Saturday, August 16, 2008

Assail Me Not With Your Noble Platitudes ...

With the beginnings of what may be World War Three breaking out in Russia and the likelihood of a pre-election bombing of Iran, war is on my mind. Here's a live acoustic version of Steve Earle's epic homage to the Door's The End. Below is a moving photo montage set to the rocked up album version that takes a "Support Our Troops" tack. To me, the song's vision of an ancient, ruthless, God of war that revels in blood and mindless waste doesn't work so well with the standard "Hate the war, not the warrior" message, but maybe I'm over thinking here.

1 comment:

Bruce from Accordion Noir said...

Not so many pop-stars write in the style of lyric poets.

And yeah, that second video kinda creeped me out. I don't get how his shifting image of a once faithful warrior betrayed by shit leaders and threatening rebellion, along with the demand for more children to kill, fits a politically neutral "support our troops" line.

The Warrior, by Steve Earle

This is the best time of the day - the dawn
The final cleansing breath unsullied yet
By acrid fume or death’s cacophony
The rank refuse of unchained ambition
And pray, deny me not but know me now,
Your faithful retainer stands resolute
To serve his liege lord without recompense
Perchance to fall and perish namelessly
No flag-draped bier or muffled drum to set
The cadence for a final dress parade
But it was not always thus - remember?
Once you worshipped me and named me a god
In many tongues and made offering lest
I exact too terrible a tribute
Take heed for I am weary, ancient
And decrepit now and my time grows short
There are no honorable frays to join
Only mean death dealt out in dibs and dabs
Or horror unleashed from across oceans
Assail me not with noble policy
For I care not at all for platitude
And surrender such tedious detail
To greater minds than mine and nimbler tongues
Singular in their purpose and resolve
And presuming to speak for every man
Oh, for another time, a distant field
And there a mortal warrior’s lonely grave
But duty charges me remain until
The end the last battle of the last war
Until that ‘morrow render unto me
That which is mine, my stipend well deserved
The fairest flower of your progeny
Your sons, your daughters, your hopes and your dreams
The cruel consequence of your conceit