The Highwaymen–Universal Soldier

Although The Highwaymen (no, not that Highwaymen) were written off as collegiate folk, they occasionally performed more political works.  That includes Die Moorsoldaten, as well as a version of Universal Soldier, which was popularized by Donovan and subsequently covered by Glen Campbell.  The Highwaymen’s version is markedly different than those two popular interpretations.  There’s not trace of pop here and no flowery folk accompaniment.  Their version is stark and sullen with a tinge of actual anger.  They delivery it almost like a national anthem, stately and sung honestly.  That makes it all the more memorable when the song slows itself to deliver its final punch:

He’s the universal soldier and he really is to blame/His orders come from far away no more/They come from him and you and me, and brothers can’t you see/This is not the way to put and end to war.


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