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Thursday, June 20, 2019

If I Had a Rocket Launcher - Bruce Cockburn

"If I Had a Rocket Launcher" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn, from his 1984 album Stealing Fire.
 The song was inspired by Cockburn's visit, sponsored by Oxfam, to Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the counterinsurgency campaign of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt.[1]
Although Cockburn had occasionally touched on political themes in his earlier songs, "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" was his first explicitly political song to be released as a single, and earned him a new reputation as an outspoken musical activist.
In the song, Cockburn despairs of waiting for a political solution to the crisis, and expresses the desire to take matters into his own hands.
Each verse ends with a line stating what Cockburn would do if he had a rocket launcher: in the first verse, "I'd make somebody pay". In the second, "I would retaliate". In the third, "I would not hesitate". The fourth and final verse ends with the song's most famous and controversial lyric: "If I had a rocket launcher, some son-of-a-bitch would die".
In a later interview, Cockburn stated that the song "is not a call to arms; this is a cry."[1]
In 2009, Cockburn performed the song for Canadian troops in Afghanistan; he was subsequently presented (temporarily) with a rocket launcher.[2] wiki
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...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...
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...
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...
Some son of a bitch would die

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