The Draft Is Coming

David Rovics
Language: English

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[September 2004]
Lyrics and music by David Rovics
From the album, or song collection, "For the moments"
David Rovics' Official Website
For the moment

April, 2005

I had a great show a while back in Olympia, Washington and met Pat Maley there. I was recording a few new songs at his studio to put on the web, and at some point he suggested that I put out my next CD on his label, Yoyo Records. Thinking that to be a great idea, I went about figuring out what I wanted to do about that, and this is the end result.

Four cities were involved in this decisively non-Luddite production. I recorded vocal and guitar tracks in Houston, and Kristine Pettersen (Thistle) did harmony vocals later in the same place, Sugar Hill Studios with John Griffin engineering. I sent the sound files up to Boston and in Tenitus Studios my friend Sean Staples laid down bass, mandolin, bouzouki, electric guitar, dobro and nylon string guitar tracks and Dave Westner engineered and also played bass, electric guitar and percussion on various tracks.

Professor D and I recorded "Falluja" with Spinister engineering at the studios of the Dope Poet Society in Toronto and we sent those tracks on to Pat in Olympia, and folks in Boston and Houston sent in their tracks, and then Pat mixed and mastered the whole thing to put out on his label.

Since I had it in mind to do a CD with a somewhat new musical treatment than previous recordings (maybe somewhere in between Return and Songs for Mahmud), I thought it would be cool to do new versions of a few songs from previous releases as well as 12 previously unrecorded (mostly new) songs.

It seemed too bulky to include all the lyrics in the liner notes, but you can read lyrics, download lots of free audio, video, and sheet music, buy CD's and songbooks, look at my calendar and links to other artists, sign up on my email list, etc., by going to

There are far too many people to thank, and I've never been very good at remembering the myriad of people out there I feel thankful for. (I sure do feel thankful for them, though, and I hope they all know who they are.) But I'll pick just one. The older I get, the more I think my songwriting seems to resemble Jim Page's stuff.

Maybe I'm the only one who hears that, I don't know. In any case, though I hardly ever see him out there on the west coast or wherever he is at the time, since I discovered Jim's music 15 years ago I have never been the same, and his brilliant musical lens is still the main one through which I view the craft of songwriting, and a fair number of other subjects as well.

Hope to see you on the road and in the streets!

The draft is coming
It's blowing down the door
So pack your bags, boys and girls
We're all going off to war

You can be the next to die for Halliburton
Pull the cord, drape the flag and draw the curtain
You can pull the trigger for the Exxon Corporation
Watch the cities burn around you while you're standing at your station
You can shoot the children as they throw stones at your Humvee
And you can die for Kerry or maybe for Dick Cheney


When your tours are over and you come back
Maybe you can go to college if you survive Iraq
With DU dust in your lungs you can learn a trade
In your dying years you'll have it made
And when you're coughing up your last breath beneath the overpass
You'll be praying for the fortunes of the military brass


But you can be happy about the cause for which you died
At least you fought for freedom unlike the other side
They were setting off car bombs while you dropped them from the sky
You sold the country off to whatever company would buy
Shut their papers down and shot them for their liberty
So as you die you know you left the world a bit more free


Yes you can die for oil and watch history repeat
Fight for empire in the desert and go down in defeat
Or maybe it could happen that now in the second round
We will take the struggle higher and this time hear the sound
Of the chimes of freedom ringing when we take Washington, DC
'Cause opportunity is knocking, oh say, can you see


Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2006/1/8 - 22:05

David is brilliant but this song shows a surprising lack of unnderstanding of America's military strategy at home. Vietnam taught American politicians that a draft results in protests & makes war unpopular. We now boast of our all-volunteer military because it keeps Americans supportive of war. But the majority of the massacre-ing is done by mercenary forces like Blackwater (now operating under different names) because soldiers are subject to ptosecution for ear crimes

2020/5/2 - 10:28

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