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That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: joseph torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 09, 2003 10:06PM

November 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of a very dark day in American history---the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. To those of us old enough to remember, the terrible reality of what occurred that day shocked and overwhelmed us. In an instant, we were transformed from a nation of people with great hope to one of utter confusion and immeasurable despair.

Many historians point to that moment as the day we lost our innocence forever. The tragedy of the Presidentís death and the violent manner in which it occurred marked a defining point in our lives; one by which we, along with other calamities, sadly measure the passing of time.

Shortly after the tragedy, folk singer and poet Phil Ochs wrote a haunting ballad about the President and the assassination. I've included the words from his second version of the song, "That Was The President" as both a tribute to JFK and a reminder of what might have been. I hope you don't mind. The song is included on Ochs' album, "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore."


That Was the President, that Was the Man 2
(Phil Ochs)

The bullets of the false revenge have struck us once again,
As the angry seas have struck upon the sand,
And it seems as though a friendless world has lost itself a friend,
That was the president, and that was the man.

I still can see him smiling there and waving to the crowd,
As he drove through the music of the band,
And never even knowing no more time would be allowed,
Not for the president, and not for the man.

Here's a memory to share, here's a memory to save,
Of the sudden early ending of command,
Yet a part of you, a part of me is buried in his grave,
That was the president, and that was the man.

Everything he might've done and all he could've been,
Was proven by the troubled traitor's hand,
For what other death could wound the hearts of so many men,
That was the president, and that was the man.

The glory that was Lincoln's never died when he was slain,
It's been carried over time and time again,
And to the list of honor you may list another name,
That was the president, and that was the man.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: November 10, 2003 08:03PM

Thanks, Joseph. We had a discussion of Phil Ochs on this forum recently, so this is appropriate and very timely, too.

I was reminded of this passage where Hamlet and Horatio are talking about the late King Hamlet:

Horatio: I saw him once. He was a goodly king.

Hamlet: He was a man, take him for all in all. / I shall not look upon his like again.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: jaggie (---.bu.edu)
Date: November 10, 2003 08:11PM

Thank you so much for your post and poem. We must never forget the exuberance, the hope, the wonder of those years, so tragicalle cut shot by assasination, that still is in large part a mystery.

Although only a young boy, I vividly recall how Mrs Jackie Kennedy wore that pink dress, blood stained all over, back to DC. When I reporter asked her, Why? She responded: "I want the world to see what THEY have done to him." We still do not know who the real "THEY" are!! Mrs. Kennedy's dignity and strength through that long weekend will stand as a model of what class is all about. She pulled us through that time and she was a mere thritysomething.

Again, Thanks for the poem!!

Jagwar


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: November 11, 2003 12:42PM

That poem was beautiful and I am glad to have read it on this Veteran's Day. Thank you so much for posting it.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 12, 2003 06:49PM

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Didn't you love the things they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good in you and me?
And we'll be free
Someday soon
It's gonna be one day

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walking up o'er the hill
With Abraham, Martin and John


Words & Lyrics by: Dion Demucii Arranged by: Richard Holler.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: November 13, 2003 11:10AM

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm assuming John and Bobby are the Kennedys...not John Lennon anyway.

Very cool poem, too.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 13, 2003 11:44AM

Talia, "That Was the President"... this song about the three political leaders was written about 1969 more than ten years before John Lennon was killed.


Les


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 13, 2003 11:52AM

Here's some background on the song:

[www.wcbsfm.com] />

Les


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: November 13, 2003 02:35PM

Yes, and Martin was Martin Luther King, Jr.

pam


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: joseph torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 13, 2003 04:59PM

Just to round it out, Abraham was Abraham Lincoln.

To all:

Thanks for the comments and the additional postings. Once in awhile, we simply have to stop for a moment and reflect on the past in order to get our bearings for the future.


Les:

How did a youngster like yourself hear about WCBS-FM? It's one of the best "oldies" stations in the country, but I wasn't aware that it, or its website, were known beyond the NYC area.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: glenda (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: November 13, 2003 06:48PM

I was in downtown Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. I'm sure many of you have seen the film of the man falling to the ground with a two year old. That two year old is a family friend. He and his family (especially the father) refuse to speak publically to anyone about that day. Needless to say, that was a horrible day, but the most eerie time I have ever spent was the following Saturday morning. We went back to the site and there were hundreds of people just milling around, not speaking, with a glazed look on their faces. A light went out that day for me and a lot of others. No matter how much time passes, I still feel the shock and loss as if it were yesterday. I thought that after living in many other states over the years before moving back here that the raw emotions would have disappeared. Not so.........


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: November 14, 2003 03:20PM

Please, folks forgive me about the John and Bobby error....I guess the JFK in the title should have given me the answer, but I assure, although all of that happpend before I was born (I think Lennon was shot weeks after I was born) I assure you I do have an education.

We have seen video clips, read novels and textbooks about those sort of events in high school, but I don't think my generation had any idea what it felt like to experience tragedy with the entire nation at one time unitl September 11. I think on a smaller scale life is very much the same way. We have milestone and tradgedies that occurr and we are never the same...the loss of a loved one, losing a job, etc. that wake us up, but just like Americans have lost their unity among each other that we had in the fall of 2001, we as humans lose our perspectives at time, and miss out on what we should be thanking God for and appreciating.

Thank you for the poem Jospeh.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: joseph torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: November 15, 2003 10:17AM

Talia:

No need to seek forgiveness...and I'm sorry that it sounded as if I was chiding you for not knowing who the principals are in the Abraham, Martin, and John poem/song. I did not intend to offend or chastise you, or anyone else.

joet


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: November 15, 2003 12:46PM


[poetry-magazine.com] />
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that there is a hundred year spread between Abraham and John then Martin?


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 15, 2003 05:41PM

What's the story behind Garfield? As a Brit I just googled him (well presidents actually) because I thought there was another assasination but didn't know who. Why is he not remembered in the same way as Lincoln and Kennedy?


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 16, 2003 01:24AM

Linda, Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy and Martin Luther King were martyrs because they generally stood for the ideals of the common man. In many ways they were looked up to by the down-trodden and poor, especially those of color, the minorities. President Garfield, on the other hand, being a conservative championed the ideals of the more affluent, the wealthy majority
in America. Hence, he is not considered the martyr that the others are. He was in fact shot by a disgruntled postal employee who had been displaced by
a change in the senority system, a policy which had been criticised by the president.


Les


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.MCLNVA23.covad.net)
Date: November 16, 2003 11:17AM


shot by a disgruntled postal employee

It's nice to know that some things, at least, have not changed, even today.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 16, 2003 03:36PM

And McKinley?

Only one British prime minister has been murdered, Spencer Percival, in 1811. And that was by a man judged to be suffering from mental illness, but not such as to prevent him knowing right from wrong, who did not have anything against Percival himself, only the office he held.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 16, 2003 09:37PM

Linda, President McKinley was shot by a man who favored the overthrow of the American political system. Here is a link which tells about that assassination.

[ksks.essortment.com] />

Les


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: November 17, 2003 11:59AM


Glenda, thanks for sharing your experience in Dallas.

About ten years ago I flew to Dallas to speak at a conference, and I was so busy getting ready for my talk that I didn't give any thought at all to the city I would happen to be in. I was met at the airport by a total stranger, a very nice woman who was working on the conference, and we talked about the conference and friends we had in common... and I didn't pay ANY ATTENTION to where she was driving because I didn't know the city at all.... and

SUDDENLY we were at Dealey Plaza and she stopped. I got out and walked around in a daze. It has been preserved -- there is a memorial and there's an X on "the window" of the Book Depository, but it's still basically as it was, an ordinary traffic overpass in an ordinary downtown area, so you can imagine being there when. VERY POWERFUL, more so because I wasn't readying myself for it.

This lovely woman drove me there because she KNEW it was the last thing on my mind, and gave me that experience just because she could.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 19, 2003 04:16PM

Joseph, PBS is running a special on the Kennedys, John, Robert, and Edward. The special details their father's ambition to have one (or more) of his sons ascend to the presidency. Joseph, their father, is quoted as saying that he would pay any price to have a son as president.

The program concludes with the statement that Joseph might not have made that statement if he had known exactly what that price was.


Les


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: glenda (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: November 19, 2003 09:08PM

Marian,

I know you would appreciate the Sixth Floor Museum. It's tastefully done, and very comprehensisve. One of my favorite things to do is read the comments from visitors. It's not hard to discern the age groups. Yesterday my daughter asked me what was more traumatic to me...the Kennedy assassination or the WTC attack. Although both were horrible, I had to say the Kennedy death for two reasons. l. I was there (which I am sure you can relate to) and 2. the lack of violence back in the EARLY 60's. We weren't inured to violence quite yet.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Talia (216.117.98.---)
Date: November 20, 2003 02:48PM

Anyone want to talk about what they think about the "Kennedy curse"? Also, I think I heard or read somewhere that Jackie O had made memoir tapes and they are to be relased at x amount of years after her death....I wonder what that's all about!

Also, has anyone read Caroline Kennedy's book of her mother's favorite poems? I read most of it. They were mostly classics, some great pictures in there, too.


Re: That Was The President (JFK)
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: November 24, 2003 04:01PM

PRESIDENTIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less than a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy."

John Fitzgerald KennedyBorn May 29, 1917-Died November 22, 196335th President, 1961-1963 (Democrat)




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