One Tin Soldier

Original Caste

About One Tin Soldier

"One Tin Soldier" is a 1960s counterculture era anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. Canadian pop group The Original Caste first recorded it in 1969 for both the TA label and its parent Bell label. The song, recorded by various artists, charted each year from 1969 to 1974 on various charts in the United States and Canada. However, it did not chart outside North America. "One Tin Soldier" went to number 6 on the RPM Magazine charts, hit the number 1 position on CHUM AM in Toronto on 27 December 1969, and reached number 34 on the American pop charts in early 1970. It was a bigger Adult Contemporary hit, reaching number 25 U. S. AC and number 5 Canada AC. A 1971 cover was a hit in the U. S. for Coven, whose re-recording only featuring its lead singer Jinx Dawson was featured in the film Billy Jack. The single went to number 26 on the Billboard pop chart before it was pulled from radio by the film's producer. On November 20, 1971, Coven performed "One Tin Soldier" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program American Bandstand. A re-recorded version by Coven made the Billboard chart in 1973, peaking at number 79. 


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One tin soldier
Listen people to a story 
That was written long ago,
'bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley folks below.
On the mountain was a treasure
Hidden deep beneath a stone,
And the valley people swore 
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, 
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven, 
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing, 
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley 
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure 
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.
Came the answer from the kingdom, 
With our brothers we will share,
All the riches of the mountain, 
All the treasure buried there.

Now the valley cried with anger, 
Mount your horses, draw your swords
And they killed the mountain people, 
So they won their just rewards
Now they stood before the treasure 
On the mountain dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
Peace on earth, was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, 
Go ahead and cheat and friend,
Do it in the name of heaven, 
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing 
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

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Original Caste

The Original Caste is a Canadian folk-pop group. Its style is characterized by rich tight vocals and a clean sound; the group was compared to The Carpenters, The Mamas & the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver and Peter, Paul and Mary. The band formed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1966 under the name The North Country Singers. Because the name sounded too much like a folk group, it was changed in 1968.The Original Caste today continues to exemplify the signature clean sound and rich, tight vocals of their four and five part harmony. Instrumentally the group consists of guitar, keyboard and bass. more »

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Written by: Dennis Earle Lambert, Brian Potter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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    One Tin Soldier

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