I don’t wanna be a soldier

This is a paraphrased edition of song lyrics I have written in one of my journals from some twenty years ago.  While the song was contemporary Christian in nature, I’ve taken editorial liberty to modify it in such a way as to be applicable to present times.  Neither do I remember whose song it is nor claim to be the author.  Creative liberties aside, these thoughts are someone else’s while being my own.

see him in the barrio
in the inner city
surrounded in an alleyway
shot down dead for stealing money
see him on the reservation now
drunk on stinging water
trying hard to drown the memory
of his people’s slaughter
see him in the Nazi camps
a child at the gallows
offered as a sacrifice
his mother stabbed with sorrow
see him in El Salvador
raped and murdered at the roadside
we don’t even recognize our brother
and so we kill him again and again and again

I don’t wanna be a soldier
marching off to war
justified by a man-made cause
all in the name of some lord
and I won’t carry any banner
or step out proudly to the drum
or ravage others while I disagree
just to win and overcome
all in the name of some lord

but I am willing
and desire to be
a simple flute
made form a hollow reed
fashioned by the hand
of peace and kind
to play
for yours and mine
a haunting
universal melody
one that’s ringing out
the theme of peace
though I may be slapped
upon the cheek
I hope to love my enemy

[if you happen to recognize this and can provide the original author/singer/title, I’m more than willing to update this post to give due credit; circa 1985]

3 thoughts on “I don’t wanna be a soldier”

  1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Timm!

    Teri’s name sounds familiar. It’s possible she’s who I heard the song from decades ago. I’ll follow that path and see what I find.

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