Monday, April 25, 2011

"This Is Not The Way We Put An End To War"

In the thread about "Galveston" downblog, a friend recommends Glen Campbell's version of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier." It's worth a listen. I tracked down this other version with a really interesting introduction by the writer. She wrote this song back in 1964, though this is a much more recent performance. She's got an interesting take on the antiwar song: it's not about the poor cannon fodder being victimized, but instead about the people -- like you and me! -- who enable war by not stopping it. Sorta brutal. I didn't realize before how polemical this song was.


  1. Turns out the video of Campbell singing Universal Soldier was from the 1980 "Because We Care", CBS-TV special raising funds for Cambodian Famine victims.
    It took some balls to sing that song on TV while still a pretty successful country music singer...
    He originally cut the song as a single in 1965 after replacing Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys for a while. It was not a hit :^)

  2. Music can cause flashbacks as vivid as drugs. These songs remind me of times sitting around our living-room with friends that were actually making fun of the war protestors. They were writing them off as kooks and unAmerican activists. I mean like it is sane and American to kill?

    The war continued, pages of the calendar turned and eventually soldiers, friends, returned from the battlefield. It was then we got to see first hand the cost war has on the mind of the soldier.

    A scar that does not fade over time, a wound so deep in the mind there is no way to amputate the memories and replace them with a prosthetic.

    I don't buy not showing the victims of war, because too many of us subscribe to the 'if I don't see it, it hasn't happen' theory.

    Every fallen soldier's casket should be shown, saluted and welcomed home. We need to see that some of our men and women come home in boxes.

    We need to see the collateral damage to babies and children and men and women of little unknown villages they call their home.

    We need to see this because if we do maybe we will work harder to stop what we see. It's very real, not a fairy tale with a happy ending.

    There will always be thousands and thousands of the mind-wounds we will never be able to see. They become the burden that has to be carried by each solider alone, forever with him/her.