Universal Soldier . By: Buffy Sainte-Marie. Emma Nunn Mrs. Turner 6 th block 5/17/10. Lyrics . He's five feet two and he's six feet four He fights with missiles and with spears He's all of 31 and he's only 17 He's been a soldier for a thousand years
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By: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Mrs. Turner 6th block
He's five feet two and he's six feet fourHe fights with missiles and with spearsHe's all of 31 and he's only 17He's been a soldier for a thousand years
He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an athiest, a Jain,a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jewand he knows he shouldn't kill and he knows he always willkill 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 Democracyand fighting for the RedsHe says it's for the peace of allHe's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to dieand he never sees the writing on the walls
But without him how would Hitler have condemned him at DachauWithout him Caesar would have stood aloneHe's the one who gives his body as a weapon to a warand without him all this killing can't go on
He's the universal soldier and he really is to blameHis orders come from far away no moreThey come from him, and you, and meand brothers can't you seethis is not the way we put an end to war.
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"Biography: in depth." Buffy Sainte Marie. N.p., 16 Mar. 2010. Web. 14 May 2010. <http://www.creative-native.com/bio-indepth.php>.
"Gaius Julius Caesar." Science and Its Times, Vol. 1: 2000 B.C. - 700 A.D.. Gale Group, 2001.
Newman, Jason. "Russian Civil War." Social Studies. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 25 May 2010. <http://www.socialstudies.abc-clio.com>.
Red army description poster. 20th century . JPG file.
gates of Dachau concentration camp . 1945. JPG file.
Rembrandt. Belshazzar's Feast. 1635. oil on canvas. National Gallery , London .
bust of Julius Caesar . probably a really long time ago . JPG file.
"Greece: History." Social Studies. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.socialstudies.abc-clio.com>.
White House . N.d. JPG file.
Chantos Portrait . 1605. Oil on canvas. National Gallery , London .
bust of Julius Caesar . 1600. bust .
Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph Statue of Caesar with his shield and stuff . N.d. statue.
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Website
Buffy Sainte Marie was a singer/songwriter who began her work in the early 1960s, right before the hippie era. Born on a Native American reservation, Sainte-Marie wrote many protest songs about war and love. Many of her songs were redone by popular artists and became huge hits. She has a son, Dakota, who appeared with her for five years on the popular children’s television show Sesame Street. She won an Academy Award in 1982 for a song she composed for the movie An Officer and a Gentleman. She has multiple degrees in teaching and oriental philosophy. She also started a scholarship foundation for Native Americans. She sometimes lectures at colleges. She wrote the song “Universal Soldier” after seeing wounded American soldiers coming home from Vietnam. She currently resides in Canada.
Additional information on Nazi concentration camps
The concentration camp at Dachau was the first Nazi Concentration camp to be put into place in the early 1900’s. The camp at Dachau was opened in 1933, twelve years before most camps were liberated. It stayed open until 1960, first used as a concentration camp for Jewish people, then for Schutzstaffel (SS) officers who were awaiting trials, and finally as a base for the United States in Germany. It was set up by Heinrich Himmler on Adolf Hitler’s orders. The line refers to the fact that the horrible things that went on in concentration camps during the Holocaust would never have been possible if not for Hitler’s many supporters. It is blaming the soldiers who followed Hitler, the “universal soldiers”, for the terrible things inflicted on many people in camps like Dachau. Without an army following him, Hitler would have “stood alone” and most likely been shunned in society as a man with an irrational hatred of innocent people.
“The writing on the walls” is a popular idiom that is used in many works of literature and even some movies. While it’s a well known figure of speech, not many people know of its biblical origins. In the Book of Daniel, king Belshazzar of Babylon is drinking from sacred Jewish church goblets and praising false idols when a floating hand suddenly appears and writes a message on his wall. The message is eventually interpreted by Daniel, who tells him that God has numbered the days left of his reign. Very soon after, Belshazzar dies and someone else takes over. “The writing on the wall” has become an expression that means that doom is coming and is often taken as a bad omen.
In this group of lines, a literary technique called repetition is used. Repetition is common in many songs and poems to get the point across. It is also sometimes used in plays or movies. In this song, it is used at the beginning of the group of sentences but it can sometimes be at the end or in the middle. The point that the song is trying to get across is that every country has fighting and soldiers are fighting somewhere every day. I think the repetition in this song is good, because it is catchy and people would remember it.
Julius Caesar is possibly the most famous Roman in history, and was easily the most influential of his time. He was born into an aristocratic family, and gradually worked his way to becoming dictator of Rome, the most powerful position in the most powerful country in the world at that time. As he gained power, he began doing things and making laws that Roman people did not like, such as minting money with his faces on it or changing the name of the month of his birth to “Julius” (now known as July). Even though some of Caesar’s reforms were good, many people were displeased with him. The main thing that kept citizens from uprising was Caesar’s powerful army. His army was large, strong, and loyal to him. This line is saying that without the support of “universal soldiers”, Caesar would just have been another ambitious man in a country full on ambitious men.
For a list of communist countries in the world today, click here
The “Reds” was the nickname for the communist army in Russia’s civil war. The army opposing them, or the “Whites”, was the army of the czar. This war between the “Whites” and “Reds” took place during the first World War in 1917. The war ended in 1922 and the communist Soviet Union was created. The Reds were led by a man named Vladimir Lenin. They were made up mostly of working class citizens or soldiers who were unhappy with the way the czar ran the country. Lenin convinced them that communism was a good solution to their problems. The Red Army beat the White Army eventually, getting rid of the last absolute ruler in the world. Communism and democracy are usually thought to be almost completely opposite, but this line is saying that soldiers fight constantly for both causes, whether or not they are good.
For more information on Jainism and other world religions, go here
This line refers to a few religions that do not believe in killing or harming other humans. Jainism, for example, is an Indian religion based off Hinduism. Jainism is an atheist belief centered on achieving self-realization. Some Jain monks believe in having not material possessions, including clothes. The religion is based off a series of vows, the first of which is do not take the life of another human. Catholics, Baptists, and other forms of Christianity are all explicitly forbidden in the Ten Commandments. The Jewish religion also prohibits killing, also because of the ten commandments. Unlike Jainism and Atheism, both are both monotheistic religions that believe in God. These belief systems are all nonviolent, but this line is trying to show that in war people give up their beliefs when they are forced to fight.
To read about countries developing into democracies, click here
Democracy is a system of government in which individuals choose representatives by voting. Much of democracy is centered on individual rights, limited government, and freedom. Early democracy was practiced in ancient Greece. Many countries today are democratic, including the United States. Some developing nations are determining whether or not to be democratic. Leaders of other government systems sometimes oppose democracy, because they believe it gives people too much power. For example, the Cold War in the late 20th century was a nonviolent struggle between the communist Soviet Union and the democratic United States. This line is stating that many wars have been fought for all kinds of government systems, including democracy.
The rhyme scheme in this group of lines is ABCB. ABCB is also called Simple 4-Line. Usually this rhyme scheme would be repeated throughout the entire work. This is a very common rhyme scheme in many poems and songs today. I think this song would have been easier to read and sing if the whole thing had been in this rhyme scheme.
A couplet is a pair of lines that rhyme and have the same meter(AA, BB, CC ect. rhyme scheme). Couplets are an extremely popular form of poetry. Couplets can make simple poems by themselves, or be part of more complex rhyme schemes. For example, William Shakespeare ended all of his sonnets in iambic pentameter with a couplet. Couplets are also common in Indian and Chinese cultures.
A little boy fell and lost his shoe,
His stubbed his toe and it turned blue.
To read some examples of Shakespeare’s poetry, click here
The ABBA rhyme scheme consists of four lines, where the first and the last lines rhyme and the second and third lines rhyme. A stanza of four lines is called a quatrain. ABBA is also know as Enclosed Rhyme. This rhyme scheme is used in many love poems.
To make your own rhymes, go here