The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26140   Message #313093
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Oct-00 - 06:43 PM
Thread Name: Discussion: Universal Soldier
Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
I looked at Sing Out's reprints and listened to 1964 and 1996 recordings of the song from Sainte-Marie, and came up with what I think is a pretty good composite. I gave preference to the earlier version, and put Buffy's 1996 additions in parentheses. Here's what I came up with:
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
(Buffy Ste. Marie)

He's five foot two and he's six foot four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
And he knows he shouldn't kill and he knows he always will
Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you

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
And he thinks we'll put an end to war that way

And he's fighting for democracy, he's fighting for the Reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die
And he never sees the writing on the wall (walls)

But without him how could Hitler have condemned him at Dachau,
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of (to) the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the universal soldier and he is really is to blame
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

Copyright Caleb Music, 1963

Here's a variation of the fourth verse:
And he's fighting for democracy, he's fighting for the Reds
He's fighting for the good of all
He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die
And he never reads the writing on the wall

This song was written by Buffy Sainte-Marie in Toronto at the time there were debates as to whether or not Canada should accept nuclear warheads from the United States. (Sing Out! Collected Reprints)

see also UNIVPACF
@war @soldier @political
sung by Buffy Ste. Marie on It's My Way
filename[ UNIVSOLD
play.exe├┐UNIVSOLD
SOF

I guess I wouldn't have submitted a change to the database if it were just a matter of the spelling of "Jain," but I thought it was worthwhile to add the "Dachau" verse.
I never know what the heck to do with punctuation in songs, and I don't get too concerned about it. I tend to leave out the commas, semicolons, and periods at the ends of lines; but I think question marks can be important, and commas in the middle of lines, and quotation marks. And if lyrics have a Harvard comma in them, you can guess a Catholic school graduate might have done the typing - the nuns pounded Harvard commas into our skulls.
-Joe Offer-
Click here for what Harvard says about commas. I may no longer believe a good bit of what the nuns taught me, but I still believe in Harvard commas.