Friday, July 06, 2007

The War Drags On

Was listening to Donovan yesterday and was struck by this haunting song. It's from August 1965 and was originally released on the Universal Soldier EP. We may not have the nuclear fears of the last verse (or we may), but the rest of it could've been written today, substituting Iraq for Vietnam.


Let me tell you the story of a soldier named Dan.
Went out to fight the good fight in South Vietnam,
Went out to fight for peace, liberty and all,
Went out to fight for equality, hope, let's go,
And the war drags on.

Found himself involved in a sea of blood and bones,
Millions without faces, without hope and without homes.
And the guns they grew louder as they made dust out of bones
That the flesh had long since left just as the people left their homes,
And the war drags on.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.

Last night poor Dan had a nightmare it seems.
One kept occurring and re-occurring in his dream:
Cities full of people burn and scream and shoutin' loud
And right over head a great orange mushroom cloud.
And there's no more war,
for there's no more world,
And the tears come streaming down.
Yes, I lie crying on the ground.


Jeff said...

Wow. I'd never heard that before. Donovan doing Dylan. Thanks for sharing that, William.

cowboyangel said...

Donovan started out as a kind of Scottish Dylan, and he's in Don't Look Back, the film about Dylan's 1965 tour of the UK. Bob, naturally, makes fun of him. But after his first album, Donovan found his own groove, maintaining some of his folk elements while moving into psychedelia, with a lot of Eastern elements. I think of him as a bridge of sorts between Dylan and the Beatles, and it's interesting that he spent time with both. I'm thinking of posting on his 1966 album - Sunshine Superman, an overlooked classic of the time period.