Thursday, December 31, 2015

Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier" Performed by First Aid Kit

The great Cree singer-songwriter was featured on today's episode of World Café, in which we heard this Swedish folk-duo's cover her powerful anti-war (and refreshingly anti-warrior) anthem, with sadly updated lyrics:
    He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four
    He's fighting with missiles and with spears
    He's all of forty one, and he's only seventeen
    Been a soldier for a thousand years

    He's a Christian, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
    A Buddhist, and a Muslim, and a Jew
    And he knows he shouldn't kill
    And he knows he always will
    Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

    And he's fighting for Palestine
    He's fighting for Israel
    He's fighting for the U.S.A.
    And he's fighting for Afghanistan
    And he's fighting for Iraq
    And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

    And he's fighting for Democracy
    He's fighting for his soil
    He says: "It's for the peace of all"
    He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die
    And he never sees the writing on the wall

    But without him how would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?
    Without him Caesar would have stood alone
    He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war
    And without him all this killing can't go on

    He's the universal soldier
    And he is really is to blame
    His orders come from far away no more
    They come from here and there, and you and me
    And brother, can't you see
    This is not the way we put an end to war

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