I Ain't Marching Anymore

Album: I Ain't Marching Anymore (1965)

Songfacts®:

  • This is an anti-war anthem. Phil Ochs is making the statement that after having killed so much, and after having lost so much in generations past, he, as a human, is done marching to war and hopes that others will join him. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Asher - FC, VA
  • In this song, Ochs is singing from the voice of those who have fought wars throughout history; Buffy Sainte-Marie took a similar tack in her song "Universal Soldier." Starting with the Battle Of New Orleans from 1815, Ochs' soldier goes through Little Big Horn, the American Civil War, and two World Wars. Looking back, he wonders where it got him and why he's still fighting.
  • When he released this song in 1965, the Vietnam War was escalating, but "I Ain't Marching Anymore" isn't specifically about that conflict. Ochs knew that topical protest songs had short shelf lives, and he wanted the song to last. He was happy with the results, citing it as one of his personal favorites.
  • This song provided the title of the 1969 book I Ain't Marching Anymore by Dotson Rader, which deals with the Vietnam War protest movement.

Comments: 1

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaPhil Ochs... aka John Train. Google it.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A Timeline

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.