We got a call to write a song about the war in the Gulf
But we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings
So we tried, then gave up, 'cause there was no such song
But the trying was very revealing
What makes a person so poisonous righteous
That they'd think less of anyone who just disagreed?
She's just a pacifist, he's just a patriot
If I said you were crazy, would you have to fight me?

Fighters for liberty, fighters for power
Fighters for longer turns in the shower
Don't tell me I can't fight, 'cause I'll punch out your lights
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me

So we read and we watched all the specially selected news
And we learned so much more 'bout the good guys
Won't you stand by the flag? Was the question unasked
Won't you join in and fight with the allies?
What could we say we're only twenty five years old?
With twenty five sweet summers, and hot fires in the cold
This kind of life makes that violence unthinkable
We'd like to play hockey, have kids and grow old

Fighters for Texaco, fighters for power
Fighters for longer turns in the shower
Don't tell me I can't fight 'cause I'll punch out your lights
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me
That us would fight them for we

He's just a peacenik and she's just a war hawk
That's where the beach was, that's where the sea
What could we say we're only twenty five years old?
And history seems to agree
that I would fight you for me
That us would fight them for we

Is that how it always will be?

Lyrics submitted by Fish-chan

Gulf War Song Lyrics as written by Jian Ghomeshi David Matheson

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Gulf War Song song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm surprised no one's commented on this yet, it's a beautiful song, and really meaningful now after 9/11. Go pacifists!

    nightkite13on June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i haven't actually listened to this song, but the lyrics are just awesome. and yeah nightkite go pacifists, i hate war.

    foreverdoomedon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Fruvous carries a lot of political themes throughout this album (Bargainville, their first). This song is very straightforward and very, very powerful.

    Fish-chanon September 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The Gulf War Song is MF's attempt to create a Vietnam-War-Protest-Song-style song. Musically, it comes out beautifully, with tremendous harmonies. Lyrically, well... I can't help but feeling the song's somewhat ironic.

    They can't sing about Vietnam, because they're a Canadian group and anyway, they're 20 years too late. So the song is about the Gulf War, a war fraught with ethical concerns, to be sure, but a war with hardly any casualties, which ended quickly and without any problems. The comparison to Vietnam doesn't work very well, making it a little strange.

    The most interesting lines of the song are the first four, a really interesting analysis of both politically correct posturing and patriotic posturing. There's no way to make a song that won't offend someone, in some way, especially when you trod on such contentious territory.

    As a result, the Gulf War Song is a little devoid of emotion. It wraps its beautiful music with a message about a cliched universal peace, as if to demonstrate that the only way to keep from offending is to not really say anything.

    In the end, though, they do make a fairly effective sentimental appeal for the end of violence. But it's not really particularly hopeful that the appeal will be listened to.

    That may be the main thing that distinguishes this from one of the old Vietnam Protest Songs- the cynicism inherent in it. A Vietnam protest song believed that the song could change the listener and the listener could change the system. This song makes a statement, but doesn't expect the statement to affect the listener in any real way.

    Dimaggio23on April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Fighters for Texaco Fighters for power Fighters for longer turns in the shower"

    I think these lines (and some others too) have to do with the idea that most wars are fought by the poor man, but really benefit the rich man.

    In a way too, I believe MF is poking fun at any war and people's reaction to it. "Don't tell me I can't fight 'cause I'll punch out your lights"

    "What makes a person so poisonous, righteous That they'd think less of anyone who just disagreed?" I think this line is about close-minded and prejudiced people who won't admit or allow others to have different ideas.

    bleeding*staron February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    This song is definitely intended to be a statement about war, but to me it means more than that.

    "Fighters for Texaco Fighters for power Fighters for longer turns in the shower"

    So many people go through life constantly fighting for everything, from political power, to a turn in the shower, etc. Life is so much happier when we stop fighting for everything and just accept what we have. It's exhausting having to always fight for things.

    "poisonous righteous" is such a great description too.

    leann0linon December 26, 2008   Link

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