Song Lyric Sunday: If I had a Rocket Launcher by Bruce Cockburn

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Helen @ This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time’s theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is anger. Sometimes to heal, we need to express our anger as well as our forgiveness. Anger at injustice can be a powerful tool for good, racist anger sets the world on fire with evil.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Central America was the scene of bloody civil wars, “terrorism,” political upheaval, wide-spread torture and imprisonment and constant violence. After touring the area, especially Guatemala, with a children’s charity, Canadian Bruce Cockburn wrote about the anger the situation brought to his heart.

If I had a Rocket Launcher is one of these songs:

(There is an explicit word used)

If I Had a Rocket Launcher (1983)

Here comes the helicopter — second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

I’d make somebody pay
I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

I would retaliate
On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation — or some less humane fate
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

I would not hesitate
I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry

If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

If I had a rocket launcher

Some son of a bitch would die

lyricsmode

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14 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: If I had a Rocket Launcher by Bruce Cockburn

  1. He has a book out now – Rumors of Glory. He goes into great detail about his time in SA during those conflicts, and elsewhere. Very impressive musical catalog & defender of the human condition.

    Like

  2. Wow, the guitar in this is amazing! I get angry when I hear about the terrible things that happen during war, civil unrest and the like. The ones who are truly damaged are the innocent ones. Thank you so much for sharing this one. I think it’s an important message!

    Like

the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things . . .

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