Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Hero of the War

This is one of my favorite anti-war songs. It's "A Hero of the War" by expat American/UK pop star Scott Walker, ca. 1969. All those wars we witness, we read about: they're fought by regular people, some by choice some by compulsion, who should all be doing something else.

This song starts out so upbeat; by the time you realize what it's about it has become darkly sardonic. The lyrics:

"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"

I read Secretary of Defense Gates just gave a speech at West Point in which he expressed doubt that the U.S. should repeat its Iraqi and Afghan adventures. Better luck next time, right? The mind boggles. Bring the troops home now.

1 comment:

  1. "The world got smaller but the bombs got bigger
    Holocaust on a hairpin trigger
    Aint no game so forget the score
    What are we fightin' for?"

    What are we fighting for? - how about:

    Top ten corporations in the world
    1. Exxon Mobil
    2. Wal-Mart Stores
    3. Royal Dutch Shell
    4. BP
    5. General Motors
    6. Chevron
    7. DaimlerChrysler
    8. Toyota Motor
    9. Ford Motor
    10. ConocoPhillips

    Wake up people, it's not human rights we are fighting for- it's oil rights! Next time you fill up your gas tank picture the liquid being pumped as the blood of all the fallen.