The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103495   Message #2111337
Posted By: GUEST,meself
25-Jul-07 - 07:07 PM
Thread Name: Harris and the Mare - murder or not?
Subject: RE: Harris and Mare - murder or not?
"As for Harris and the Mare, does anyone think that maybe it was Rogers' way of expressing the opinion that conscientious objection is hypocrisy?"

This will be the second time in this thread that I commit the questionable act of quoting myself, but - here's me, 'way up the thread: 'Overall, the song seems to me a folkie-version of "Coward of the County", the message of the song being that anyone who claims to be a pacifist is full of shit, and/or as thick-headed as buddy in this ballad ... '

This is one of the things that bothers me about the song - it strikes me as a rather simple-minded dismissal of what can be a noble stance. Once again, the idea that this man could live in the type of community that produces a Cleary, and never face the possibility that he might someday feel duty-bound to physically defend a loved one goes beyond the bounds of credibility, to my mind. Furthermore, the idea that someone would take the rather drastic step of becoming a conscientious objector without ever having compared fighting in a (distant?) war to fighting in a more immediate context to protect family members, spouse, etc., is hard to credit. The first question anyone challenging your stance would ask is, "What would you do if the Germans [or whoever] attacked your home, your family?" - to which you would reply either "I would fight to defend my family - but I don't believe they ever will attack my family", or "I would not raise a hand even against attackers of my family, because I believe that would be wrong." But this guy - again, he's fifty-nine years old, and the very idea that being a man might mean having to defend your wife is new to him ... ??