Deep in the field
A lone soldier stands
With mud on his boot
And blood on his hands
They left him behind
To bury the dead
And to say a few words on behalf of the leadership

Pardon me boys
If I slip off my pack
And sit for awhile with you
I'd like to explain
Why you fine young men had to be blown apart
To defend this mud hole

Now our country boys
Though it's quite far away
Found itself jeopardized
Endangered, boys
By these very gooks
Who lie here beside you
Forever near
Forever

We'd like to express
Our deep admiration
For your courage under fire
And your willingness to die
For your country, boys
We won't forget
We won't forget


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

Song for the Dead Lyrics as written by Randy Newman

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Song For The Dead song meanings
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    General Comment

    My interpretation: A war song likely regarding the Vietnam war. Though seemingly simple at first glance, this song subtly illustrates some powerful messages. The idea of a bloodied soldier left behind to offer their comrades some kind of proper sendoff acts as a means to criticize the governments for not truly caring about the soldiers they send out to fight in war. The lyric “To defend this mud hole” could go beyond the literal meaning, implying that the country itself is no good. But more simply, in the minds of the soldiers, the horrors that take place in such areas seem to only be for the sake of killing each other where the fighting would never affect anyone else, particularly the corrupt leaders. Next, the soldier in the song talks about how their country was afraid for no good reason, and that the bodies of the enemy will stay with the soldiers “forever near”. This is clearly referring to the post-traumatic stress that such things ingrain in a person. The final verse is ambiguous as to whom the soldier is talking to-- it could be their comrades or the enemy soldiers… Therefore, one could assume that the lyric is implying that both sides are just as human as each other, and deserve to be commemorated equally. Great song.

    liamg14on August 30, 2022   Link

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