Bloodshed is glorious - a draftee's delusion
Fostered by Hollywood and faith in the union
He packed up his scrapbook, said farewell to his mother
Now he had not a home, just a new band of brothers
Sam was his new Lord, whose mercy was phony
A carbine his lover, the trigger her quoniam
Blue waters shrank beneath as Wagner resounded
Yet he was only a pawn, in servitude grounded

Dear young Rebel, bow to your uncle
Raise up the flag, support it from underneath
Don't worry, Rebel, they'll bring you back home soon
Parades and medals for your platoon

What are we doing here? He started wondering
With the natives never tiring, the weapons always firing
From somewhere in the distant brush; the Rebel swore he'd had enough
If only he knew what was coming
Deep in the jungle his company was creeping
They saw up ahead a yellow boy weeping
A soldier moved in, and the little boy ran
It was too late by then; they saw the black on his hands
On top of a land mine the soldier was broiled
By gunpowder made on American soil
From the charred melted flesh came a series of cries
Like "Have mercy, Lord!" and "Sweet Jesus Christ!"

Oh, dear Rebel, war sure ain't pretty
But you must remember the investments of Washington D.C.
Those who die are heroes, but those who run are rotten
Hang in there, Rebel, and you'll never be forgotten

That same night, the orders came through
From a faceless man over the radio:
"There's a little town about a mile west
Take supplies, burn the buildings down, and you know the rest"
Well, the Rebel knew it wasn't his choice
A gear in a machine doesn't get a voice
The soldiers conserved their ammunition
And slit every yellow throat in sight - a successful mission
It's a funny thing, killing those you've never met
So the Rebel laughed aloud as his insides wept, screaming,
"All you yellow bastards, I hope you've seen what we can do
When you fuck with freedom, there'll be red, black, and blue"

Oh, dear Rebel, I'm afraid you're going mad
When killing gets personal, you know it's getting bad
You see, war's a business and your country needs control
Of your mind, of your body, of your heart, and your soul
Don't you get nostalgic for your welcome mat's allure
'Cuz home ain't coming soon, you got another tour

More rounds exchanged, wounds exchanged, and deaths exchanged
The birds exchanged glances, and declared men insane
Morale was getting low on the good guys' side
The Rebel fighting merely to save his own life
Well, the reaper was so busy collecting all the souls,
That he overlooked dear Rebel, but war still took its toll
You could see the skull behind his eyes, and his words were but a few
When the men in suits shook his hand and said "I'm proud of you"
A nation polarized, each side holding its own
Some blindly waving flags, some blindly throwing stones
The Rebel watched and wondered if there'd ever be a point
In crying out for peace as long as man was minting coins

Oh, dear Rebel, men will be men
The important thing right now is to get back to your friends
And your aging mother too, I'm certain she misses you
Try to smile wide for her, don't you let her see inside

The Rebel didn't smile when the landlord gave the news
His mother was evicted when she couldn't pay the dues
So he interviewed the neighbors, their answers only varied
Yet he found what he was looking for in a brief obituary:
"A widow, fifty-two, died from cancer of the lung
Fighting bravely overseas is her single loving son"

And he's been feeling sorry ever since
Can only place the blame on the Charlies and the Dinks
Those people passing by on winter afternoons
They curse him for his laziness, and drop a dime or two
Once he earns eleven-fifty, he can buy a fifth of whiskey
A temporary blanket from the ever-icy stares
He isn't proud of killing men, but content with killing time
He doesn't need your pity, only money for cheap wine

Dear old Rebel, keep telling your tale
Passing sighs and pickup lines, slurred words that seem to sail
It don't matter where your eyes are, glazed and robbed of rest,
When your mind's drifting to a dusty heaven in the warmth of the Southwest


Lyrics submitted by username72

The Rebel song meanings
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