Talkin' Pay TV

By Phil Ochs

Walkin' down to Denver town
I watched the western sun go down.
Thought that I would stop a while,
Switch around my TV dial.
Got some free Tee Vee . . . Only price was a little boredom.

Well, I'm not sure about my taste
But it seemed that TV land was a waste.
I saw 30 Westerns, 30 Private Eyes, 30 doctors operated before my eyes.
None of the operations was successful, though . . . It's hard to operate 
                        with so much violence around.

Well, every few minutes they'd take a break
For a profound message on a stomach ache.
They sold cures for dandruff, milk from the farm
Perfume for my underarms.
I've had enough . . . I'm stickin' to greasy kid stuff.

Well, the blood and gore was upon the floor
And I couldn't hardly stand no more,
So I walked outside to get some air.
A theater owner was standing there:
Carryin' a picket sign . . . Said Pay TV was un-American.

He said "I'm against that Pay TV.
I've much rather have people pay me."
A dollar for parking, two for the show,
Three for the baby sitter, there you go!
Get to see a wide-screen spectacular . . . Hercules meets Godzilla . . .
Audience meets nausea.

Well, Pay TV is fine to see
You get much better quality:
Broadway shows, heavy-weight fights
First-run movies every night.
Viewers of Denver, unite! . . . Nothing to lose but commercials.

Well, people are afraid of something new.
They laughed at planes before they flew.
You know, you only get just what you buy
So give that Pay TV a try.
Remember: . . . families that pay together stay together.


(C) 1963 Phil Ochs.

[NOTES: This is transcribed from the recording, with minor and I think pleasing differences from the liner notes. Example: "See a wide-screen...." becomes "Get to see a wide-screen spectacular..." on the recording. The rhythms seem just right, though part of the fun of talking blues is what all can be fit into that rhythm.

In case the explanation is needed, in the 1950s the Advertising Council of America, or some such organization, undertook a so-called public service ad campaign with the slogan "The family that prays together, stays together."]

21 Apr 97 trent