DESCRIPTION: "I'm just a poor ex-soldier, a-broken down in doom; I fought all in the great World for the old red, white and blue." The singer saw his buddy killed, but found no help at home. He declares "I'm a poor forgotten soldier boy who fought to save our land."
EARLIEST DATE: 1978 (Rosenbaum)
KEYWORDS: soldier hardtimes
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Rosenbaum, p. 172, "Poor Ex-Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [111 words]: The soldier evidently fought in World War I. It is possible, since the song does not refer to any events after the war, that the soldier is simply suffering post-traumatic stress and having trouble returning to civilian life (a common enough phenomenon to cause references to a "lost generation"). But I rather suspect he was a member of the "Bonus Army" -- that large group of former soldiers who, in 1932, went to Washington to ask congress tp pay a benefit they were not scheduled to earn until the 1940s. This being still the Hoover administration, no help was provided -- and those who refuse to disperse were eventually attacked by soldiers in riot gear. - RBW
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