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Discussion: Universal Soldier

DigiTrad:
JOHNNY BE FAIR
NOW THAT THE BUFFALO'S GONE
PINEY WOOD HILLS
THE VAMPIRE
UNIVERSAL PACIFIST
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
YOU'RE NOT A DREAM (UNTIL IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO)


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Bugsy 25 Oct 99 - 10:35 PM
Wolfgang 28 Oct 99 - 05:01 AM
Owlkat 28 Oct 99 - 05:06 AM
Wolfgang 28 Oct 99 - 05:39 AM
Marion 28 Oct 99 - 11:39 AM
Marion 28 Oct 99 - 11:54 AM
Marion 28 Oct 99 - 11:58 AM
Wolfgang 28 Oct 99 - 12:32 PM
Jeri 29 Oct 99 - 07:58 AM
Bill Cameron 30 Oct 99 - 01:37 PM
catspaw49 30 Oct 99 - 02:30 PM
Woodstock 17 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jul 00 - 09:07 PM
rangeroger 17 Jul 00 - 09:30 PM
Merry 18 Jul 00 - 02:52 AM
Merry 18 Jul 00 - 03:22 AM
GMT 18 Jul 00 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Liland 04 Oct 00 - 05:55 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 00 - 06:57 PM
Robo 04 Oct 00 - 07:51 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 00 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Joerg 04 Oct 00 - 09:08 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 04 Oct 00 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Liland 05 Oct 00 - 05:46 PM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 00 - 06:43 PM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 07:01 PM
Robo 06 Oct 00 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Justin 11 Dec 07 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Susanne (skw, away from home) 12 Dec 07 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,c.g. 12 Dec 07 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Greg B 12 Dec 07 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Greg B 12 Dec 07 - 09:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Dec 07 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 07 - 05:58 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 08 - 07:51 PM
mike gouthro 15 Feb 08 - 12:03 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 08 - 05:24 PM
Rumncoke 15 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM
Peace 15 Feb 08 - 08:51 PM
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GUEST,Jasper 12 Nov 11 - 03:13 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM
skarpi 13 Jan 12 - 03:50 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Jan 12 - 04:14 AM
quokka 13 Jan 12 - 04:38 AM
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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Bugsy
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 10:35 PM

I looked up the Universal Soldier in Digitrad and there appears to be a verse missing.

The one that goes:

But without him how could hitler have condemned them at Dachou.

Without him Caeser would have stood alone.

He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war.

And without him all this killing can't go on.

cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:01 AM

a minor typo in Bugsy's additional verse: the place is called 'Dachau'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Owlkat
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:06 AM

Okay, so it's two a.m. and I should be in bed, buuuut, I couldn't resist one parting shot. I remember singing Universal Soldier in youth group, and I think the line was... "But without them who would Hitler have commanded at Dachau". There. I'm done. G'Night. Mart.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:39 AM

Now that's interesting. "Condemned him" it is in all versions I have found in the web so far (guess they just copy from each other), but I have never really understood what (who) was meant. With "commanded" I have less difficulties to make sense. Anybody knows if Owlkat is right?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Marion
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 11:39 AM

Hi Wolfgang.

I'm pretty sure that Buffy wrote it as "condemned him".

And I think what she was trying to get at is that the "Universal Soldier" is both the killer and the killed - something like saying that he is 5'2" and 6'4".

That doesn't make perfect sense, since it was basically civilians who were in concentration camps (this is accurate, isn't it?), but it fits in with her motif of speaking of all soldiers as one universal soldier.

What I'm not sure about is the point of the whole song. For a long time I thought that the central idea was "He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war and without him all this killing can't go on." While I don't think it's fair to totally blame war on soldiers, it's true that if they were all conscientious objectors that there would be no war, so I could see what she was getting at. I thought the line "he's the universal soldier and he really is to blame" was not very artful or fair, but I thought that really was her point.

However, I once heard her introduce this song on a video, and I reexamined the last verse, and I think her point may have been the opposite. I wonder if her main point is that soldiers are not a separate kind of being from the rest of us, nor are they the ones responsible for war; rather, war comes about because of the will of the general population and its government. Maybe the majority of the song, which seems to be blaming soldiers, was meant ironically and only the last few lines are sincere.

Marion


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Subject: Lyr Add: MASTERS OF WAR (Bob Dylan)
From: Marion
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 11:54 AM

PS The "Universal Soldier" always makes me think of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War"; although this song is much harsher, I find it expresses my feelings about those who instigate wars better than any other song I know.

MASTERS OF WAR
Written by Bob Dylan
As recorded by Bob Dylan on "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" (1963)

1. Come you masters of war,
You that build the big guns,
You that build the death planes,
You that build all the bombs,
You that hide behind walls,
You that hide behind desks:
I just want you to know I can through your masks.

2. You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy,
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy.
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes,
Then you turn and run farther when the fast bullets fly.

3. Like Judas of old,
You lie and deceive.
A world war can be won,
You want me to believe;
But I see through your eyes,
And I see through your brain,
Like I see through the water that runs down my drain.

4. You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire,
Then you sit back and watch
While the death count gets higher.
You hide in your mansion
While the young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies and is buried in the mud.

5. You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled:
Fear to bring children
Into the world.
For threatenin' my baby,
Unborn and unnamed,
You ain't worth the blood that runs in your veins.

6. How much do I know
To talk out of turn?
You might say that I'm young.
You might say I'm unlearned.
But this one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you:
That even Jesus would never forgive what you do.

7. Let me ask you one question:
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll,
All the money you made will never buy back your soul.

8. And I hope that you die,
And your death will come soon.
I'll follow your casket
On the pale afternoon,
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your death bed,
And I'll stand over your grave till I'm sure that you're dead.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Marion
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 11:58 AM

sigh... the last line of the first verse should be, "I can see through your masks." And I put put all my effort into getting the line breaks right.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 12:32 PM

Marion,
I think you're right that Buffy has left her point for the last verse. And what you write about the line I have difficulties with is the only possible meaning. However, I still have doubts:
"Without him how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau" is the line from most of the websites including this song. Not extremely clear.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 07:58 AM

IMO, Buffy St. Marie's song blames the tools, while Dylan's Masters of War blames the wielders of tools. Also, IMO, neither song places the blame accurately.

Weird tie-in between the two songs in the thread title. I beleive cough syrup with Codeine was once referred to as "GI Gin."


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 30 Oct 99 - 01:37 PM

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.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Oct 99 - 02:30 PM

Reading all of this reminds me so well of a thread we ran that also expessed some of these very same thoughts. It was also the forge, or maybe the "cat-alyst" of a close, true, and what will be a lifelong friendship between two 'Catters whose experience may have differed broadly, but who came to the same place these 30 or so years later. It was a great thread,in a lot of other ways too. As one of the two involved, I'm confident that the other, who is busy right now, would also say the same. If you want, go back and check it out. Here's an infamous Blue Clicky Thing.

Spaw


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Subject: Universal soldier: Buffy's lyrics v. others
From: Woodstock
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 07:37 PM

Here's a curve ball for y'all and a comment. In a version I've heard there is the line "Without him how could Hitler have condemned him at De Vaul." It is a version sung by Donovan, I think about 1965. Any thoughts of the deriviation of "De Vaul?" Also, is everyone sure the line is "condemned him" or is it "condemned them" at Dachau?

Also, I was interested at everyone's thoughts about Buffy's meaning and purpose, particularly in the last lines "He's the US and he really ... ."I once heard Don McLean answer a question about "American Pie" and what all the lyrics meant.

He said something like, "They don't mean anything in particular" (tounge approaching cheek, I'm sure). But maybe he was suggesting what every artist likes to believe about his or her work: Rather than TELLING us something, maybe a song like US should make us examine our own stand on such as war, the military and those who serve.

If that meaning changes over time, so be it. In which case, what Buffy meant to say isn't really important. I wonder if Buffy would much rather have us say what her words mean to each of us rather than to what SHE meant by them. I think Bill Cameron's comment was getting us to this point.

Thanks y'all.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 09:07 PM

Oops, hope mine doesn't post repeatedly. Anyway, I learned it with condemned at Dachau too. I also believe that it was mostly civilians in most concentration camps - I think with men of military age it was a different fate. Also, I always took the meaning of Universal Soldier to be that all death in war is the same death, but I took the 5'2 and 6'4 not to mean he could be victim or killer, but that he could be of any shape/color/creed (he's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain...), if he's a soldier, he is War, which means Death. And it is as War that "he really is to blame" - as the personification of War, at least.

I don't have anything against Death, it's all part of life, but I do have strong objections to War.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: rangeroger
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 09:30 PM

Page 22 of the Buffy Sainte-Marie songbook shows the line as "condemned him at Dachau".And in cod'ine it shows the line as "and it's reel and it's real one more time".It uses both spellings.
rr


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Merry
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 02:52 AM

Hey, rangeroger, thanks for the songbook tip. My friends and I have been wondering for a couple of years now about that line, and the Internet didn't help - we even found a version "condemned him at Labau".

However, it doesn't make a lot of sense like that, either. Hitler, OK, Dachau, but who was condemned? And it doesn't seem to link to the following line ("without him Caesar would have stood alone" - that's my favourite line of the song, both as words and sound, at least in the Donovan version, I only heard a B. StMarie recording once).

There is another "miss" in the last verse, the database text is:

"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 to put an end to war
"

The third line is actually:

"They come from here and there and you and me and brothers, can't you see"

The meaning is rather obvious, Woodstock, something like "today - in a democratic society - soldiers are receiving orders not from "far away" dictators/emperors, but from "here and there" ordinary people like "you and me"" implying that it's in our power - and it's our responsability - to give the right orders.

OK, it sounds pathetic that way... But that's why they write poetry in the end - a decent way to say things that would sound pathetic in every day speech (even non-pidgin every day speech - if anyone gets my point, try to translate this in English).


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Merry
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 03:22 AM

Here's a working link to a text closest to what I hear on tape (Donovan version):

universal_soldier.crd


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GMT
Date: 18 Jul 00 - 05:36 AM

I came across the Labau version as well at Danmans tabs. The Renegade Olga has Dachau and both were transcribed by the same chap. I guess we have a bit of a Chinese whisper going on.

Cheers Gary


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Subject: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier ^^
From: GUEST,Liland
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 05:55 PM

The Digitrad has Buffy singing

"a Catholic and a Jane,"

— that last word definitely should be "Jain", not "Jane"; and if memory serves me right (been awhile since I heard her) the whole phrase should be

"a Catholic, a Jain,"...

with "Catholic" sung trisyllabically, "Cath-o-lic".

Liland
(Baptist, but never in the military) ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:57 PM

There's one more verse, which I also submitted to the Digital Tradition:
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 the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.
-Joe Offer-^^


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: Robo
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:51 PM

Is it Dachau or the Halle?


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:49 PM

Hi, Rob - I checked in Sing Out! Reprints and on the Buffy Sainte-Marie recording, and it's "Dachau" on both.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:08 PM

This reminds me of a discussion I had about 20 years ago (I am aware that you can now figure out that I'm over 20 - more and more I'm giving myself away...) which became ever more impassionate as it went on (I was younger then and still subject to passion ;-).

What about the last verse? Is it

... and he really is to blame.
His orders came from far away no more.
They came from here and there, (comma) and you and me
ain't brothers. (period) Can't you see, (comma)
This is not the way we put an end to war.

Or is it

... and he really is to blame.
His orders came from far away no more.
They came from here and there and you and me, (comma)
And brothers, (comma) can't you see, (comma)
This is not the way we put an end to war.

The first version is how the lyrics of this song were first published (i.e. made known to some really large audience who never listened to the song) in Germany. You see the difference: In the first version the soldier is to blame for "you and me" not being brothers, in the second version "you and me" are to blame for also giving him his orders. That's some difference that seems a little big to me.

I supported the second version. Who was right?

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:02 PM

That verse is

He's the universal soldier, and he 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,
That's not the way to put an end to war.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: GUEST,Liland
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 05:46 PM

I've always thought it was Dachau, and that the part Joerg asked about was as BSedd(Charles Kratz) gave it. Certainly the blame for the orders is being ascribed to *us* (including Buffy).

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 06:43 PM

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.exeÿUNIVSOLD
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.


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 07:01 PM

Well Joe, thanks for the post. I've been thinking ever since Seed posted that verse that he was right although I've become used to "here and there and you and me and brothers can't you see."

The "real" lyric got lost somewhere to me a long time ago....But it is more powerful in an odd way. It can be sung with an accusatory anger at all, with a touch of sadness...if that makes any sense.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: Robo
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 03:42 PM

My thanks, too, Joe!


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST,Justin
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:07 PM

I know this thread is ridiculously old, but for people who stumble across it and wonder ...

Yes, Buffy Sainte-Marie says "Dachau". The reason is obvious.

However, Donovan Leitch says Liebau. (The proper pronunciation of this word would be "LEE-bow", but that doesn't fit the rhythm, and besides, most people who don't speak German wouldn't pronounce it that way anyways.)

Liebau is the old German name for the Polish town Lubawka. During the Nazi years, the Hitler Youth used a facility near Lubawka (built in preparation for the Berlin Olympics) as a training and recreational facility. There was also a satellite labor camp there during the war. Take your pick on which one Donavan is referring to -- the concentration camp is more true to Sainte-Marie's original, but the Hitler Youth facility seems to fit more with the rest of the song.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST,Susanne (skw, away from home)
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 08:08 AM

Thanks, Justin. I've wondered half my life what exactly Donovan was singing but never thought to check for a different name. Next question: Why did D. change the term?


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 08:35 AM

he's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain.. .

I thought Jains were totally against all killing? They are, I believe, so against killing that they try not to kill even an insect by accident. A Jain soldier is an therefore an impossibility.

It's not a very good song, it's not very internally consistent, but at the time it came out it felt right and it felt important.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST,Greg B
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 09:34 AM

The song is a great illustration that shallow thinking and
moral absolutism was soley the province of the 'love it or
leave it' types during the period.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST,Greg B
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 09:34 AM

I meant 'wasn't soley the province' above.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 01:32 PM

I imagine there are Jains who don't live up to their religion, the same way there are Christians. After all, wasn't Nixon supposed to be some kind of a Quaker?

(I think you probably meant "solely the province", Greg B)


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 05:58 PM

I always thought that the Universal solder was in fact as it says on the tin. You and me!. I thought (even when I had the ability to think before age got me by the accidentals) that WE, YOU and ME, US. We were the universal soldiers. We did the voting, we did the acceptance, we did the wepons manufacture, we paid the taxes, some of "we" did the shooting etc etc.

The "ah but" brigade who want to be democratic only when the vote goes their way, may argue this. But in the 60's (when I was old enough to vote) I was violently against violence. "Kill the Warmongers, Smash violence" I used to chant.

Simple people, Simple times.

Ex Mudacatter.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 07:51 PM

"it's not very internally consistent"

Is it rather externally consistent? Windbag.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: mike gouthro
Date: 15 Feb 08 - 12:03 PM

While "condemned HIM at Dachau" may be the official lyric in Universal Soldier, I listened last night and what I think I hear is "condemned 'em at Dachau", which would make more sense than "HIM".


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 08 - 05:24 PM

I always thought it was "condemned them"


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Rumncoke
Date: 15 Feb 08 - 05:54 PM

Donovan, on the LP 'strangers and cousens' sings Liebau, not Dachau.

I just put it on the turntable.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Peace
Date: 15 Feb 08 - 08:51 PM

The lyrics in question from her official site:

"But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau"

I never did sing it like that. Always 'them' at Dachau. Live and learn.


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Slag
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 02:59 AM

It's like, "What part of 'Universal' don't you understand?": premise of the song being that the soldier, regardless of whose army he belongs to is the key component in the ability to make war. What an ideal world it would be without him.

In reality the soldier has a gun pointed at his back making sure he points his gun to the guy in front of him. It the rock and a hard place. And what do you do about a group of *$*&@! who collude together to make war against you whether you care for war or not?

Mass graveyard are filled with the bones of those who didn't want someone else's war. What are you going to do?

And speaking of codeine (one of the few things I have that counters chronic migraine headaches) does anybody remember Andy Warhol's group? I think they were named The Plastic Inevitables. One of the songs off the Banana Album (remember the zipper? Is that right?) was Heroine. And then there was a song I believe was called Cocaine Katie and the only line from it I remember was "...Cocaine Katie was a weird old lady..."

I'm shootin' from the hip on these. I haven't tried to look them up. How's YOUR memory?


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Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 02:11 PM

"How's YOUR memory [for song lyrics]?"

Excellent when I have Mr Google. The shits when I don't.


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Subject: RE: Universal Soldier + Cod'ine (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
From: GUEST,Jasper
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 03:13 PM

Feeling sad that I've only just found this thread - though I was 17 when Buffy St. Marie wrote Universal Soldier in '64 - first heard it sung by Donovan the next year and have known the lyrics ever since. I looked it up this evening to show to a Kenyan lodger (aged 37) who was so moved he's going to pass it on widely back home.

Unlike many of your contributors, I never managed to buy Buffy's records, but have searched without luck for more on her song with these lyrics:

Oh oh oh Freedom,
Oh oh Freedom,
Oh oh oh Freedom, I love thee
And before I'll be a slave,
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my fathers
And be free

If ANYONE can give me any help in finding Buffy singing this song, in the wonderful early period when her voice was so high and clear and beautiful, I'd be thrilled. (I used to sing it often when driving alone, back in the days when my voice could still covered the range) If 'PEACE' still follows this thread, she might know (though as her postings are 3 years ago now, I'll probably be out of luck!)


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Subject: RE: Universal Soldier + Cod'ine (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 04:06 PM

The song is Oh Freedom (see this wikipedia article for some lyrics: Oh Freedom).

The song seems to have been chiefly associated with Odetta (though Joan Baez certainly also sang it). I've looked through a Buffy discography up to the 90s and it doesn't seem to be listed there. That doesn't mean she didn't do it though.

(I also can't find any lyrics listed using home to my fathers rather than home to my Lord).

Mick


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Subject: First Aid kit- Universal soldier
From: skarpi
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 03:50 AM

young girls singing and playing .
call them self First Aid Kid ..good job ..I like them well .

Click here

kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: First Aid kit- Universal soldier
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:14 AM

Thanks Skarpi for a lovely start to my day.


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Subject: RE: First Aid kit- Universal soldier
From: quokka
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:38 AM

Thank you so much Skarpi!!! Don't know why it wouldn't load for me, I got it fine on Facebook :-) Also check out 'The Lions Roar' and their new song 'Emmylou', a tribute to Emmy and Gram and June and Johnny, just absolutely beautiful harmonies and lyrics :-)

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyric Corr: Universal Soldier
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 May 22 - 10:19 PM

Juliette Jagger of Canada's National Music Centre's Amplify May 3 2019

When the idea for “Universal Soldier” first entered Sainte-Marie’s mind, she was hauled up at San Francisco International Airport. The year was 1963; Kennedy was president, the impending threat of the Cold War weighed heavy on the psyche of the nation, and the U.S. had been in Vietnam for eight years at that point. Promises of a golden age had yet to materialize for America, and the youth of the day, suspicious that the reports being fed to them by the news media were nothing but a ruse, had developed a deep mistrust of government.

“I had been traveling from Mexico to Toronto and had a layover in San Francisco,” recalls Sainte-Marie. “In the middle of the night a group of medics came into the airport wheeling wounded soldiers and we got to talking. I asked one of them if there really was a war in Vietnam because the politicians at home were saying there wasn’t one. The medics assured me there was indeed a huge war going on. I started writing the song in the airport and on the plane, and I finished it in the basement of the Purple Onion in Toronto.”

“In those days, we hung out in coffee houses and people talked, discussed, shared, discovered, sang and listened when it came to contemporary issues,” says Sainte-Marie. “Because of what was going on back then, a lot of people adopted ‘Universal Soldier’ as an anti-Vietnam anthem. But, the song isn’t just about Vietnam; it’s about all wars and our own individual and collective involvement in them.”


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Universal Soldier
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 May 22 - 12:09 PM

If there is any criticism of the song that makes sense to me is that it is generalized and not specific to be like say "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya" or other powerful anti-war statements like Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda". The song is generalized such as Dylan's "Masters of War" but in the latter case very prescient right now.


Another powerful anti-war song is "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" as analogue of the Vietnam War.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Universal Soldier
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 31 May 22 - 12:58 PM

Buffy St Marie did write a later song based on specific characters.

It's very powerful too.

Moratorium


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