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."
Sara - Silver Spring, MD