Over by Christmas – demo version

and the war will surely be over by christmas,
that’s what all of the young recruits said
as they marched gaily off to the opening battle.
that war was soon over, at least for the dead.

though we swear that we’ll never go through that again,
when they wave the old flags, and condemn the new crimes,
and our leaders assure us we’ve no other choice,
then we jjoin in the clamor for war, one more time.

we fight for our homeland, we fight for our gods.
we fight for our freedom, and all that is right.
we fight for our families, our neighbors and friends.
one could almost suspect that we just love to fight.

but that can’t be true, for we’re peace-loving people.
we never would start an unprovoked fight.
we would not go to war without a just reason,
but it’s funny how often things threaten our rights.

and the enemy’s never the least bit like we are.
they’re barbaric, inhuman, bloodthirsty and vile.
we cannot understand them, they must not value life
to kill mothers and babes with a sneer and a smile.

how can we believe such obvious lies
if we are as smart as we like to pretend?
we know that our children will be maimed and killed,
still we send them to war, again and again.

once again, this must surely be wrapped up by christmas.
each new war seems different, yet always the same,
with the cheerful delusion of quick easy triumph.
the war’s never over, we just change its name.


This was weird, and spooky. I hadn’t even pretended to write a song lyric in decades. Because … I sucked as a songwriter. Which hasn’t changed, unfortunately.

Yet here I am, writing songs again. Writing down verses, at least. I can’t honestly say that I even wrote this one; it has just swirled and surfaced in my brain this summer, with lines forming, shifting and regrouping over a couple of months, then somehow coalescing pretty much on their own. As I say, very weird. Maybe that’s how songs are commonly written, but it’s never happened to me before.

I can account for the subject matter, from current events, and from watching possibly too many documentaries on various wars in recent years. But I still have no idea where these words came from. – LLF

About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
This entry was posted in Dissent, Media, Military, Music, News and politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Over by Christmas – demo version

  1. A great song, Linda, and so true!

    • Carol, Thanks for your generous comment! But don’t we wish it were not true! I’m baffled by how so many of us keep doing or going along with things we know damned well never, ever work. Maybe someday we might try using the newer parts of our brains instead? And listening to our hearts wouldn’t hurt either. – Linda

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