Steve Earle at SXSW, 2007

Steve Earle performing the bridge and final verse of his poignant and truthful “Rich Man’s War,” one of the most important songs written during the Iraq War, a war which so many Americans seemed committed to ignoring until only just recently.

After the jump, find the lyrics to “Rich Man’s War” plus the entire audio version of the song. If Steve or the publisher has a problem with my posting it, the can let me know and I’ll take it down.
Also, click here and find more pix from SXSW, including Steve Earle, The Buzzcocks, Pete Townshend and Bloc Party.


Steve Earle, Rich Man’s War
Jimmy joined the army ‘cause he had no place to go
There ain’t nobody hirin’
‘round here since all the jobs went
down to Mexico
Reckoned that he’d learn himself a trade maybe see the world
Move to the city someday and marry a black haired girl
Somebody somewhere had another plan
Now he’s got a rifle in his hand
Rollin’ into Baghdad wonderin’ how he got this far
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war
Bobby had an eagle and a flag tattooed on his arm
Red white and blue to the bone when he landed in Kandahar
Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl
A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world
Been a year now and he’s still there
Chasin’ ghosts in the thin dry air
Meanwhile back at home the finance company took his car
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war
When will we ever learn
When will we ever see
We stand up and take our turn
And keep tellin’ ourselves we’re free
Ali was the second son of a second son
Grew up in Gaza throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come
Ain’t nothin’ else to do around here just a game children play
Somethin’ ‘bout livin’ in fear all your life makes you hard that way
He answered when he got the call
Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah
A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war
Sarangel Music (ASCAP)

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