Leon Russell – Ballad For A Soldier

When I was just a young boy
I played with sword and gun
and I dreamed of the day that I’d become a soldier.

Kill all of the enemy
My country ’tis of thee
I sing this anthem sadly, won’t you hear me?

I watched the cannon blazing
On the giant silver screen
the swastika was burning and the hero was me.

The general gave the orders
Gladly I obeyed
but the movie faded quickly all at once today.

And now I stand alone with the charges made.
Nowhere to run and not a place to hide.
We’re all little children playing grownup games.
Guess the time has come.
The damage has been done.

Oh, stray dogs that live on a highway walk on three legs.
Learn too slow to get the message.
Just like the Indians in the early days
The battle’s lost and won
Yet it still goes on
It’s just another ballad for a soldier.

I had no understanding
’til I saw my mother cry
When I told how many babies I had killed that night.

A dozen color photographs
inside of a magazine
told the morbid story like a movie screen.

But I was not the hero
I thought myself to be
Movies aren’t much different than reality.

The general was convicted
but to get him off the hook,
the President lied freely for the chance I took.

And we all stand alone when the charge’s made
A sad way to live for a way to die.
We’re sad little children playing grownup games.
Can we burn the guns
before the next time comes?

Oh, stray dogs that live on a highway walk on three legs.
Move too slow to learn the message.
Give up and win, that’s all I have to say.
You haven’t really won
when all your fightin’s done
there’s no more ballads for a soldier.

event_note November 14, 2016

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