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Buffy Sainte-Marie
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Buffy Sainte-Marie

Universal Soldier lyrics

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Buffy Sainte-Marie – Universal Soldier lyrics

He's five feet 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 Jew
And he knows he shouldn't kill and he knows he always will
You'll for me my friend and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France
He's fighting for the usa
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 he's 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 the weapon of the war
And without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he really is to blame
But his orders come from far away no more
They come from him and you and me and brothers can't you see
This is not the way we put an end to war

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  • u
    Even though most of society is not in favor of war, most people will still buy stock in a military contractor, or go to work in the defense industry. They just shrug their shoulders and stop thinking about it, because that's what is expected of them. But if we just stop supporting war with our actions, and be an example for others, then maybe it will come to be seen as a more viable option for others in the future.
    1 reply
  • u
    Where the lyrics read "a Jane", it sounds be "a Jain", a highly ascetic variant of Hinduism. I think that including Jainism is a very odd pick for the lyrics, as they are undoubtedly the most non-violent sect on earth. To protect insects (who may be reincarnated souls), the gently sweep any bugs away in their walking path with rustic brooms, wear masks to prevent swallowing insects as well, and consider self-denial, like choosing starvation to the point of death, as the noblest of Jain values.
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  • c
    Chuck Hugh Farley
    Buffy Sainte-Marie is from the cree tribe who valued warriors over all others - oddly she does not mention that.

    As hunter-gatherers, the basic unit of organization for Cree peoples were the lodge, a group of perhaps eight or a dozen people, usually the families of two separate but related married couples, who lived together in the same wigwam (domed tent) or teepee (conical tent), and the band, a group of lodges who moved and hunted together. In the case of disagreement lodges could leave bands, and bands could be formed and dissolved with relative ease, but as there is safety in numbers, all families would want to be part of some band, and banishment was considered a very serious punishment. Bands would usually have strong ties to their neighbours through intermarriage and would assemble together at different parts of the year to hunt and socialize together. Besides these regional gatherings, there was no higher-level formal structure, and decisions of war and peace were made by consensus with allied bands meeting together in council. People could be identified by their clan, which is a group of people claiming descent from the same common ancestor; each clan would have a representative and a vote in all important councils held by the band (compare: Anishinaabe clan system).

    Each band remained independent of each other. However, Cree-speaking bands tended to work together and with their neighbours against outside enemies. Those Cree who moved onto the Great Plains and adopted bison hunting, called the Plains Cree, were allied with the Assiniboine and the Saulteaux in what was known as the "Iron Confederacy" which was a major force in the North American fur trade from the 1730s to the 1870s.

    When a band went to war, they would nominate a temporary military commander, called a okimahkan, loosely translated as "war chief." This office was different from that of the "peace chief", a leader who had a role more like that of diplomat. In the run-up to the 1885 North-West Rebellion, Big Bear was the leader of his band, but once the fighting started Wandering Spirit became war leader. Hippies.
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