Missing/When I’m Gone

September 15, 2007

An MP3 of Missing/When I’m Gone is available here. I wrote Missing; When I’m Gone is by Phil Ochs. This is posted for Essbee, by request.

Whatever happened to the boy-scout I used to be?
Full of good deeds and duty to God, Queen and Country
He’d have been useful, what with everything he was taught
But he’s missing, presumed got interested in sport.

Whatever happened to that footballer in his teens?
Full of last-minute Cup Final winners, often for the right team
He’d have been Michael Owen* given half a chance
But he’s missing, presumed got interested in romance.

Whatever happened to the Romeo I used to be?
Full of gifts and flowers and dreadful poetry
He’s have been married now, playing with the kids’ Sticklebricks
But he’s missing, presumed got interested in politics.

Whatever happened to the lefty I used to be?
Full of wars for peace and freedom and Marxist theory
He’d be President now or in prison for his ideas
But he’s missing, presumed got interested in careers.

Whatever happened to that youngster of yesterday?
The badges and the bruises, the blushes and the beret
He’d have been special if he’d not kept breaking the mould
But he’s missing, missing presumed grown old.

* Depending on the knowledge of the audience, I might substitute James McFadden or David Beckham here.

There’s no place in the world I’ll belong when I’m gone
I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone
You won’t find me singing this song when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

I won’t feel the passing of the time when I’m gone
The pleasures of love will not be mine when I’m gone
My pen won’t pour out lyric line when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

I won’t feel the morning’s warming light when I’m gone
Sands will be shifting out of sight when I’m gone
I can’t put my shoulders to the fight when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

I won’t feel the golden rays of sun when I’m gone
Evening and morning will be one when I’m gone
I can’t sing louder than the guns when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

And I can’t be laughing at the lies when I’m gone
I can’t ask how or when or why when I’m gone
I can’t live proud enough to die when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

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