Just Before a Cold Winnipeg Xmas, 1967 AD


I remember buying this LP for myself in a doldrums period then and hunkering down to listen to great songs like “Changes”. And then Karen phoned me out of the blue, inviting me over to visit. It was the turning point in our relationship after not hearing from her for a month or so.
I always associate Phil Ochs’ “Changes” with her, that magic moment just before Christmas when we started up. (Later in January, we would go see Ian and Sylvia at University of MB.)

The lyrics of Ochs’ profound, spell-binding tune:

Sit by my side, come as close as the air,
Share in a mem’ry of grey,
And wander in my words,
And dream about the pictures that I play of changes.

Green leaves of summer turn red in the fall,
To brown and to yellow they fade;
And then they have to die, trapped within the
Circle time parade of changes.

Scenes of my young years were warm in my mind,
Visions of shadows that shine;
Till one day I returned and they were the
Victims of the vines of changes.

The world’s spinning madly, it drifts in the dark
Swings through a hollow of haze;
A race around the stars, a journey through the
Universe ablaze with changes.

Moments of magic will glow in the night.
All fears of the forest are gone;
But when the morning breaks, they’re swept away by
Golden drops of dawn of changes.

Passions will part to a strange melody
As fires will sometimes burn cold;
Like petals in the wind, we’re puppets to the
Silver strings of souls of changes.

Your tears will be trembling, now we’re somewhere else
One last cup of wine we will pour;
And I’ll kiss you one more time and leave you on the
Rolling river shores of changes.

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