The adverts in the papers solicit soldiers for the army
But they never tell you nothing about the girls in the garrison towns.
Like how they will mistreat you and how old friends will see you.
When you trade your name for a number and a uniform of brown.
When you pick up a gun
And you say goodbye to Mama.
And away from home you run.

And the way that Sergeant shouted it's just to drive you crazy
I was luckier than many for I got released in time
Now they tell me I'm a free man but sometimes I still doubt it
For the more I think about it freedom's just a state of mind.
That they keep with the gun
Thank you for the gift of your son.
Praise The Lord and praise the bomb.

The politician tells the people you've got to have an army
And the soldier tells the writer the pen is mightier than the sword.
But sticks and stones can break my bones and words will never harm me
Said the poet and the writer to the soldier with his words.
"Thy will be done",
Said the preacher man
Lowering another poor boy down.

And I can see the soldiers dying watch the writer vainly trying
His pen dipped in their blood when he writes that the dead have got the glory
You can play with the words but you won't change the story.
Put a gun in their hands
Fill their heads full of lies
Put strength in their hearts and fear in their eyes.

Old soldiers never die they only fade away.
But the young ones do not die, no they are cur down instead.
And someone pulled the trigger, gave the order, held the sword,
And some one wrote the advert in the paper that they read.
Thy will be done,
But you won't get your hands on my son.
You can wait till kingdom come.

Lyrics submitted by ralph mctell

Pick Up A Gun song meanings
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