Back when the war meant the one in Vietnam, folk songs were sung throughout the land...some using those very same words, in fact.
They dealt with, rather obliquely, the war, the hardships of those left at home, the terrible things our boys were going through in the jungles and lots of longing for peace.
One of those songs and the lyrics has been going through my head all day.
It do believe it was a remnant of the Civil War here in the US. It is sung by a woman who doesn't want her soldier husband to go off to fight, for whatever reason. She calls it a cruel war and begs him to let her go with him!
Well, back in those days, men often took their wives along with them to cook and wash and snuggle in the camps. Other men often took comfort in the whores who hung around the camps, offering what comfort a man away from his loved ones or one who had never been with a woman could get. Many of these fighting men got venereal diseases that left them withered and eventually dead. Whole towns on each side were full of pros. These parts of towns lasted well into the 20th century.
This young woman of the song, with her plaintive cries, eventually gets the guy to agree to let her go with him.
Now, in this time, there are women in the military.
They are strong women, stronger than the WACs of old, who were military but not allowed on the front. These soldiers know how to kill and protect themselves and their countrymen, and fight for the oppressed.
But I keep thinking of that poor woman begging her loved one to let her go with him to the war zone.
At the first major battle of that war at Bull Run or later referred to as Manassas, people, civilian men and women, took picnics with them to enjoy in their carriages to watch the fight, thinking it would be one small skirmish and the war would be over.
Well, it lasted four more bloody years. American blood spilled on those battlefields. No one really thought it was a picnic any more.
The war ended with the dissidents losing.
The reasons for the war were supposedly satisfied...they lost their rights to keep people in bondage and servitude. Their properties were ruined and they had to start all over again to run their farms and feed their people, without the help of the "cattle" they had once depended on for so long.
But, it seems that war is still being fought.
That cruel war is still raging.