Tag Archives: The Costs of War

A Thousand Men

After reading Gabrielle Bryden’s recent blog post Costs of War and watching the great Charlie Chaplin in his only ever speaking role (The Great Dictator), I was inspired to post the lyrics of American singer-songwriter Joe Pug’s song, A Thousand Men.The song hangs around the line:

Every good idea kills at least a thousand men.

If that doesn’t set the mind firing, then…

Here’s Joe singing his heart out with some fine accompaniment:

And here’s the full lyrics:

A Thousand Men

See Thomas Jefferson
On the eve of Bunker Hill
Writing words to die for
Writing sentences to kill

They’ve come to paint his portrait
So he grabs a chair and sits
As the surgeon orders cotton
For a thousand tourniquets

For God and country
For us and them
Every good idea
Kills at least a thousand men
At least a thousand men

See the able-bodied Christian
In a dark and savage land
Turn all those who will listen
That God was once a man

Through needles eye so narrow
He will lead them four by four
He’s got nine hundred shackles
He needs at least a hundred more

A thousand men
A thousand men
Every good idea
Kills at least a thousand men
At least a thousand men

See the able-bodied student
In his laboratory coat
Whispering calculations
Like prayers stuck in his throat

Soon he will discover
Some flawless medicine
But right now he needs an oven
That holds at least a thousand men

Some are the means
Some are the ends
Every good idea
Kills at least a thousand men
At least a thousand men

One thousand one
One thousand one
Every man I know
Thinks that he’s one thousand one

Nine hundred nine
His day is done
Every man I know
Thinks that he’s one thousand one
I know I’m one thousand one

**********

If you want a little more, you can download five free songs from Joe’s website. Enjoy!

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