This anti-war song tells the story of Graham Nash's upbringing. He was born during World War II in Blackpool, England, where his mother had been evacuated because of bombing. He father was serving the English army.
"You could say from a very early age I've been aware of the absurdity of war," Nash wrote in the liner notes to the 1991 CSN boxed set. "There is always one side that wins out economically and industrially because they were the ones who manufactured the war and the weapons."
Nash contracts the word "military" into three syllables to bring it to heel in this song, singing it as "milit'ry."
After the school was over and I moved
To the other side
I found a different country but I never
Lost my pride
Nash was a member of the British group The Hollies before moving across the pond and forming Crosby, Stills & Nash with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. "Military Madness" is part of his first solo album, released in 1971 after the group had released two very successful albums.
That's Rita Coolidge singing backup. Dave Mason played lead guitar.
Crosby, Stills & Nash used this song to open shows on their acoustic tour in 1991. By the time they started the tour, the first Gulf War had started.