♫ One Tin Soldier ♫ (Redux)

I played this song almost exactly two years ago — October 29, 2020 — right before the election that is still a source of so much conflict and controversy even now.  As I listened to it tonight, I realized just how relevant it is to our situation … not only here in the U.S., but all ’round the globe … today.  Some songs, books, poems, etc., never lose their meaning, and this is one such.

Rarely do any of you request a song, and I don’t actively solicit requests, though I always give consideration if someone mentions a song or an artist they particularly like.  Tonight, I had a request and, as I like the song and think the song speaks volumes, has meaning for us all, even today some 50 years after the song was released, I am offering this one tonight.  Most of my readers from across the pond may have never heard this song, for I understand that it never made it big outside of Canada and the U.S., but give it a listen … you might like it!

One Tin Soldier is an anti-war song, released in 1969 by Canadian pop group The Original Caste.  The song charted each year from 1969 to 1974 by various artists and on various charts in the United States and Canada. However, it did not chart outside North America.

Written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, One Tin Soldier tells the story of two neighboring tribes, the warlike Valley People and the peaceful Mountain Kingdom which possesses a great treasure buried under a stone. The Valley People demand the treasure. The Mountain People respond that they will share it with “their brothers”, but the Valley People invade and slaughter the Mountain People. On overturning the stone, they find nothing except the words “Peace On Earth” inscribed beneath it.

The song’s message, that human greed and violence is futile, is as meaningful, as imperative as it was when the song was first written.  Unless I miss my guess, it is a lesson that on the whole we still will not have learned when the human species finally leaves the earth forever.

Thank you, rawgod, for an excellent suggestion!

One Tin Soldier
The Original Caste

One tin soldier
Listen people to a story
That was written long ago,
’bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley folks below.
On the mountain was a treasure
Hidden deep beneath a stone,
And the valley people swore
They’d have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing,
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure
Tons of gold for which they’d kill.
Came the answer from the kingdom,
With our brothers we will share,
All the riches of the mountain,
All the treasure buried there.

Now the valley cried with anger,
Mount your horses, draw your swords
And they killed the mountain people,
So they won their just rewards
Now they stood before the treasure
On the mountain dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
Peace on earth, was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat and friend,
Do it in the name of heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

Songwriters: Brian Potter / Dennis Earle Lambert
One Tin Soldier lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

27 thoughts on “♫ One Tin Soldier ♫ (Redux)

      • Hmmm, I’m thinking, thinking, thinking! Do you remember Richie Valens hit of :Donna”? Or Ricky Nelson’s “Travelling Man”? Nothing controversial at all, just some easy listening from a slower paced time in life. Then there is “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” by Doris Day. Perry Como singing “Ave Maria”, probably a bit too religious for most people these days though. Am I going too far back in memory?
        Marty Robbins “White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation”, very big during Prom season. I actually met Marty and his son who is best forgotten. Nothing at all as friendly as his dad was. Marty raced mini cars at my Uncle’s race track on Highway 81. I worked in the concession stand and my Aunt made sure I was always working when Marty would be there. He never did win a race but loved the speed.

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        • Oh WOW!!! You went WAAAAAAYYYY back, didn’t you? Hmmmm … the first several I know, but the Marty Robbins one I don’t think I’ve ever heard … I’ll go take a listen in a few. I’m glad I sent you on a trip back down memory lane, though … that’s always fun!

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          • You probably were too young to notice that one. Marty wrote it and it is very different from the Outlaw/Gun Slinger music he mostly sang. Nice tempo about being stood up for the prom. It was THE song every year during Prom season, circa 1950’s. Not certain what year it began but before I was in High School and I graduated in 1960. Simple lyrics with a chorus, one verse and a break verse all repeated once. Now that I’m on the Prom kick Iv trying to remember a few of the other songs from that era. It was all so simple back then. The world hadn’t begun the explosion that we’ve known since the Kennedy years.and Camelot was still a movie I enjoyed. And of course, those Saturday nights when Marty was racing. I think I might have had a serious crush on him. Too bad his son was such a stinker though. Not as cute as Marty though. Too spoiled and bratty. UGH! Now I have to go get that bad taste out of my mouth!


  1. Thanks Jill. I’ve posted this song half a dozen times during my blogging years. It was a favorite of mine ever since it was showcased in th Billy Jack series during my high school days. I still feel the same as I did back then.

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    • Yep, it’s a timeless song. I told you last time I played this that I added the Billy Jack movie to my TBW list, and I did, but I still haven’t managed to watch it! I watch about one movie every 3-4 months! Glad you enjoyed the song!

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  3. You’re right on a couple of counts: this has probably never been heard over here, and its message is still relevant. However, I prefer songs with a message not to be so blatant in laying it on with a trowel. This actually sounds like a children’s song. Not one for me, sorry.

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    • I figured it wouldn’t be on your top ten playlist, especially considering it really didn’t do well anywhere outside of North America. I rather like it, but then probably because I came of age hearing it. And, the message is apt today, just as it was back then, and will probably be 100 years from now if humans still walk the earth then.

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