Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill
Asking for the buried treasure
Tons of gold for which they'd kill

It came an answer from the mountain
With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain
All the riches buried there

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

Now the valley cried with anger
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people
So they won their just reward

Now they stood beside the treasure
On the mountain, dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
"Peace on Earth" was all it said

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away


Lyrics submitted by SurfingHobo

One Tin Soldier Lyrics as written by Brian Potter Dennis Earle Lambert

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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One Tin Soldier song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    My Interpretationis this a joke? i dont think the song writer is trying to tell you HOW judgement day is or is not going to happen.

    first of all, its simply (and certainly not maliciously) using the Christian concept of Judgement Day to convey a point. its just a metaphor/story/poem. its not trying to change what you believe about the actual judgement day.

    second of all, for someone upset about how Christian beliefs are being treated, you attacked this songs meaning rather violently. where is the "peace on Earth", my fellow brother of Christ? this song is saying that the most valuable treasure is peace on Earth.

    Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
    Go ahead and cheat a friend. - just go ahead and do bad things that you know are wrong.
    Do it in the name of Heaven, - every single person has a different idea of what Heaven is. this is saying when you do these actions, just do it in the name of what you believe Heaven to be...
    You can justify it in the end. - ...because when you when you ultimately die (in the end), you will be able to justify your actions because you did it in the name of what you believed to be right.
    There won't be any trumpets blowing
    Come the judgement day,- trumpets blowing can used symbolically for beholding power or glory. in terms of the judgement day, corinthians and thessolonians say that these trumpets are what call people "into the air" to join Christ in everlasting life. this is the kicker for your argument for this song being anti-christian in anyway. its saying that when that man who cheated friends and hated neighbors is ultimately judged, he is not justified. there are no trumpets calling him to any type of Heaven or salvation.
    On the bloody morning after....
    One tin soldier rides away. - the sinning man, justified only in his own eyes, is damned to earth and hollow as tin. to God, to Christ, to others in Heaven, there is no justification for his evil actions.
    OtisUphamon May 24, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think the lyrics need any explanation, most of us are intelligent enough to get its message of peace and camaraderie in favour of violence, greed, and evil....such a meaningful and beautiful song. I only wish the world could be better modeled on the example set in this tale

    I sang this song on a sailing trip; a beautiful memory
    River Wolfon February 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm very well aware the song is a fable, and it's a powerfully emotional one. Lambert and Potter did a fine job of marrying the lyrics to a melody suitable to the passion of their lyrics.

    But besides being shamelessly manipulative, the moral hangs by one skinny thread:
    The Mountain People are complete idiots.
    Let us get this straight: Your valley counterparts are psychos propelled by avarice to slaughter for fortune. The sum total of the Mountain People's "treasure" is a big ol' rock that reads "Peace On Earth" on the bottom or inscribed in the earth.
    Now, setting aside questions like...
    - "Why did they feel the need to hide the inscription under a rock? Who exactly was going to steal it?"
    - "Why couldn't they just carve it into the rock itself, or paint it all over their houses- Hell, blaze the slogan on your t-shirts!"
    ... why did they play coy with a group of angry people who were "Asking for the buried treasure; Tons of gold for which they'd kill"?
    Did they have a DEATH WISH? A MARTYR COMPLEX?

    It seems to me that all they had to do was let the Valley People come up the hill, turn over the rock and say, "That's it. That's the treasure." Then they could let the Valley People search to their hearts' content- yeah, out of line and invasive, but the alternative was the slaughter of their village.
    SO- THE "REAL" MORAL OF THE STORY IS THIS:
    Don't play coy with psychos.
    BurningOldSageon June 14, 2018   Link
  • -4
    General CommentWhat a satanic song.

    I'm not kidding. Look at these words:

    Go ahead and hate your neighbor.
    Go ahead and cheat your friend.
    Do it in the name of Heaven,
    you can justify it in the end.
    There won't be any trumpets blowing
    come the Judgement Day
    On the bloody mountain after
    one tin soldier rides away.

    Excuse me, Judgement Day is the FINAL JUDGEMENT by Jehovah God of every soul; only the ones who believe on Jesus will be justified, while the sinners who do not know Jesus Christ will be judged "...every man according to their works..." and "...whosoever's name is not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire."

    I'll say the chorus is street-talk blasphemy. Enough said.
    NoiseIsNotMusic99on April 04, 2012   Link

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