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Universal Soldier Lyrics

Artist: Donovan


He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-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'a 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 this 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.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Labau?
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.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put an end to war.
Comments/Interpretations
by Richard on 5/24/2008 5:49am
Pity the world isnt listening.
by Niki on 5/26/2008 8:13pm
I totally agree its too bad the people of the world dont listen or care
by Tom on 8/24/2008 9:44am
More of the world needs to hear this song. you can bet if that tool Bono got hold of it, we'd take more notice. sad really.
by Renee LaFortune on 11/10/2008 12:34pm
Donovan may have recorded the song but the lyrics were written by Buffy Sainte Marie.
by Martin Leigh on 1/24/2009 5:06am
But without him how would Hitler have condemned him at Lw'ow

Lw'ow was a german concentration camp!!!
by Scott Schildwaster on 6/20/2009 11:13am
The song's been out there since the '60's: what a pity the world's politicians are more interested in meglomania than in serving the needs of their constituencies.
by Victoria on 1/16/2010 8:48pm
I loved this song when it came out in the 60's. I like it better than 'The Eve of Destruction' that came out the same time. I always thought this one was more important. And, still noone is noticing/listening... sigh.
by Sara on 5/1/2010 7:28am
It's "Dachau" not "Labau"
by Bob on 7/24/2010 12:33pm
Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie I believe
by rick on 11/15/2010 10:48am
in reference to Sara's comment, yes Buffy St-Marie's original & The Highwaymen's cover did contain a reference to the natzi work camp at Dachau, but for some reason Donavan chose to replace it with the fictional location "Labou", shame on him
by Tess on 4/15/2011 8:35pm
Bob is correct - these lyrics aren't by Donovan although he probably made some money from them. They are by Buffy St Marie and the German camp should read Dachau.
by Alice Johnson on 9/6/2011 12:41pm
Is Labau not a real place then? I thought it was Liebau, a German military training facility for the Hitler Youth.
by Jerry on 9/22/2011 6:01am
As sweet as the song is I compare it to the satire song "We've got to do something" from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and for those who don't know that song is making fun of songs like this one. Its putting forward an idealistic argument without any understanding or substance. If every soldier and police officer refused to pick up a gun and every soldier could trust other nations not to invade them, and police officers trust criminals not to commit crimes then yes.. that could put an end to war. But you can't change human nature, and to purely blame soldiers and suggest they all "just don't go to war" shows a real lack of understanding of the world. My opinion "Eve of Destruction" is a far better song that captures the essence and frustration of war in an accurate way as opposed to this idealistic hippy utopian anthem.
by Bugman on 3/17/2012 1:13pm
Whats up with you people ... I was there in late 60's and early 70's ... dont do social networking and never will ... lets enjoy what we do and forget the snides ... lets enjoy what we like and what's your comment and f%$k your satire ... if we want to hear satire we can always listen to your master ... Sarah Marshall ... Whatever her name is ... maaybe not ... Afghansti Blues Beefheart band ... or DKs ... kill the poor (unfortunates) .... so much for all of this ... I thought his was a Donovan link ... and he's still alive ... just
by Dutch on 3/30/2012 7:54pm
Is there a reason he names all religions but the islam? or is he informed there are only muslim terrorists and no muslim universal soldiers?
by . on 4/23/2012 12:11am
Great song.(Period)
by Emma on 5/3/2012 3:06pm
The first few comments cause me slight turmoil. It is not that people aren't listening, it is that people are not DOING. Plenty of people listen, why this was one of the most popular songs in the world in the 60's! Hundreds of thousands of people could sing all the lyrics by heart right to you! unfortunately it does not matter, because no one actually did anything with their understanding of his words. People listen, they're just too timid to care.
by paul bigum on 7/9/2012 7:41am
i thought the song was about the devil?
by Stig on 7/23/2012 1:52pm
Jerry said " Its putting forward an idealistic argument without any understanding or substance. If every soldier and police officer refused to pick up a gun and every soldier could trust other nations not to invade them, and police officers trust criminals not to commit crimes then yes.. that could put an end to war" but he missed the point, the idea is that soldiers everywhere refuse to fight, or more accurately people everywhere ignore the commands from the leaders to conduct war. He is correct, it is idealistic and human greed won't go away so war won't leave either.
by Daisy on 8/13/2012 9:00pm
Yes it's idealistic, but a mans' reach must exceed his grasp....and he must keep reaching for something better
by CK on 8/19/2012 10:04am
This page should be taken down if the owner refuses to edit it to include the author of the song - Buffy St Marie.
by Geoff on 8/27/2012 9:11pm
"How would Hitler have condemned him at Labau?" ...???

This is incorrect and makes no sense. Buffy St. Marie wrote the song, and she wrote this line as follows:

"How would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?"
by Phil on 1/30/2013 9:15pm
INNIT!
by Bob on 8/26/2013 8:08pm
Donovan's lyric refers not to Dachau or Lw'ow or Liebau or any fictional city. It refers to the city of Libau in Latvia where thousands of Jews were exterminated in the dunes of Skede.
by Holly on 12/16/2013 9:23am
Who gives a shit? This is such a beautiful song.


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