1. Who is the artist?
Born to the Cherokee nation in 1941, Buffy Sainte-Marie was a musical peace activist who produced most of her songs during the 1960s.
2.) What is the name of the Song?
The song is titled "Universal Soldier".
3.) When was it recorded/released?
The song was released in 1964.
4.) What other famous songs do they sing?
While she is best known for "Universal Soldier", Buffy Sainte-Marie also sings "Until It's Time for You to Go" and "Co'dine".
5.) What do you think the lyrics of the song mean?
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, - Warriors across the world all share the same heart even though they have different faces.
He's been a soldier for a thousand years. - War seems to last forever for those in battle. For those who die in battle, war really does last forever.
He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain, A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew. - Continuation of the comparing of warriors everywhere that are different, but still all the same.
And he knows he shouldn't kill, And he knows he always will, Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you - Soldiers always must do their duty even if they never want to fight and kill again.
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,- Soldier everywhere are on the same side: the side of death.
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way. - Those who choose to go to war think violence is the only option.
And he's fighting for Democracy, He's fighting for the Reds, - The world in 1960 was split into the Democrats and the Soviets. As repeated before, the difference between the soldiers on each side is nonexistent.
He says it's for the peace of all. - Those who go to war think their way is the only way, and that if everyone is a part of it then there will be peace.
He's the one who must decide, Who's to live and who's to die, - Those who fight in wars hold the power over life itself, including the life of innocents. The position of power that the warrior holds also comes with the responsibility of who lives and dies.
And he never sees the writing on the wall. - Warriors don't see what's right in front of them: that violence is never the solution.
But without him how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau - Dachau was a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. Hitler could have never created these massive death camps without the Third Reich.
Without him Caesar would have stood alone - Julius Caesar was a revolutionary warmonger who overthrow the Roman Republic to establish a militant empire. Without his soldiers and warrior followers, this war could have never happened.
He's the one who gives his body as the weapon of the war And without him all this killing can't go on - To reiterate in a broader sense what the last two lines emphasized, wars and mindless murder could never happen if soldiers refused to fight.
He's the universal soldier and he really is to blame - The fault of all wars lies on soldiers everywhere. If killing is done by both sides, there will never be good, only evil.
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? - The citizens of every nation are the ones who start continue and end wars, and the politicians are controlled by the people. Therefore, it is the people's responsibility to end the reign of warriors everywhere.
6.) How do they relate to or reflect the time period?
During the 1960s, the Vietnam War raged on. Many Americans were beginning to see the war as pointless with no victory in sight, and continuation of the war would only result in extreme loss for both sides. These lyrics reflect the anti-war feeling of protesters during this time.
7.) What is taking place in history when the song was recorded or popular?
During this time period, The Vietnam War and Cold War raged on. On the upside, the Civil Rights movement for minorities in America was gaining more and more success, and conditions of post-WII Europe were stabilizing.
8.) What was the overall inspiration and message of the lyrics of the song?
The endless, mindless, merciless killing induced by war is a direct result of soldiers on every side that continue to fight. Without these Universal Warriors, war could never be possible.