The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26140   Message #129858
Posted By: Bill Cameron
30-Oct-99 - 01:37 PM
Thread Name: Discussion: Universal Soldier
Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
Pardon my lack of sublety but I don't understand how anyone can filter the lyrics of a straightforward song such as "Universal Soldier", into two parts and say 'this part is ironic, but that part she really means.' For what its worth, the song says that we are all to blame for letting ourselves be used by the military/industrial/patriotic complex to promote continued violence against other people.

Remember, though, this was written in 1963. Buffy Ste-Marie has come up with some pretty diverse opinions since then, and while much of her work has been powerful evocation of Native spirit, some of it has promoted that very same military etc. complex--her song "Up Where We Belong" was the theme of "An Officer and a Gentleman" fer Gawdsakes.

Another more recent song "The Big Ones Get Away" empathized with the situation of small-time arms smugglers who did contract dirty work for the CIA in Central America, then took the fall when they were shot down or caught. Seems an odd spot to place one's sympathy, but that's some of the real value of her work--it's not always predictable, and it makes you think.