When I was just a young boy

I played with swords and guns

And dreamed of the day I’d become a soldier

And kill all of the enemy

My country ‘tis of thee

I sing this anthem sadly, won’t you hear me

I watched the cannon blazing

On the giant silver screen

The swastikas were burning and the hero was me

The generals gave the order, gladly I obeyed

But the movie faded quickly all at once today

And now I stand alone with the charges made

Nowhere to run, not a place to hide

We’re sad little children playing grown-up games

Guess the time has come, the damage has been done

Stray dogs that live on the highway walk on three legs

Cause they learn too slow to get the message

Just like the Indians in the early days

Battles lost and won

Yet it still goes on It’s just another ballad for a soldier

I had no understanding ‘till I saw my mother cry

When they told how many babies I had killed that night

A dozen color photographs inside a magazine

Told the morbid story like a movie screen

But I was not the hero I thought myself to be

Movies are much different than reality

The general was convicted to get off the hook

But the President might free me for the chance I took

And we all stand alone when the charge is made

Sad way to live, what a way to die

We’re all little children playing grown-up games

Can we burn the gun before the next time comes?

Stray dogs that live on highways walk on three legs

They move too slow to get the message

Give up and win, that’s all I have to say

We haven’t really won till all the fightin’s done

And there are no more ballads for a soldier.

Leon Russell from the Album with Marc Benno “Assylum Choir II”