The Little Tin Soldier

Album: Fairytale (1965)

Songfacts®:

  • While the opening is similar to Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier," which Donovan covered around the same time, this is not a protest song. It is a song written by Shawn Phillips, an American sitar player, who collaborated with many British musicians. The song is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, about a toy soldier with one leg and a ballerina who are cursed and meet a terrible fate.

    Shawn Phillips also recorded the song on his I'm a Loner album. He and Donovan collaborated together on a lot of on songs. It is believed that he helped contribute to the Sunshine Superman album and may have co-written "Season of the Witch." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sara - Silver Spring, MD
  • Donovan felt a kinship with the one-legged soldier in the song because a childhood bout of polio left him with a slight limp, while the ballerina represented his muse and longtime love Linda Lawrence.

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