"I'll Fight" as written by Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett....
I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go for you
I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight for you
I'll kill, I'll kill, I'll kill, I'll kill for you
I will, I will, I will

I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go for you
I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight for you
I'll die, I'll die, I'll die, I'll die for you
I will, I will, I will

And if I die, I'll die, I'll die alone
On some forgotten hill, abandoned by the mill
All my blood will spring and spill
I'll crash the air and be still

You'll wait with the star from a dream
And know that I am gone
You'll feel it in your heart
But not for very long

You'll rise each day as planned
Your will is your command
And stand each Sunday
A hymnal steady in your hand

And you'll sing to yourself
The rising falling melody
That you could never read
Without the choirs' lead
Still alone and lost in deep
And your soul will not be free

I will go, I will go, I will go
And in wars waters I will wade
And I will know if I remorse or regret
The fairness of our trade

For you to live, I took your place
A deal was made and I was paid
And the goal as I was told
Was a place where my body could be laid

And we will steal your life
And I own in better homes surrounded
By your peers, without suffering or fear
Grandchildren far and near
And none will shed a tear
For the love no longer here

I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go for you
I will
I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight for you
I will, I will, I will

I'll kill, I'll kill, I'll kill, I'll kill for you
I will
I'll die, I'll die, I'll die, I'll die for you
I will, I will, I will

And if I die, I'll die, I'll die alone like Jesus
On a cross
My faith cannot by tossed
And my life will not be lost
If my love comes across


Lyrics submitted by jj_jac555, edited by tim03

"I'll Fight" as written by Mikael Jorgensen Nels Cline

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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I'll Fight song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI see this as being (obviously) from the perspective of a soldier fighting in a war overseas (could be any war, really), and it's a view that I feel reflects that of most of the people I know who are in the military. They go over to fight a war because they're told to, but the enlist in the first place out of a love, on some level, for country. You don't sign up for voluntary military service if you feel ambivalent towards your country...there are a thousand other ways to make $30,000 for college, regardless of what the Army tells you.

    Anyway, this narrator realizes that his death will result in broken hearts at home, and while he may love his country enough to give his life for it, his country may not love him back with the same fervor. He realizes that there is some truth in the age-old talk of going to fight so his grandchildren won't have to, or so that others back at home won't have to in that particular conflict, but he also realizes that many people won't really care.

    I see that as the state of things today. We say we support the troops, regardless of political views or our views on the war, but when the vets come home (or when the vet comes home in a box and the family has to deal with it), I think most people just expect them to get over it and move on with every day life. Never mind the fact that these vets have seen war up close and in all its naked grittiness, or that these vets have done things that their MBA neighbours will never, ever have to experience...society doesn't want to be bothered with veterans who can't sleep at night because they keep seeing the face of the suicide-bomber kid they had to kill in self-defense.

    Do you really care about the soldiers who fight? Never mind whether or not you agree with the reasoning for the war. Let's look at the real issue: do you REALLY support the troops, or are you just mouthing the words? They volunteered to serve so you don't have to be drafted. If you really care, why not write letters to those posted overseas. Send them a care package or something. If you see soldiers at a restaurant, offer to buy them a meal. Volunteer at the VA. Take time to listen to their stories. Heck, even if you never, ever do anything else, just thank a veteran for their service and shake their hand. Trust me, they will appreciate it a lot. I try to do that whenever I can, to just say thank you. It's heartbreaking how many vets have replied to my thanks with "You know, nobody ever says that to me."


    Anyway, I love Wilco.
    NorthWriteron May 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Here's what I hear:

    I'll die alone on some
    Forgotten hill
    Abandoned by the mill
    All my blood will
    Spring and spill
    I'll thrash the air and be still


    and

    And we will steal your life
    And die old
    In better homes surrounded
    By your peers...etc.


    I love this song so much! After I listened to this song and actually started to listen to the lyrics I was kind of disturbed by the "all my blood will spring and spill" line. Stuff like that usually doesn't creep me out, but that just made me get all asldkfja;lsdkjf;alskdjfl;askdj. :D
    wilcofan_on June 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningthe first two parts are an American soldier mindlessly repeating phrases that have been drilled into him by the military as a whole or Christianity.

    the fourth part describes his love's superficial following of Christianity. she goes to church, holds the books, but doesn't know the hyms. it's a front that gives her life no meaning. "And your soul will not be free."

    the first half of part five tells how the government exploits people's Christian faith in order to get them to die for our country. "For you to live, I(Jesus) took your place(died on the cross for your sins)."

    the second half of part five:
    it's easy for politicians to "steal" the lives of people from poor socioeconomical areas of high religious faith and send them off to war and die. The politicians then go back to their long and affluent lives("die old in better homes surrounded by your peers"). They have the chance to play with their own "grandchildren far and near" while not even caring that they robbed an innocent man's chance of the same thing "and no one will shed a tear for the love no longer here."

    part six is more of part one and two done for structure of the song.

    parts three and seven describe the cold truth about what would actually happen if he died in a war(part three) and how religious faith can make someone rationalize this(part seven). i really think these two parts should be switched in the song.
    fab4fan4on June 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBeautiful song.. Jeff Tweedy is an amazing writer, simple with his words. I absolutely love Wilco. I see the references to war and how one dies without question for the 'better cause' but I'm a sap. A hopeless romantic. I guess i see the person i love as a soldier would see his country. Something/someone to die for/ in place of. Either way... great song. :)
    LBean13on July 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not sure about the simple soldier fighting for country idea. I don't know if it is just because this is something I've recently experienced or not, but to me it sounds like a couple where one has fallen out of love with the other and the other, rather than resist, decides to let them go, because he loves them.

    My interpretation for the stanza:
    I'll go for you I will leave, because I love you.
    I'll fight for you I feel an internal struggle, against inclination to stay and resist the end.
    I'll for you I will do anything for you.
    I'll die for you It hurts to leave, for I’m still in love.

    My interpretation for the verse:
    It’s going to hurt without you, I’ll miss you so much.
    You’ll get over it. Perhaps you’re over it already.
    You’re over it, other things to do, free.
    Even though you’re done, I hope you still remember our love and how wonderful it was.
    My inner battle will be painful, however it is worth it because I am happy that you will be free.
    You will live a wonderful life and be very happy and forget about me with time.
    I will go my own way, suffering for you, and it will all be worth it if you realize that I will let you go, because I love you.

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But the fighting could easily be reference to an internal struggle rather than external.
    etwindigoon December 04, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy personal favorite on the new album.. JEFF TWEEDY is the MAN. I will fight anyone who says otherwise...
    jj_jac555on May 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy the way, I tried to put [soapbox] [/soapbox] tags around the last two paragraphs, but it deleted them. Oh, well...
    NorthWriteron May 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree about it being about a soldier fighting for his/her country. I think some of the lyrics are wrong whoever posted them though.

    For you to live
    I took your place
    A deal was made
    And now its paid

    I'll go on as I was told
    To the place where my body can be laid.

    That's what I hear.
    PrenticeGTon May 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much. Best song since YHF.

    These lyrics are kind of wrong.
    fishquawkon May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song made me immediately think of On and On and On.

    Jeff Tweedy sings the verse in this song the similar to the way he sings the verse in "On and On and On" from Sky Blue Sky album.

    Weird.

    "I'll go,I'll go, I'll go, I'll go for you
    I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight, I'll fight for you"

    "on and on and on we'll stay together yeah
    on and on and on we'll be together yeah"
    terriblyvexedon May 26, 2009   Link

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