Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Jimmy CliffReleased: 1969Charted:
Cliff delivered this anti-war song in the form of a letter the narrator has received from a friend fighting in Vietnam. He told Mojo magazine July 2012 that it was inspired by the experiences of a friend of his: "I felt I could make a change through music," Cliff said, "maybe that stems back to church and Sam Cooke, but I was socially conscious and sensitive to things going in that war. A friend I went to school with, he was a great artist, he went to live with his family in America, he got drafted, went to Vietnam, and it blew his mind. He came back, he didn't recognise me, it was as if he was dead."
Bob Dylan once lauded this as "the best protest song ever written."