"Universal Soldier" Buffy Sainte Marie By: Alex Armstead

1. The artist of this song is Buffy Sainte Marie.

2. The title of this song is "Universal Soldier".

3. This song was released in 1964 in the debut album "It's My Way!", but was written in 1962.

4. Some other songs Buffy Sainte Marie sang that are considered famous are "Up Where We Belong", "Soldier Blue", and "Cod'ine".

(start song at 0:56-1:26// 1:49-2:11)

  • He's fighting for Canada.
  • He's fighting for France.
  • Hes fighting for the USA.
  • And he's fighting for the Russians.
  • And hes fighting for Japan
  • And he thinks well brought an end to war this way.
  • Hes fighting for democracy,
  • he's fighting for the reds
  • He says its for the peace of all.
  • He's the one who gives is body
  • as a weapon to the war.
  • And without him all this killing cant go on
  • He's the universal soldier
  • And he really is the blame
  • But his orders comes from
  • far away no more.

5. I think the lyrics of this song symbolize war and peace. I feel as though this song is meant as an anti-war song, since it includes a lot of repetition such as "he", referring to as a soldier, and it gives us a negative feeling of war. In the beginning of the verse, it says "He's 5 foot 2 and he's 6 feet 4... he's all of 31 and he's only 17." I feel as though this part of the song symbolizes how there are multiple soldiers out in war, not just Americans, and that they each have different backgrounds. Jumping down into the middle verses, it says, "He's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France...", I feel as though this part symbolizes the Vietnam War. Even though this song is written before the war, it basically summarizes the American soldiers during the war. The American soldiers were basically fighting South Vietnam's war against North Vietnam, despite having nothing to do with the war in the first place. Since many thought the Americans were fighting the South Vietnam's war, it can be concluded that the Americans could be called "Universal soldiers", since one can say they did more fighting than the South Vietnamese did themselves. At the end verses where it says, "He's the universal soldier and is really is to blame.." symbolizes how soldiers anywhere in the world face this, and further saying that perhaps any war in the world is the same. Not to mention, that by creating/fighting wars will not change anything. Tying back with the Vietnam War, the Americans were fighting with the South Vietnamese to help contain Communism, but by fighting against North Vietnam, it seemed to bring more defeat upon themselves. Even until Nixon called for Vietnamization, evolving the Nixon Doctrine, many people thought this "objective" was not even worth it. When American soldiers left, South Vietnam couldn't defend itself and got defeated by North Vietnam, tying back to that even with the slight upheaval given by the Americans, it did little to change the outcome of the war.

6. It relates to the time period, because of the wars that were happening/just happened. Not to mention, this song was used as an anthem for the anti-war movement. As I said earlier, many Americans during this period felt like America's involvement in the Vietnam War was completely unnecessary.

7. When this song was being written, it was during the time when people were worried about missile gaps, Khrushchev, and the H-bomb.

8. The overall inspiration and message of this song is our personal responsibility. Sainte Marie says that, "we can’t blame just the soldier for the war, or just the career military officer, or just the politician. We have to blame ourselves too since we are living in an era where we actually elect our politicians.”

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