Le Déserteur

Boris Vian
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Men whose names are great,
I'm writing you this letter
That you will read, perhaps,
If you have the time.

This morning through my door there fell the orders telling me
Where I must go, where I must be to serve you in your war.
Dear sirs who rule the earth this war of yours is not for me
For the deaths of other men can't be the purpose of my birth.
I bear you no ill will but you should know that men like me
Think war is just stupidity and man has had his fill.

The days of all our lives have just seen husbands dying
And little children crying, and the misery of wives.
And mothers in their tears, while others just grow fat on war
And do not grieve a moment for those wasted wasting years.
And prisoners of war who prison robs of heart and mind
Of youth, of joy and all that's kind and all that's gone before.

Tomorrow I will go, I'll turn my back upon the past
And try to find some peace at last but where I do not know.
I'll beg my way around and tell all people that I find
Until I've told all human kind that life is ours to live.
And if you have lust for blood then let the blood be yours
For yours are all the bloody wars, dear sirs who rule the earth.

If you send your police to hunt and catch me as I go
Tell them I am unarmed and so they can shoot me in peace.
Unarmed I'm safe to kill.

Dear Mr. President
I'm writing you a letter
I hope that you can read it
if you spared the time
'Cause I have just received
a call to active duty
to leave my home and fight your war
this Wednesday night at 9
Mr. President
I don't think I should go
I don't think I was put on Earth
to kill no poor people
Don't mean to get you mad at all
I'm informing all of you
that my decision's final
I plan to go AWOL

Since I've been alive
I've seen my father die
brothers and sisters going
too many children cry
My mama has suffered so
that from beyond the grave I know
she's ... everything believe
And all the things you throw
And when I was inside
somebody stole my wife
they took away my soul
and what have been my life
So tomorrow, break of day,
I'll barricade the doorway
on all those long dead years
and find my own damned way

I'll ... my life away
along the lonesome highway
from Maine to California
and this is what I'll say
Refuse to obey
to do just what they say
refuse to fight their war for them
refuse to march away
If there's gonna be bloodshed
why shouldn't some be yours
with all that you have done and said
yes, you, Mr. President
Go get me if you will
and tell the Texas rangers
I'll be unarmed and dangerous
and they shoud shoot to kill.

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