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Country music legend Willie Nelson wrote this powerful protest song on Christmas day, 2003. The song, Whatever happened to peace on Earth, is only the second protest song he has ever written, the first being the Vietnam-era "Jimmy's Road." Whatever happened to peace on Earth touches on some of the important themes of today. Obviously written as a reaction to the war in Iraq ("How much oil is one human life worth"), the song addresses some other related troubles facing us.

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us
So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill

If we ignore the first line of this verse, the verse would simply sum up the great moral dilemma of any war, that sometimes we must choose between killing or being killed, when we know that killing is wrong. Willie Nelson, however, alludes to the probability that the "kill or be killed" argument is a false one, that we are being lied to. This gives the simple truth of "Thou shall not kill" added power. It makes the song very controversial, because unlike many other antiwar songs, this song tries to go beyond the purely pacifistic argument against war, and tells people they are being lied to by the politicians and the media.

In subsequent verses, Willie Nelson becomes more blunt ("How much is a liar's word worth?"). He challenges us to think for ourselves, and distrust the media, pointing out that you probably won't be able to hear his song on the radio or TV, but "you can always hear it from me." The song reminds us that when big media lies, the truth can be found by talking to regular people who have no hidden agendas. ("How much is one picker's word worth?")

Willie Nelson is playing this song at concerts in support of the presidential bid of lefty Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who he is endorsing. Here is the lyric to this very poetic song, taken from Dennis Kucinich's website, www.kucinich.net, and now in the public domain.

Whatever happened to peace on Earth

There's so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us
So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier's life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do

(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

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