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I Didn't Raise My Son To Be A Soldier

  • (Trad)

    I didn't raise my son to be a soldier
    I raised him up to be my pride and joy
    Why should he put a musket to his shoulder
    To kill another mother's darling boy
    Why should he fight in someone else's quarrels
    It's time to throw the sword and gun away
    There would be no war today
    If the nations all would say
    No I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

    I didn't raise my son to be a soldier
    To go fighting in some far-off foreign land
    He may get killed before he's any older
    For a cause that he will never understand
    Why should he fight another rich man's battle
    While they stay at home and while their time away
    Let those with most to lose
    Fight each other if they choose
    For I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

    I didn't raise my son to be a soldier
    To go fighting heathens round the Horn
    If God required to prove that boys are bolder
    They'd have uniforms and guns when they were born
    Why should we have wars about religion
    When Jesus came to teach us not to kill
    Do Zulus and Hindoos
    Not have the right to choose
    For I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

    I didn't raise my son to be a soldier
    I raised him up to be a gentleman
    To find a sweet young girl and love and hold her
    Bring me some grandchildren when they can
    Why can't we decide that the Empire
    Is just as large as it requires to be
    And I'd rather lose it all
    Than to see my laddie fall
    For I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

    Repeat 1

    (as sung by Hamish Imlach)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] In school we demonstrated our contempt [...]. But the main object of our offensive was the O.T.C. We pretended that we were inspired by high motives of pacifism. [...] When, route-marching, we were exhorted to sing, we ignored the ballads sanctified by the infantry of the World War and loped along out of step droning the American ditty:

    'I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier
    I brought him up to be my pride and joy
    Who dares to put a rifle on his shoulder
    To shoot another mother's darling boy?'

    (Evelyn Waugh, A Little Learning 131f.)

  • [1985:] People in England who opposed the Boer War were called 'Little Englanders' by the press (because they preferred a 'Little England' to a 'Great Britain'). This was reconstructed from a fragment of one of their songs. (Notes Hamish Imlach, 'Sonny's Dream')

  • [1986:] A song from World War I. I learned it when my own son was about eighteen. (Notes Guy Carawan, 'The Land Knows You're There')

  • [1990:] [Before 1917,] American commercial songs were sung to and by soldiers in Europe, including even I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier (which was scorned by Theodore Roosevelt and later changed to I'm Glad ...) (Murdoch, Fighting Songs 76)

Quelle: USA

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aktualisiert am 30.05.2000