To Never Learn

Jim Adams’ challenge is to “select two songs and discuss some type of relevant association between them.” I have chosen to go with Gordon Lightfoot’s Protocol and Smith and Sinclair’s Again.

Lightfoot’s Protocol is from his 1976 Summertime Dream album which reached at Number 1 in Canada and Number 12 on the US Billboard chart. The sond goes through a list of several catagories of people who make fatal decisions, such as sea captains and generals who seek “mermaid’s tale” or victory all at too great a cost. By following “Protocol” lessons never seem to be learned and the cycle continues.

Lyrics:

Who are these ones who would lead us now
To the sound of a thousand guns
Who’d storm the gates of hell itself
To the tune of a single drum?

Where are the girls of the neighborhood bars
Whose loves were lost at sea
In the hills of France and on German soil
From Saigon to Wounded Knee?

Who come from long lines of soldiers
Whose duty was fulfilled
In the words of a warrior’s will
And protocol

Where are the boys in their coats of blue
Who flew when their eyes were blind?
Was God in town for the Roman games
Was he there when the deals were signed?

Who are the kings in their coats of mail
Who rode by the cross to die?
Did they all go down into worthiness?
Is it wrong for a king to cry?


And who are these ones who would have us now
Whose presence is concealed
Whose nature is revealed
In a time bomb?

Last of all you old sea dogs
Who travel after whale
You’d storm the gates of hell itself
For the taste of a mermaid’s tail
Who come from long lines of skippers
Whose duty was fulfilled
In the words of a warrior’s will
And protocol

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Gordon Lightfoot

Protocol lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Again is from Songs For The Betrayed World which reflects on and furthers awareness of the Holocaust.  The song is haunting and asks key questions, and like Lightfoot’s song in a list.  The song notes that “you said Dachau would never happen again . . . since then Mỹ Lai, since then [the killing fields] Kampuchea, since then ethic cleansing and paralysis.”

I could not find a printed copy of the full lyrics of the song, but a listen will clearly show the parallels with Protocol, and that we never learn from our darkest deeds.


 

Padre

 

3 thoughts on “To Never Learn

  1. If I could read Gordon Lightfoot’s mind, I bet that it would be filled with questions and possibly none of them would be answered. I really liked your choice of Songs For The Betrayed World by Holocaust and you made a great comparison. Thanks for participating again Padre.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What thought provoking songs. Reflecting on the choices and mistakes of our leaders and mankind in general can leave us wondering if we will ever truly love and understand one another.

    Liked by 1 person

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