Phil Ochs - Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends Lyrics




Oh, look outside the window, there's a woman bein' grabbed
They've dragged her to the bushes, and now she's bein' stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Ridin' down the highway, yes, my back is gettin' stiff
13 cars are piled up, they're hangin' on a cliff
Now maybe we should pull them back with our towing chain
But we gotta move, and we might get sued, and it looks like it's gonna rain
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Sweating in the ghetto with the colored and the poor
The rats have joined the babies who are sleepin' on the floor
Now wouldn't it be a riot if they really blew their tops?
But they got too much already, and besides, we've got the cops
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh, there's a dirty paper using sex to make her sales
The Supreme Court was so upset they sent him off to jail
Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine
But we're busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Smokin' marijuana is more fun than drinkin' beer
But a friend of ours was captured, and they gave him 30 years
Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag, besides, we're much too high
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh, look outside the window, there's a woman bein' grabbed
They've dragged her to the bushes, and now she's bein' stabbed
Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends





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Phil Ochs Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends Comments
  1. Ronald Petrin

    So glad to find this a true classic for the truth is scarier then fiction this Halloween 2019.

  2. Angelica Charm

    Solidarity, comrades

  3. breygon1

    This song got stuck my head at 5::00 AM this morning... It's been a long time. And I still remember all of the lyrics. I guess that shows how old and weird I am.

  4. Jake Hawley

    I wonder if Weird Al has any influence from this guy. reminds me of How Could this Happen to Me

  5. Angelica Charm

    SOLIDARITY!

  6. GaryR55

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese

  7. Arthur F. Scaltrito

    1st protest song I ever heard on 93.3 WMMR in 1969.
    Then an FM "underground" station.

    breygon1

    I grew up in Philly I remember their station ID. "WMMR, The Radio Station". All the DJ's especially the late-night ones sounded stoned. They introduced me to Firesign Theatre.

  8. kbaxter777

    Let's not get involved. . . .?

  9. Linny Crocus

    I don't get the meaning behind 1:47's verse

  10. Steve Wuertz

    I've always loved this. I have a 45 rpm copy-DJ copy of this. I really need to get a jukebox

  11. Fred Libby

    RIP Phil.

  12. wittywop

    We desperately need another Phil Oaks for this millennium. Oddly enough, he was a great voice during the 60's protest movement when all he really wanted was to be a rock star.

  13. yoncalla44

    the anthem of the "I'm a social liberal, but a fiscal conservative" hippiecrits??  - Tony Arioli

    Jesse Hammer

    yoncalla44 And their motto is “Be nice to people until it costs money”.

  14. Shagata Ganai

    Phil Ochs was a big part of the "Great Folk Scare" of the early Sixties, when it seemed that homemade, backwoods, twangy ballads of righteousness and deprivation and determination would take over all of radio. You know, before Rock 'n' Roll had us all doped up and ready to go.
    But seriously, "Small Circle Of Friends" earned Ochs a huge following and much popularity. The song could be used as a "litmus test" on whether or not you had an (R) or a (D) on your hands just by the conversation that could be elicited after playing it to them for the first time.
    Unfortunately for Ochs, he never reached the artistic peak, or the same popularity in subsequent years and record releases, his activism https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/24/why-phil-ochs-is-the-obscure-60s-folk-singer-america-needs-in-2017/?utm_term=.f8819e09a1ca
    still resonates for the same reasons it resonated then. It Is Truth.
    RIP, gentle soul.
    Say "Hello, I Love You" to my Mom for me please, if you can. Far Rockaway, indeed.

  15. Jerry Bass

    The man is simply delicious. Restoring the Earth 2020, Phil.

  16. HydraHYD

    Technically this song counts as a comedic piece

  17. Lenny Schafer

    Great piano playing.

    Phil Mann

    Lincoln Mayorga ticklin' the ivories on this one. Great job on his part.

  18. Erick Ballesteros

    yooooo this shit is fire af

  19. Isaiah

    this only has 48 thousand views. i promise to change that

  20. jjonestowne

    Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
    They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
    Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
    But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends.

    Riding down the highway, yes, my back is getting stiff
    Thirteen cars are piled up, they're hanging on a cliff.
    Maybe we should pull them back with our towing chain
    But we gotta move and we might get sued and it looks like it's gonna rain
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends.

    Sweating in the ghetto with the (colored/Panthers) and the poor
    The rats have joined the babies who are sleeping on the floor
    Now wouldn't it be a riot if they really blew their tops?
    But they got too much already and besides we got the cops
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends.

    Oh there's a dirty paper using sex to make a sale
    The Supreme Court was so upset, they sent him off to jail.
    Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine. (*)
    But we're busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Smoking marihuana is more fun than drinking beer,
    But a friend of ours was captured and they gave him thirty years
    Maybe we should raise our voices, ask somebody why
    But demonstrations are a drag, besides we're much too high
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Oh look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed
    They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed
    Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
    But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

  21. Ramses Manzo

    why he's dead??? we need him!!!

    toxicgraphix

    he ain't dead.. you can not destroy matter, only change it's form, the first law of thermodynamics...

    "Ever'body might be just one big soul,
    Well it looks that a-way to me.
    Everywhere that you look, in the day or night,
    That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma,
    That's where I'm a-gonna be.

    Wherever little children are hungry and cry,
    Wherever people ain't free.
    Wherever people are fightin' for their rights,
    That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma.
    That's where I'm a-gonna be."

    Ramses Manzo

    @toxicgraphix thank you for that.

  22. daddyattitude

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/marihuana

  23. 814dom

    god, i wish i could see him live right now[without dying]. his honesty, sense of humor sweet voice and hard hitting lyrics made him the most unique and insightful troubador of any time.

  24. Caitlin Belforti

    I've been listening to Nirvana these past few days and someone tonight introduced me to Phil Ochs. I find these two artists very similar despite having different genres. They both had their own way of saying fuck you to the world.

    Shagata Ganai

    It's a Nihilist viewpoint, from what I can tell. A lot of art comes out of that quarter. There is a lot of angst there to be mined. But I bet if you read up on who each person really was at the core, you find Ochs to be the Ocean depths and Cobain to be Moosehead Lake, Me. USA.

  25. Darris Hawks

    Marijuana wasn't spelled wrong. It used to be spelled "marihuana" that's the "English" spelling. All the American laws about marijuana either say "cannabis" or "marihuana"

  26. stripervince1

    I think the first verse is a reference to the kitty genovese stabbing on a NYC street corner around 1966. a dozen people saw it but no one got involved... damn I'm old to remember that

    BFan60

    google it

    Keniko RB

    "Two weeks after printing a short article on the attack, The New York Times published a longer report that conveyed a scene of indifference from neighbors who failed to come to Genovese's aid, saying 37 or 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack and did not call the police. The incident prompted inquiries into what became known as the bystander effect or "Genovese syndrome".[4] Some researchers have questioned this version of events, offering alternative explanations as to why neighbors failed to intervene and suggesting that the actual number of witnesses was far fewer than reported."
    It happened, the 'fake news' was just a single source embellishing the story.

    Clarence Barnes

    She had just gotten off the subway in Kew Gardens Queens. Shocked peoole when it was reported. I was in grade school it happened in Astoria.

    Nyckname

    stripervince1 https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/nyregion/winston-moseley-81-killer-of-kitty-genovese-dies-in-prison.html

    Raymond Isser

    Correct!

  27. Kitnighty

    The greatest crime in that first verse is proclaiming that Monopoly is fun.

    Ross McLean

    It was the 1960's. Fun games hadn't been invented yet.

  28. Elf Spencer

    as true today as it was back then.

    Nyckname

    Elf Spencer Turns out the news report that prompted this song was wildly inaccurate.

  29. C. M.

    Remember this from the'70's? I used to sing this all the time.

    stripervince1

    C. M. this was from the sixties...got very limited airplay... 1967

    C. M.

    I first heard it around '72. Used to sing it all time...lol.

  30. musikfanat

    This tune describes hipsters, perfectly...

  31. musikfanat

    Phil and I-along with Jerry Rubin, and Stu Albert-were arrested and went to jail together a few days before the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago:the charge? Having a pig-pigasus-in the Civic Center...

    Arthur F. Scaltrito

    Impressive

  32. T Rays

    The same thing happened in a big Canadian city and no one did a thing! She was found the next morning! No one called anyone! and people were watching from windows, watching! It happened also when the city police went on strike!

  33. Surfer Bri

    LOVE THIS TUNE HOW TRUE

  34. Molly Graf

    Sort of a protest song and sort of a statement about folks that knew they should be doing more to protest the Vietnam war but weren't and a bit of satire thrown in for good measure, and yes, as many possible meanings as American Pie lyrics. One of those things you had to have been there at the time to totally understand, just like many classic Saturday Night Live sketches. Nothing to get upset about, please ignore the above argument, nothing more to be seen!.

    Richard Johnson

    It's about the murder of Kitty Genovese who was murdered as people looked out their windows and nobody even bothered to call the cops.

  35. ganjoka

    I alway heard this song was inspired by the KittyGenovese murder in Queens N.Y. March 1964.

    W Thomas

    Yes, I believe that is correct.

    Luta comigo

    yeah, that's what my music teacher said

    David Hague

    That's what Ochs said when he performed the song in a coffee house in Harvard Square in 1966!

    GaryR55

    ganjoka I think 1964, if not even earlier, is about right. I somehow recall hearing the song on the radio around '63 or '64, but it could have been later.

  36. Scott Burton

    Great song that Dr.Demento has played a time or two.

    Barbara Kirk

    As had Kenny Everett and Annie Nightingale in the UK.

    William McAnally

    Dr. Demento was the shit!

  37. Victoria A Vargas

    It was more than Kitty Genovese, it was Tom Forcade, and Larry Flint, and the politics of the police in NYC at the time......
    Proud, and happy, to have been a LONG TIME member of the "Small Circle of Friends".........and now the building is in foreclosure, sold, and being emptied....the museum (and once my home)  should have been preserved.

    Diana Gregory

    As I've called it for years - Phil's Anthem to Apathy.

    Alan Hardman

    Victoria A Vargas - This song had NOTHING to do with Larry Flint. He was attacked 1978, a long time after this little ditty was released. Tom Forcade died the same year Larry Flint did. The song was released in 1967 - I remember hearing it while "bucking" hay with cousins in eastern Oregon. You may have lived there, but your memory is seriously muddled.

  38. Nipper Jellie

    Happy Birthday Phil !
    2:13

  39. Rachel Zack

    Oh, look outside the window, there's a folksinger crying.
    He's tied a rope around his neck, I think he is dying.
    Maybe we should ask him if he's doing okay.
    But he's too left wing for me and his records never sold like Dylan anyway.
    And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody...

    Steve Kirschenbaum

    It must be tough being you.

    MsLioncub

    Rachel, I'm really sorry that nobody else but me understood what you meant to say. I'm sending you a hug.

    Fantasy Man

    MsLioncub If Phil was alive I bet he'd have loved that line. Though it's a bit of a mouthful, probably need to change it a little to be more rhythmic.

    Josef Wolff

    lol. spot on, he was an asshole who could barely sing and play guitar and his lyrics were horrible. just drivel about how important he was and how he knew better than anyone. Communist jews like this hack moron are the wors singers and song writers . just another drug addicted jewish kid with messiah complex. the 60's was full of these idiots. but some of them could actually write lyrics.

    Person Person

    Woooosh to every one replying. The point of the song is that people are apathetic assholes. It’s sarcasm

  40. Don Egan

    great song

  41. Labarim1

    I actually saw Phil perform this. Maybe it was in 69 in LA. Joan Baez and a bunch of other peace activists were there. I am not big on anti war songs, but I do love Country Joe's satire as it is too real, but Phil's take on how people will watch a tragedy and do nothing about it is such a timeless idea and I have always loved this song. It IS OK to help someone in trouble. Most turn because they don't want to get involved. And even more don't want to get involved fingering someone.

  42. Robert Jones

    You need to FUCKING COPYRIGHT THAT!!!!!! BRAVO!

  43. if6was929

    In writing this song Phil was inspired by the case of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death in 1964 outside her home in Queens, New York, while dozens of her neighbors reportedly ignored her cries for help

    GaryR55

    if6was929 I was roused from sleep in the wee hours this morning by the distant, muffled cries of a woman somewhere in the night that quickly trailed off into silence......and then Phil Ochs' song popped into my head, and now I can't get back to sleep. It's not the first time this has happened, either, here near downtown Seattle.

    GaryR55

    These days, it's people with earbuds jammed into their ears, staring down at their "smart phones" who do the ignoring. I saw a young man collapse right at my feet at a bus stop a few years, blood streaming from his nose and mouth, after being hit by a bus as it pulled into the stop. He'd been jaywalking and didn't see the bus. Immediately, I went to check on him, shouting to people at the stop to call 911, as I don't have a "phone," and that's when I noticed these phone zombies, standing there completely unaware of reality, glued to whatever nonsense was on their fucking screens.

  44. Christian121y

    Why don't you think this song remains fully topical? Hasn't human nature remained the same, even if the methods of apathy and violence are a bit more refined?

  45. Leslie Korshak

    Thank you...

  46. jpgrcougar

    brilliantly written, Seasass. what a perfect add to this song. Sadly, Phil's not around to sing it.

  47. John Lloyd Scharf

    I used to sing this song to get people upset. At the time, it was very topical. In some ways, it still is.

  48. MIKECNW

    Bull. they just didn't give a shit.

  49. ForteFairy

    I read about that in "The Forty Studies that Changed Psychology." Basically, everyone was of the mindset that "So many people know what's happening, somebody has had to have called the cops by now."

  50. ind2speed

    no, those guys couldn't read the sunday new york times

  51. MrAnarchris

    LOL!!! great comeback!

  52. bob robertson

    Penn state? Don't you mean Ped state?

  53. bob robertson

    Is this the Stubenville, Ohio fight song?

  54. BigMooseSoCal

    Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Your child rape joke post was ridiculous, and now you say you "take it, then" and think something "obviously" is this or that? Nope, in short, don't be a smart ass and don't assume, because you'll most likely be wrong, as you were here for both. Guess again though sparky...

  55. MIKECNW

    Wonder if they ever gave their explanation for ignoring that?

    Did they even phone the police?

  56. BigMooseSoCal

    Two attempts at being cool, but both sucked, really sucked, first making fun of child rape/molestation. Then trying to seem sarcastic and intelligent to a response about how clueless you are. Try again...

  57. Amhlair

    2:15 Actually, that's the way most governments spell it, such as the US Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and even some of the American states' medical marihuana legislation today (e.g., Michigan). So you're cool.

  58. BigMooseSoCal

    I sure hope you didn't spend more than 5 minutes on that. In other words, I hope you have more important things to do... or you're gonna hurt somebody

  59. billd66

    Wow, that's brilliant. Minor nit: fix the second to last line to read, "But what does a lowly grad assistant know about the law?" That way it'll scan correctly. (Why yes, I've written song parodies before...)

  60. LaughingatpainUSAway

    Apathy= the most over-rated drug