One Tin Soldier
1969 | Folk
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"There won't be any trumpets blowing, come the judgment day. On the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away."
- The song charted each year from 1969 to 1974 by various artists and on various charts in the United States and Canada.
- The song has been covered endlessly by artists including Coven, Cher, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes & even comedian Rosanne Barr.
- The verse has the same harmonic base as Pachelbel's Canon (I-V-VI-III-IV-I-IV-V).
THE HOT TAKES
Who doesn't love a good ballad? A cautionary tale about coveting and conquering. What can I say here? Beware the price you are willing to pay to get what you want. Stay grounded. Be careful of the allure of expediency.
This ballad is a little morality tale about greed, and the senselessness of war, and what real treasure is. For me, the most timely portion is the chorus. “Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend, do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end.” The last statistics I read were that around 85% of the US identifies as Christian, yet many of those Christians also advocate things that are not love for their neighbor, like caging people for non-violent crimes, and things that are cheating people, like taxation. The Progressives and Conservatives neither one have a moral high ground. More often than not, when it comes to their politics, they are in a moral wasteland supporting the most vile wars and police abuse, amongst other evils, that only serve every day to make us less free and more under the thumb of The State. Each side sells fear and talks about the terrible things the other has done, all the while giving more power to The State to stick it to those other guys, only to have that same power they gave away used against them when it’s the other teams turn. If we libertarians want to really change minds, I think it would behoove us all to learn to speak their language, no matter what our beliefs are. There are some fantastic Christian Anarchists out there producing great work that shines a light on the falsehoods of the Civil Religion that passes for Christianity in much of the country today. Whether we like it or not they are the majority that we have to convince to live differently. As libertarians, we can do as this song does and hold them to the principles they claim to espouse, That will, im my opinion, be a great first step in having a freer more peaceful place to live.
I have so many memories of this song from my childhood, it was always one of my moms favorites and I suppose its bedtime story format lends it well to children. And what better type of story to teach your children than a hardcore anti-war story such as this. It was hard picking out a specific lyric because the narrative builds so well that every line needs the line before it into a moral about how we can think up any justification we want for war but the end result is always the same. The soldiers who win, come home through the killing fields, with the memories of their own lost brothers & the the blood of innocents on their hands. While the song is a great anti-war song on a couple levels, i think the statement it makes about the destruction it does to the human soul of every soldier conned into fighting is the most important. While libertarians can hat the war machine & anyone willing to sign up for it, we're talking about victims on every level who were corrupted from birth to justify evil.