Blogs > Liberty and Power > World War I Vintage Antiwar Song

May 21, 2006 6:01 pm

World War I Vintage Antiwar Song

A singer from 1916 declares that"I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier." Hear it here. Woodrow Wilson had other ideas, however.

Hat tip, Laurence Vance at

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David T. Beito - 5/24/2006

I wonder if anyone was thrown in jail for singing it during WWI. Perhaps Wilson is listening to it in hell right now.

Robert Higgs - 5/22/2006

This song cuts much deeper than the typical antiwar song, because it challenges government power in general, and it points an accusing finger at anyone, even someone in a position of governmental authority, who has the impudence to claim the power to dispose of WHAT IS NOT HIS TO DISPOSE OF.

Thus, the song does not simply refer to "the ones who died in vain." It goes on to hurl in the ruler's face, "WHO DARES to place a musket on his shoulder, to shoot some other mother's darling boy?" And finally, and most important, "My boy BELONGS TO ME!" Which is to say, he certainly does not belong to some puffed up nincompoop of a politician, even if by the usual hook and crook he got himself elected to public office, or to any aggregation of such nincompoops.