The inspiration for this song was twofold. It paints a picture of a bloke with whom I used to work. His sole topic of conversation was guns. He did join the army and in actual fact got as far as playing triangle in the army band. For the purposes of the song, the triangle became a tambourine! The second aspect centres around what became known as the Hungerford massacre. What could unhinge a man's mind to the extent that he would want do such a thing? 

On this track the guitar is tuned to open G and double tracked. 


I used to play with action man when I was a boy of four,

Camouflage and khaki were the only colours I wore.

I've always been an innocent and some would say a green,

It's never been a choice of mine, it's just the way it's been.


I wanted to be a soldier, I joined up at seventeen,

I wanted to drive a tank but they gave me a tambourine.

I never saw the enemy, I never went to war,

Killing tunes in the army band's the only death I saw.

Books on guns, I've read them all. I've read the magazines.

The movies with the soldiers are the only ones I've seen.

I gather the memorabilia and it doesn't gather dust.

I keep it clean and polished so it doesn't turn to rust.

I've never been aggressive, I bottle it up inside.

When I was a private I can honestly say I tried.

I stood up to attention and I did what I was told,

But the officer's attention was a thing I couldn't hold.

With my bush hat and my paraboots, the trooper in me thrives.

I'll show them I'm a soldier if the chance to fight arrives.

I'll show them I'm a soldier and I'll show them I'm a man,

And if it means another war, I'll start one if I can.

Paul J Openshaw (1987)

© Paul J Openshaw 2012