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Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?) Lyrics

Artist: John Denver
Album: One World

This song was first released on the One World Album. It is the only album it appears on.

I am the son of a grassland farmer
Western Oklahoma nineteen forty three
I always felt grateful to live in the land of the free
I gave up my father to South Korea
The mind of my brother to Vietnam
Now theres a banker who says I must give up my land
There are four generations of blood in this topsoil
Four generations of love on this farm
Before I give up I would gladly give up my right arm

What are we making weapons for
Why keep on feeding the war machine
We take it right out of the mouths of our babies
Take it away from the hands of the poor
Tell me, what are we making weapons for

I had a son and my son was a soldier
He was so like my father, he was so much like me
To be a good comrade was the best that he dreamed he could be
He gave up his future to revolution
His life to a battle that just cant be won
For this is not living, to live at the point of a gun
I remember the nine hundred days of Leningrad
The sound of the dying, the cut of the cold
I remember the moments I prayed I would never grow old

What are we making weapons for
Why keep on feeding the war machine
We take it right out of the mouths of our babies
Take it away from the hands of the poor
Tell me, what are we making weapons for

For the first time in my life I feel like a prisoner
A slave to the ways of the powers that be
And I fear for my children, as I fear for the for the future I see
Tell me how can it be were still fighting each other
What does it take for a people to learn
If our song is not sung as a chorus, we surely will burn

What are we making weapons for
Why keep on feeding the war machine
We take it right out of the mouths of our babies
Take it away from the hands of the poor
Tell me, what are we making weapons for

Have we forgotten
All the lives that were given
All the vows that were taken
Saying never again
Now for the first time
This could be the last time
If peace is our vision
Let us begin

Have we forgotten
All the lives that were given
All the vows that were taken
Saying never again, never again
Now for the first time
This could be the last time
If peace is our vision
Let us begin, let us begin

Words and music by John Denver
Comments/Interpretations
by david on 11/25/2008 1:19pm
I am a huge fan love the music
by sammie on 3/14/2009 6:10am
sad loss to the world when John Denver died, he claimed this to be the best work he had ever wrote.
its message is powerful. why oh why dont we begin?
by EAGLE-WOLF on 11/5/2009 1:37pm
The video John made for this song cost him his future with RCA. He was, and still is, the #2-biggest selling recording artist in the history of the RCA label; trailing only Elvis Presley.

RCA, didn't like the idea of John Denver portraying them as a company that was in the "war business". The fact is they made components of missiles. So if the truth hurts, tough.

John stood by his convictions against war, though.
by Pat on 7/11/2010 9:28pm
I have always loved this song. Being an older guy from the culture revolution in the 60's and 70's it meant and still means a lot to me. Yeah the song came out in the late 80's but it told everyone what we felt. It was said before, but I will say it again.... Where is peace?
by Colin Jewell on 7/25/2010 7:11pm
I first heard this song around 1987, while I was in Germany. He sang it with a Russian Singer (Sacha). I had it on BETA video (go figure). You think I could ever find that video again? Not in my chance.
However I was able to get the song on CD, and I love playing it whenever I take a drive. What beautiful lyrics.
by AtlantaJeff on 1/25/2011 1:40am
The song "Let Us Begin" did cost John Denver his RCA Contract - becasue the video showed the Westinghouse logo on a rocket- and Westinghouse and RCA were owned by the same comapny!! It was 10 years before any record company would thouch him after that!!! C'mon John - be nice!!! Truly a gifted singer!!
by bob fessey on 4/1/2011 3:09pm
Good words brill vidéo not. Seen by the rite people. 2011.
by Mary Louise Marion on 7/8/2011 8:28am
I have this song on one of Joh's CS'a. I still miss him. I was not aware he lost his contract with RCA but then those kinds of things happen to people who do the right thing. John was a gifted song writer and singer. I wish he was still with us singing to us.
by Mark Bird on 10/27/2011 4:04am
Message to Colin Jewell. With regards to John Denver singing "What are we making weapons for" with a Russian person. The video is on You-Tube. Just type in the artist and the title of the song.
by john Denver on 5/7/2012 2:13pm
What are we making weapons for
by Michael on 5/10/2014 6:19am
This song is also on the "Live at Cedar Rapids" album.


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