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War Is A Racket
Inspired by Smedley Butler's 1934 book by the same name; Wylie Robbins Thorne-Thomsen - mandolin
Acoustic - Folk
Previous peak charts position #45
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #2
Tom Neilson
Tom Neilson 2021
August 04, 2021
1 version uploaded:
MP3 5.7 MB  •  320 kbps  •  2:30
Story behind the song
General Smedley Butler is the most decorated US soldier. He described himself as "a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914."
Lyrics
We start with a country, a country, a country With lithium, bananas, oil or gold Then send in the army, marines, mercenaries The navy and air force till we overthrow. And who does the killing, the killing, the killing A soldier, a sailor with gun in their hand They follow orders and say they are willing To destroy a people and place that they don't understand. They come from the farms and the factories, offices Classrooms and trades to fill in the ranks. They come back broken in mind and their bodies Used up by the weapons' dealers and banks. And who gets the profits, the profits, the profits Of 100, 1000, 2000 percent It comes from the pockets, the pockets, the pockets Of people you think would be recalcitrant. It goes to the makers of abominations A mathematical manipulation A simple corporate war calculation Out of your paycheck, they call it taxation You pay for the wheeling and dealing and stealing You pay for the bullets and bombs and the tanks Napalm and nukes and lobbyists sell it Did GE and Westinghouse ever say thanks? War is a racket and who does the killing With missiles and mortars; grenades and guns? They come back broken in mind and their bodies Used up by the Raytheon politicians
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