Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier

A Protest Song

In the 1970’s we would have called this a "war protest song". It was meant to appeal to the millions of mothers who didn’t want to see their sons go to war. And, as the war progresses there are numerous songs meant to appeal to the support of women (mothers) for the war. We have to wonder, why the emphasis on the support of women? Or, was it just a marketing ploy targeting women because they were more likely to be the consumers of sheet music?
It’s good to remember that while this war-era music was often used to sway the political climate of the day, it’s real purpose was to make money. Music was then, and still is, an industry. Yes, singers and musicians will call themselves "artists", but the bottom line is money. And, song writers will write what people will buy. This song had a strong appeal to the anti-war crowd. Notice the illustration, a mother clutching her son while dreams of war swirl in her head.

Don't Forget the Lyrics

Ten million soldiers to the war have gone,
Who may never return again
Ten milllion mothers hearts must break
For the ones who died in vain.
Head bowed down in sorrow in her lonely years I hear a mother mumur thro’ the tears:

Chorus: I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier,
I brought him up to be my pride and joy
Who dares to place a musket on his shoulder
To shoot some other mother’s boy?
Let nations arbitrate their future troubles,
It’s time to lay the sword and gun away
There’d be no war today,
If mothers all would say, " I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier.

What victory can cheer a mother’s heart
When she looks at her blighted home?
What victory can bring her back
All she cared to call her own.
Let each mother answer In the years to be,
Remember that my boy belongs to me!

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