The sixties was the era of the protest song. In the US Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, they were all singing about the tings wrong in the world, and how we - or at least the hippy flower-children could solve them. Prtotest wasn't quite so big in the UK - it was more complaints from Mick Jagger that he couldn't get no satisfaction, but Donovan carved his own little niche as Britain's Dylan, singing songs about how nice it would be if everyone was nice. Most of them were sweet floaty and feelgood pieces of fluff, but Universal Soldier is made of sterner stuff. It's as effective a protest song as I've ever heard, and it makes a good counterpart to Dylan's Masters of War. It's still an essential part of any Brit folk singer's repertoire:

Lyrics, Universal Soldier, by Donovan Leitch, noded with permission.

He's five foot two and he's six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen
He's been a soldier for a thousand years
He's a catholic, a hindu, an atheist, a jain,
A buddhist and a baptist and a jew
And he knows he shouldn't kill
And he knows he always will
Kill you for me, my friend and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France
He's fighting for the U.S.A.
He's fighting for the Russians and he's fighting for Japan
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way
And he's fighting for democracy, he's fighting for the reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide who's to live and who's to die
And he never sees the writing on the wall

But without him how would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war
And without him all this killing can't go on
He's the universal soldier and he really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from here and there and you and me
And brothers can't you see
This is not the way we put the end to war