Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Masters Of War

Many people always ask me why I chose to come to Vietnam. In fact, twice this week I've been asked that question. I've written a few times about my lifelong interest in Vietnam which all stemmed from the Vietnam War. Growing up in America it was impossible not to see, to read and to hear about Vietnam.

I've written a blog about how "The Wonder Years" was my favorite show and how it often had Vietnam content. I've written blogs about books I've loved that were written about Vietnam -- especially books by Tim O'Brien. Well, yesterday I was listening to some Bob Dylan and had a good reminder that music about Vietnam has had its influence on me too. One of my favorite songs growing up was a Pearl Jam cover of "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan. In fact, I think I put it on all of my mix tapes in middle school. Anyway, here's the lyrics to that song which I love so much:

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.