Friday, May 06, 2005

Love Me I'm A Liberal

I think I have shared before my own ambivalence about political liberalism and its relationship to liberal religion. Here for your entertainment are the lyrics to Phil Och's classic Love Me I'm A Liberal and a modernization by UU folksinger Evan Greer.







Love Me, I'm A Liberal
by Phil Ochs
I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal
Love Me, I’m a Liberal (2003)
new lyrics by Evan Greer
I trade Internet jokes about Dubya
They sure are funny to me.
But don’t even think about asking
Me to give up my new SUV
I don’t know what you mean about oil,
I just wish that gas could be free,
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!

Well I’ve signed about a thousand petitions,
And my golf score is six under par.
I keep myself up on the issues
By listening to N.P.R.,
And you know that I’m changing the world
With these stickers all over my car!
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!

Well you know that I’m not a racist
Been on the side of the blacks all along.
And I always give a few extra dollars
To the young man who mows my lawn!
And I’ve never read Emma Goldman
But I know that she must have been wrong!
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!

I went to that pro-choice rally,
I think women should get equal pay.
But it’s sure nice that my wife cooks me dinner,
And puts my clean laundry away!
And maybe our country ain’t perfect,
But revolution is never the way.
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!

You know I support Gay marriage,
And I want the environment clean.
But I’m too busy at work to take action,
So I’m just voting for Howard Dean.
I know we must work inside the system,
It’s the best one that I’ve ever seen!
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!

I cheered when they caught Saddam
I knew that the news wouldn’t lie,
Thank god that the war is now over,
And my 401-K is on the rise!
Because you know that I love my country:
best democracy money can buy!
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal!








4 Comments:

At 7:37 AM, Blogger PeaceBang said...

I love the song lyrics, and you've motivated me to do some writing about how liberal theology leads most liberal religionists to liberal political commitments. The trouble with this phenomenon in UUism is that most UUs are not acquainted with classical liberal theology and so they don't understand the relationship between THEIR OWN theological positions and political positions.

This conversation can't be had without discussing the Bible, either. Which is another reason the Jesus-counters and God-screamers need to stop hysterically assuming that discussing the roots of a tradition *using the historical language and ideas of that tradition* is not equated with inflicting particular theologies on everyone who walks through the door. Basta!

I am thrilled that more and more of my own church members are explicitly asking to have this conversation now. They're seeing U.S. leaders live out the relationship between conservative religion and conservative politics, and they want to be better equipped to speak against those policies from their own theological heritage. It's high bloody time. We've been fiddling while Rome is burning, particularly in our avoidance of teaching anything theologically specific to our children and youth.

Anyway, incoherent but the beginnings of something... and I'm *always* happy when liberals spoof ourselves. We deserve it just as much as the other dudes.

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals.
Tend to agree left of center in good times.
Tends to agree right of center when it affects them personally.
-- Phil Ochs

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every American community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals.
Tend to agree left of center in good times.
Tends to agree right of center when it affects them personally.
-- Phil Ochs

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous pedxing said...

I adore Phil Ochs. I met him as a teenager between shows at a concert in Cambridge, MA. He was very gracious and when club owners tried to clear us out before the second show, he made it clear that the three of us were together and asked where we could go. He talked to us until he had to go back on stage, and talked to us again at a rally the next day.

Anyway, I believe the lines in his song intro are

"Ten degrees to the left of center in good times. Ten degrees right of center when it affects them personally."

 

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