“Billy Don’t Be A Hero” (1974) is the Peace Song of the Day for 3/27/2012. It was written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander, and performed by Paper Lace, as well as Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.
This song was picked in keeping with the subject of counter-military recruiting, that we mentioned with yesterday’s song. How do we teach young people that war is not a place of glory?
“Billy don’t be a hero don’t be a fool with your life…”
An interesting note about this song:
While I clearly see this song as a reason not to go to war, and as begging someone not to go, some people see it as glorifying the military spirit. The song was released during the Vietnam War, though it is about The Civil War. And, the band performed the song in Union uniforms.
I think it is sad that some people could find fulfillment in the drama of a person risking their life in war. Especially, with our modern wars that are so obviously about greed, oil, and capitalism. But, if you look on Youtube, you will find the song being sung as a dedication to someone signing up for the Marines, and even as the backdrop for a bunch of photos of military couples.
I hope one day that there is enough of a culture of peace and nonviolence, that there will not be a need for military bands, dramatic soldier songs, and battlefields.
Ideas and actions for counter military recruitment can be found at the War Resisters League website: here.