Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Cannon Fodder Day!

I almost forgot what day it was. In honor of Veteran's Day, aka Cannon Fodder Day, here's pop singer Scott Walker's devastating "Hero of the War" from 1969.

He's a hero of the war
All the neighborhood is talkin' 'bout your son
Mrs. Reiley get his medals
Hand them 'round to everyone
Show his gun to all the children in the street
It's too bad he can't shake hands or move his feet

He's a hero of the war
You can see his picture in the local news
Mrs. Reiley seems the girl next door is nowhere to be found
Once you couldn't keep that boy from hangin' 'round
Never mind dear, you're with your mum once more

He's a hero of the war
Like his dad he gave his life the war before
It was tragic how you almost died of pain when he was born
With no husband there beside you through it all
Ring the bell if you get hungry or you fall

You're a hero of the war
Why those teardrops on your cheek? it's so absurd
Feelin' empty it's the emptiness of heroes like your son
And what made him leave his mother for a gun
Driven forward driven back and nothing more

He's a hero of the war

War: resist it. Don't enlist.


  1. but don't forget, ish: being in the military is difficult for the soldiers, the families, and everyone. they don't start the wars. they deserve our appreciation.

  2. When you buy a sixpack of beer, how many pennies find their way to buying bombs and bullets? Probably not many but definitely some. Unless you're gonna live in a tree all of us are to some extent complicit in the injustices around us. All human activity is now deeply intertwined and we in the richest country in the world enjoy our lives because of the wealth our country has earned at the expense of the rest of the world. Not so nice to think about. Probably impossible to avoid.

    And while the machinery of war is not the fault of veterans (really I don't mean to sound like I'm completely heartless), given that there is no draft right now, the easiest way to avoid being complicit with the particular injustice of war is, well, to not enlist.