There's a purple heart on the stars and stripes tonight
It's pinned to the chest of the latest liar
And if you try to speak your mind
They tell you keep it to yourself
You got friends in the armed forces
They wanna know which side you're on
But it doesn't matter cause we're all being used

To train, to fight
To disregard all human rights
To play the part of
The consciense of the damned
You say you're defending me
I'm sick of tying yellow ribbons
Praying not to see

Another folded flag to a mourning mother
He was an army of one but they'll find another
And in the fold of the body bag
She'll find a check for a hundred grand
She's got friends in the armed forces
Now we know what a soldier costs
But what's the cost for the rest of us

To take a life
We all have our price
The wife and kids sleep soundly in their beds
You say you're defending me
Well I'm out tying yellow ribbons
On every single tree I see

I've seen them float like butterflies back home
And I can feel the desert's heat
When you're standing next to me
Our friendship offers no relief
Stay with me now, just hear me out
Don't want to lose you to that great black cloud
Coming down
You've seen the path a bullet makes
When it calls you by your name
And the medic can't play the rythym of your heart
So it starts to fade like footsteps in the march
As the parade passes by
The ticker tape will rise like sparks when we're born

To change our minds
Everything that's wrong looks right
The lives we lead
Are somewhere in between

You say you're defending me
I'm sick of tying yellow ribbons
Praying not to see
Now sing it
We're not going to hell
To run rings around a wishing well

Lyrics submitted by eltroyo11

Friends In the Armed Forces song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI also agree that Thursday is a fantastic band, one that changes lives. This song was a welcome straightforward critique of war when many of their other songs that have sounded anti-war they wanted to work as metaphors (the whole War All The Time album).

    As for mrsRidgway there, I'm glad you have something to devote yourself to. But listen to this lyric man:
    You say you're defending me
    I'm sick of tying yellow ribbons
    Praying not to see.
    I know the commitment you've made is a big deal but it is hard to justify death and destruction. To quote the wisdom of bumper stickers: "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"

    What are you defending? Did I ask you defend me? Are you defending freedom? How is that? By killing people and tearing a country apart? Every war through all of time has been justified on noble grounds. They are thinking the same exact things you are, finding the same sort of justifications. It's like trying to put out fire with fire. We continue to burn.

    If this was Hitler taking over half of Europe in ways that are beyond our reach, murdering and torturing millions of jews--then ok, I could see that some action is needed. But this is the twenty-first century. There are a million things we could have done beside tear two countries apart.

    We call this a Christian nation but we don't even come close to Christian principles. Turn the other cheek? Love your enemy? If we were really a Christian nation we would have responded to September 11 by apologizing for tearing the region apart for decades then turned to them with understanding and patience, trying to work out the conflict and improve their lives. Ludicrous? Yes. Christian--very much so. But that is the kind of thing that would work in this new century. We've been responding with paranoia and war for so long it is just our automatic response.

    No, Thursday is right. You think you're defending me? Well I'm sick of tying yellow ribbons trying not see all of this pain and death that we are perpetuating. We're not going to hell over silly wishes. It is death. We die. Why hasn't humanity moved past this yet?

    Anyone who liked this cd I'd really commend checking out Story of the Year's latest cd, the Black Swan. Excellent anti-war message.

    **end rant**
    etherfireon June 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure about the last line in the bridge, but besides that I think this is good.
    eltroyo11on January 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely one of my favorite songs off the new cd. There is so much passion in the music and so much energy, two things that I think A City by the Light Divided were missing in spades. Lyrics look like they are pretty close, however it is hard to tell with the lofi watermarked copy being downloaded everywhere as I type this. I cannot wait until Feb 17, Common Existence is a true Thursday record that reinforces why I love them so much.

    Note: Common Existence is not Full Collapse, but somehow it reminds me of the reasons I love Full Collapse, if listeners keep that in mind, I'm sure you will love Thursday's latest record almost as much as FC.
    jswee217on January 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHoly shit, I can't wait until February 17th. New Thursday and Street Fighter IV LOL

    Still my favorite band of today modern rock!
    infmoeon January 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really debated posting this until I found the line "And in the fold of the body bag, somebody check for a heart.." I only hesitated because I don't want to attach an unnecessary stigma to Thursday... after looking it over many times, this song is definitely about the personal decisions involved in participating in war. Even the more radical bands I listen to are careful to point fingers at decision makers and ignore or sympathize with those with the dirty hands. This song is obviously anti-war and serves its purpose by being direct to the actual instruments of death. "Friends in the Armed Forces" is a good name for the song because it shows exactly why we try to protect the troops from accustions; we all can name someone in Iraq/Afghanistan or a friend that knows someone there. This is frustration and disgust of people not standing up for what they know is wrong. It is pointing not to demonize but rather to show the subjects that they, in being compliant, are somewhat at fault and cannot deny it.
    bathosdrifton February 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy do you think he is "untying yellow ribbons on every single tree [he] sees"?
    ACAon February 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the basic meaning of this track is to bring the troops home...Don't want to pray and wait anymore - just come back now...Im sure there is more to it though...
    markubuson February 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw Thursday in Cincinnati yesterday. Geoff said that this song was about being able to support the troops even though they don't support the war. He said that it's stupid how politicians tell us that you can't support the troops without supporting the war.
    slazenger14on February 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have been listening to thursday since waiting. I think this song is their third greatest achievement (first being Full Collapse, second being Common Existence). This song has grown on me since the day I heard it. I knew that the song was political and stuff but I never read the lyrics because I was kind of turned off by the fact that Thursday was doing a Springsteen. I guess after about 10 listens I read the lyrics and realized how insanely powerful they are. The best thursday songs are always the ones that grow on me, and this song just seemed to click with me the way that full collapse did. Thursday are truly amazing, honest, innovating musicians that will forever have a legacy in my life as an honest, grassroots, old school idie band. And those bands were always the best kind you young'ns. Holla Back.
    jswee217on March 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love his voice and the way he sings this song <3
    JustxKillxMeon September 15, 2009   Link

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