Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pleasures of The Harbour

I was listening to Phil Ochs album Pleasures of The Harbour when I read this...
'We cannot retreat, we cannot come back.

Boats are safe in the harbour, but that's not what they're made for.
'


-Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay


Somehow its poignancy counteracted the stupidity of this bit of homespun Atlantic wisdom. Obviously said by someone who is not a fisherman or a fisherman's wife. Only to be matched by this one; there are no safe ports in a storm.

And I thought of Phil and his lifelong struggles against War, Imperialism, Injustice and played the album again.

Seeking solace in the fact that we can come back, it is only a matter of time as the Americans found out in Vietnam.


And the ship sets the sail
They've lived the tale
To carry to the shore
Straining at the oars
Or staring from the rail
And the sea bids farewell
She waves in swells
And sends them on their way
Time has been her pay
And time will have to tell
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the har - bor

And the anchor hits the sand
The hungry hands
Have tied them to the port
The hour will be short
For leisure on the land
And the girls scent the air
They seem so fair
With paint on their face
Soft is their embrace
To lead them up the stairs
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

In the room dark and dim
Touch of skin
He asks her of her name
She answers with no shame
And not a sense of sin
Until the fingers draw the blinds
Sip of wine
The cigarette of doubt
The candle is blown out
The darkness is so kind
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

And the shadows frame the light
Same old sight
Thrill has blown away
Now all alone they lay
Two strangers in the night


Till his heart skips a beat
He's on his feet
To shipmates he must join
She's counting up the coins
He's swallowed by the street
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

In the bar hangs a cloud
The whiskey's loud
There's laughter in their eyes
The lonely in disguse
Are clinging to the crowd
And the bottle fills the glass
The haze is fast
He's trembling for the taste
Of passion gone to waste
In memories of the past
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

In the alley, red with rain
Cry of pain
For love was but a smile
Teasing all the while
Now dancing down the drain
'till the boys reach the dock
They gently mock
Lift him on their backs
Lay him on his rack
And leave beneath the light
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

And the ship sets the sail
They've lived the tale
To carry from the shore
Straining at the oars
Or staring from the rail
And the sea bids farewell
She waves in swells
And sends them on their way
Time has been her pay
And time will have to tell
Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take the pleasures of the harbor

Also See:

Afghanistan



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2 comments:

Alison said...

Oh man...Phil Ochs...the wonderful Phil Ochs.

eugene plawiuk said...

Yep I started doing a longer tribute post on Phil but it got eaten, I will be rewriting it soon. This is the thirtieth anniversary of his death. He still was better than Dylan...as he always said.