I’m off to get Sadaami,
So send me a salami…
—Tom Lehrer (amended)
They said that I was fighting for my country and I was,
But now I merely feel like such a fool:
My countrymen did not support my mission or my cause,
And I was just unwittingly a tool.
Those we supposed we went to help despised us even more,
Yet scores of cruelties couldn’t make them like us,
And we returned the feeling—move me over by the door,
I like “the kind old sun” and blooming ficus.
Read me “Futility” that I might drink the bitter dregs,
I hear the words and feel the sunlight’s warm,
Now my remorse runs like a millipede on all its legs,
But I asked God to keep me safe from harm.
The Government has put me in a slum with all the rest,
A seedy place where no one gives a damn--
So different from the words with which a youth was wooed, caressed,
Which is the reason I’m in such a jam.
Prior to my enlistment all the world was in my hands,
My faith in God and Government intact,
But now I see it merely was the worst of brigand bands
Which sought my services, and that’s the fact.
No, let me rest a while. The kind old sun will ease my pain,
While propaganda tells me I am happy,
Yet it was all a vanity for which my troop was slain,
Myself condemned to this discomfort crappy.
Remorse runs like a centipede but I no more can run,
And bleeding hearts may like to bleed but tell me what they’ve done,
Yet I, that served them in their greed and sacrificed my fun,
What have I left, but life low-keyed, and pain beneath the sun?