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There but for fortune/blowin in the wind

22 Oct 08 - 10:57 PM (#2473381)
Subject: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,Jackinthebox

Any one else think that Phil Ochs' there but for fortune is in spite of the relative obscurity of both the song, and the songwriter, is actually a vastly superior song to Bob Dylans blowing in the wind?


22 Oct 08 - 11:10 PM (#2473389)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: catspaw49

They're both okay but I'm not particularly enamored of either one.

Spaw


23 Oct 08 - 12:00 AM (#2473413)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Joe Offer

I don't really like comparing things and trying to determine which one is better. Both songs have good points and bad, and neither is in my list of the best songs of Ochs and Dylan. I suppose "fortune" and "wind" were toward the top of the list of commercially successful songs for Ochs and Dylan. The Ochs song I like best is "Changes," a far more sophisticated piece of poetry and music. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite Dylan song. I like a lot of his songs, although I usually prefer them sung by somebody else - I think I might pick "Every Grain of Sand" or "When the Ship Comes In." Just now, I came across a terrific Dylan song I hadn't heard before, Dignity.

-Joe-


23 Oct 08 - 12:25 AM (#2473419)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Peace

The best cut I heard of "Every Grain of Sand" was on a bootleg set of three CDs. IMO, it's better than the one he released.

As for this thread, I like both songs. I prefer the chord changes used by PP and M as opposed to Dylan, but that's just me.


23 Oct 08 - 12:55 AM (#2473425)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: catspaw49

Tell ya' Bruce, the very best I ever heard "Wind" was by Dylan although I can't tell you where I heard it. But several times in performance I heard the song done as a truly angry protest (the first time by Dylan) and only on that level have I ever enjoyed it. I think Peter Yarrow went that direction a bit but the PPM sound soon took over and it went the way of most PPM arrangements.

Its funny how some songs which are often and usually done so sweetly are really much better if you change the "mood." Like Donovan's "Catch the Wind"..............Nice song, kinda' sweet and sad and all but the best I ever heard it was as a VERY painful-pleading of an unrequited love.....as if the singer's life was and would be nothing without his lover. After that rendition it went to the top of my list as a love song.

Spaw


23 Oct 08 - 01:33 AM (#2473427)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,Gerry

Seems like a strange pair of songs to compare. Might make more sense to compare Ochs' I Ain't Marching Any More and Dylan's God On Our Side as both go through America's wars. Not compare in the sense of which is better but in the high school essay sense of compare and contrast....


23 Oct 08 - 02:15 AM (#2473433)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Little Robyn

I believed in and sang both songs equally, back in the mid 60s and Catch the wind as well. I also sang many of Pete Seeger's protest songs. I guess that's how we felt, back then. I hope I've grown up now - hmmm, or maybe not.
Robyn


23 Oct 08 - 06:11 PM (#2474176)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,Mark Jennings

From a musical stand point, I find There But For Fortune to have a much stronger melody than Blowing In the Wind. I realize that it's all very subjective, but just listen to Francois Hardy's cover in French...the melody is embelished, but faithful, and it's hauntingly beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz3u5lF9mms

There have been some okay versions of wind, I suppose, but I've always found its core melody, remarkably boring. Then again, I am biased, I personally think that Phil Ochs was a much better melodist than Bob Dylan. Dylans come up with a few good tunes, but remarkably few. Think of the number of succesful covers of bob dylan songs which use the same "melody" he originally wrote...you'd be surprised.


23 Oct 08 - 07:07 PM (#2474232)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,Jim

Jackinthebox said,"Any one else think that Phil Ochs' there but for fortune is in spite of the relative obscurity of both the song, and the songwriter, is actually a vastly superior song to Bob Dylans blowing in the wind? "

I don't think of the song (There...Fortune) or the singer/songwriter as being "relatively obscure". Anyone who was a folky in Phil's heyday was certainly aware of him and definitely aware of this song.
It got nearly as much play as Blowin' In The Wind in the sixties.


23 Oct 08 - 09:05 PM (#2474331)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Joe Offer

"Fortune" was a hit for Baez. As Guest,Jim says, it certainly wasn't obscure. I don't know that Ochs really ever had a hit recording of his own. My thirty-something kids really like Ochs, but I always thought he was kind of whiny. I liked his songwriting, not his singing - but sometimes I found his songwriting a bit strident.
I like some of Dylan's singing, most of his songwriting, but I hated the one live Dylan performance I saw.
-Joe-


23 Oct 08 - 09:28 PM (#2474338)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: catspaw49

LMAO......Joe, I've been around here 10 years and you I guess 12 and I can't recall how many times on various threads these same merits/faults have been discussed but most never weary of them or they're newer and need to get their own 2 cents in and I always enjoy seeing if anything new comes up. But in OUR case I feel we're old friends and I've heard most of it before but,uh............no shit now, you actually went to a Dylan concert? How the hell did I miss this tidbit?

Father Joebro, you know Rick loved ya' and so do I, but we used to joke you were pretty much a PPM guy....LOL..........Did Rick know this? Man, I hate to think he left us without that information!...........LOL.....................

Spaw (;<))


23 Oct 08 - 11:04 PM (#2474402)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: frogprince

Have you seen the Youtube video of Dylan in a circle of folks holding hands, singing Kumbya?


24 Oct 08 - 01:39 AM (#2474494)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Doug Chadwick

It has never occurred to me to compare them. The quality of one does not add to ar detract from the quality of the other.

The thing that puzzles me is - what, forty odd years on from their writing, prompted this comparison now.

DC


31 Oct 08 - 07:03 PM (#2481225)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,jackinthebox

well for one, i wasn't born until several years after either song was written.


01 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM (#2481655)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,big tim

'Fortune' is a decent song but just a simple idea: 'there but for the grace of God, go I'. Show me this or that unfortunate, thank God it's not me. One dimensional.

'Wind' is philosophy, and on many levels. It can't be pinned down (except for it being antiwar and anti racist). But where's the answer to these problems, they must be out there somewhere in the human psyche, blowin in the wind. If only we could find them, maybe we will some day, I doubt it but you never know. For me, that's what Dylan was trying to convey. Heavy man!                              

The song is often criticised, wrongly IMO, for simply asking questions and providing no answers. However, Dylan, age 22, was wise enough to realise that there are no simple answers to these questions. Or at least we haven't found them yet after 10,000 years of 'civilisation'. The world is still awash with war and racism. I din't know what the 'answer' is. It's a timeless song, one of Dylan's very finest, and that saying something.


01 Nov 08 - 12:58 PM (#2481711)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: jimslass

Little Robyn, why on earth would you wish to grow out of that 'age of innocence, optimistic, humanistic mind-set? We're all older and more cynical now, but don't let's castigate ourselves for believing we could (and can) make a difference.


01 Nov 08 - 01:15 PM (#2481737)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Little Hawk

They're both darned good songs in their own way.

"There But For Fortune" has a much more beautiful tune, as one of the posters above remarked on. "Blowin' In The Wind" has far deeper lyrics...and a perfectly respectable tune.

'big tim' basically nailed it with his post above. There are no definitive answers to the great questions asked in "Blowin' In The Wind", and that's what makes the song so powerful.

As Bob once said, "I accept chaos. I don't know if it accepts me."

Most people are afraid to do that. They want certainty instead of admitting that they don't know, cannot know, and never will know the answers to the greatest questions in their lives. This makes them cling to rigid ideas, pretensions of righteousness, and it results in rather superficial and stilted song lyrics most of the time...which was a problem Ochs had, in my opinion, in a good many of his compositions. "There But For Fortune", however, is one of the better ones. I think that his best is "Changes".


02 Nov 08 - 01:47 AM (#2482210)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Little Robyn

Jimslass, when I look back and see how things have changed, I think maybe we did make a difference. But seeing as Im about to turn 63, don't you think it's time I matured a little?
Robyn


02 Nov 08 - 06:49 PM (#2482793)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: Herga Kitty

I was singing with friends last weekend, and sang "there but for fortune" - i) to see if I could remember it, because it isn't a song I actually remember performing;and ii)because it's still relevant!

Kitty


03 Nov 08 - 01:43 PM (#2483475)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

Why on earth would anyone feel a need to compare one song against another?

These kind of excercises are useless. Everyone has a favorite song, but contests of this sort only undermine the joy and beauty people derive from it.   

When I walk into a garden, a single rose might capture my attention, but I am not going to start saying why it is superior over the marigolds or tulips or whatever happens to be blooming. They all have their place. Even a rose garden has multiple species.


04 Nov 08 - 04:11 AM (#2484148)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity

I've been blessed, in this lifetime to have heard both of them! Not to mention, Lightfoot, Peter Paul and Mary, Seeger, Kingston Trio, and all the versions!! Just went through a 'Youtube journey' listening to all of them...it was great!


04 Nov 08 - 10:28 AM (#2484451)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: jimslass

Little Robyn, having just turned 57 myself, can be as realistic as needed WHEN needed, but I like to think that spirit of hope and optimism lurks somewhere, still! Otherwise, pass me the pills and I'll go quietly now. Let's not give up, at our age life is for making the most of, and embarrassing your kids at every opportunity!

And, to add to the discussion, it's always good for an academic flight of fancy re comparing tunes/songs, but as Ron above suggests, why get into a tizz about it? It will all come down to personal preference, and before you know it you have 3 or 4 chaps posting reams and reams of drivel and personal insults, and 'mines bigger than yours' bravura lightly disguised as considered opinion.

Peace 'n love, man.xxxxx (Oh gosh, hope you realise that last was written ironically!)


04 Nov 08 - 03:10 PM (#2484799)
Subject: RE: There but for fortune/blowin in the wind
From: GUEST,big tim

I believe I did Dylan a disservice in saying that he was 22 when he wrote 'Blowing'. Actually he was about a month short of his 21st birthday when he wrote the song - in a cafe across the street from the Gaslight in April 1962. PPM had a big hit with it before Dylan's own recording of it appeared on the Freewheelin album, released on 27 May 1963, when Dylan was aged 22 years and 3 days.

The song was an instant sensation and has pretty much remained so ever since. Mavis Staples said, 'how could HE [a young white guy] write that, how many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man, that was what my father had to suffer'. Empathy, dear, empathy.