The War Is Over

By Phil Ochs

Silent Soldiers on a silver screen
A         F#m       E   A          F#m
Framed in fantasies and dragged in dream
Bm               E7  A
Unpaid actors of the mystery
Bm        E                 F#m                       E
The mad director knows that freedom will not make you free
         F#m                   E
And what's this got to do with me
              G                 D
        I declare the war is over
                 A          E    E A E C#m
        It's over, it's over

Drums are drizzling on a grain of sand
Fading rhythms of a fading land
Prove your courage in the proud parade
Trust your leaders where mistakes are almost never made
And they're afraid that I'm afraid

        I'm afraid the war is over
        It's over, it's over

Angry artists painting angry signs
Use their vision just to blind the blind
Poisoned players of a grizzly game
One is guilty and the other gets the point to blame
Pardon me if I refrain

        I declare the war is over
        It's over, it's over

So do your duty, boys, and join with pride
Serve your country in her suicide
Find the flags so you can wave goodbye
But just before the end even treason might be worth a try
This country is to young to die

        I declare the war is over
        It's over, it's over

One-legged veterans will greet the dawn
And they're whistling marches as they mow the lawn
And the gargoyles only sit and grieve
The gypsy fortune teller told me that we'd been deceived
You only are what you believe

        I believe the war is over
        It's over, it's over


The idea for this song came (indirectly) from Ginsberg's ``Wichita Vortex Sutra.'' Phil also wrote an article entitled Have You Heard? The War is Over! which was published in the Village Voice, L.A. Free Press and later in his War is Over song book.

Chords supplied by cody, who also says: This song was originally written as follows. the first verse is the same as on the recorded version the second verse is

Cardboard cowboys of a new frontier
drowning indians in vats of beer
the troops are leaving on the trojan train
the sun in their eyes, but i am hiding from the rain
now one of us must be insane: i declare the war is over it's over it's over
the third verse is as follows
All the children play with gatling guns
tattoord moithers with their tattooed sons
the strong will wonder if they're really strong
but surely we've been gone to long i declare...
the fourth verse is the third on the recorded version and the fifth is the second on the record. the sixth is another verse that wasn't on the recording
But at least we're working building tanks and planes
and a raise is coming so we can't complain
the master of the march has lost his mind
perhaps, some other war, this fabled farce would all be fine
but now we're running out of time. i declare....
the last two verses are the same as on the record.
Last modified 20 Nov 99 by trent