Buffy Sainte-Marie, “The Universal Soldier”


He’s five foot-two, and he’s six feet-four / He fights with missiles and with spears / He’s all of thirty-one, and he’s only seventeen / He’s been a soldier for a thousand years

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain / A Buddhist and a Baptist 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 in Canada, he’s fighting in France / He’s fighting in the U.S.A. / And he’s fighting for the Russians, and he’s fighting for Japan / And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way

And he’s fighting for Democracy or fighting for the Reds / 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 him at Dachau? / Without him, Caesar would have stood alone / He’s the one who gives his body as a weapon in a war / And without him, all this killing can’t go on

He’s the Universal Soldier, and he really is to blame / His orders come from far away no more / They come from here and there, and you and me / And brothers can’t you see this is not the way we put the end to war

[By Buffy Sainte-Marie © Caleb Music, 1964]

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