwbeEGXj5E It takes the listener on the journey of a martyr, from his birth to mission to his fame and ultimately to his downfall at the hands of those who once loved him. A practicing Christian could sing this song at a Tenebrae service and it wouldn't be out of place. Haunting, mystical, and beautiful, Phil would never write a better song.

    7 Mar 7:07pm Reply
  • JohnnyMath

    This song is about his life. What his eyes watched and what his heart feeled. His best.

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    It's worth noting that RFK himself is reported to have cried upon hearing the track and realising it was about his brother.

    13 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    It's not just about Kennedy, it's about the way humanity searches for a saviour in order to tear it down. Kennedy is deliberately compared to Christ in the song and after their assassinations Ochs would say that it could apply just as well to RFK and MLK. He told Studs Terkel in 1973: "The Kennedy assassination, in a way, was destroying our best in some kind of ritual. People say they really love the reformer, they love the radical, but they want to see him killed. It's a certain part of the human psyche—the dark side of the human psyche." Wikipedia has a lot more. Anyway, this is easily one of the best folk tracks I have ever heard and I'm kicking myself for not getting into Ochs sooner.

    13 Jan 2012 Reply
  • swollenappetite

    Does anybody totally understand what this song is about? I love Phil Ochs but I can't buy that this is a great lyric, because it's so patchy, there are lines that are absolutely brilliant, but other lines that make no sense whatsoever, even if it's allegedly about Kennedy. Knowing what happened later, I've always wondered if he thought this was a connected rather than disconnected lyric?

    14 Aug 2011 Reply
  • sam9104

    I really love the lyrics to this song however I have not yet got accustomed to the album version. There is a youtube video where he performs this live with an acoustic guitar and it is so beautiful..

    2 Dec 2010 Reply
  • sartoris7

    Yep, about the John Kennedy........America is so much worse off not having either of them around anymore.......

    18 Sep 2010 Reply
  • ajdehany

    The arrangement totally does the heads in of even the Ochs afficionados I know, which makes me like Ochs all the more - it's a great memorable song, and the arrangement is challenging and intense, eminently suited to the subject matter - I fully approve. One thing I haven't managed to establish is whether this is or isnt about Kennedy. Google-fatigue maybe. Any thoughts? [I did a condensation of this song once, all delay guitar and shouting, would be interested to hear any other versions (Glen Y?)...]

    4 Aug 2010 Reply
  • eli7k0338

    This song is a departure form traditional Phil,yet he carries it off very well. I think that Glen Yarborough also did this song. can anyone validate this?

    7 Feb 2009 Reply

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