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Charlie Boy by The Lumineers

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on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Charlie Boy by The Lumineers

Charlie Boy by The Lumineers
By Monica Nieves and Michael Gonzalez
"Charlie Boy"

[Verse]
Charlie boy, don't go to war, first born in forty - four
Kennedy made him believe we could do much more

Ohhh
Lillian, don't hang your head, love should make you feel good
In uniform you raised a man, who volunteered to stand

[Bridge]
Ohhh

[Chorus]
Play the bugle, play the taps and
Make your mothers proud
Raise your rifles to the sky boys
Fire that volley loud

[Verse]
News was bad on upland ave., metuchen mourn our loss
Sons rebelled, while fathers yelled, and mothers clutched the cross

[Bridge]
Ohhh

[Chorus]
Play the bugle, play the taps and
Make your fathers proud
Raise your rifles to the sky boys
Fire that volley loud

Lyrics
Charlie Boy

By: The Lumineers

Background to the Lumineers:
In the spring of 2005, childhood friends Wesley and Jeremiah began to collaborate, writing together and playing gigs around New York. After battling the city’s cutthroat music scene and impossibly high cost of living, the two decided to expand their horizons. They packed everything they owned and headed for Denver, Colorado. The first thing they did in Denver was place a Craigslist ad for a cellist, and the first person to respond was Neyla Pekarek, a classically trained Denver native. Neyla softened Wes and Jer’s rough edges while expanding her skills to mandolin and piano. And so The Lumineers sound took shape; an amalgam of heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop, and front-porch folk.
Charlie boy, don't go to war, first born in forty - four


Charlie J Schultz was the first born to a family of 4 sons in 1944 and is the uncle of Wesley Shultz, who is the lead singer of the Lumineers. He was second liuetenant, in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was Killed in Action.




Kennedy made him believe we could do much more

This is referring to J.F.K.'s inaugural speech, where he implores America to do more for their fellow men and country
Lillian, don't hang your head, love should make you feel good

Lillian Is Charlie's mother and Wesley's Grandmother. She is sad about him leaving to war.

In uniform you raised a man
,
who volunteered to stand

Charlie Volunteered to go to war during Vietnam


Play the bugle, play the taps and
Make your mothers proud

The bugle is the instrument used to play the Reveille and Taps, or the "First Call" and "The Day is Done", which are played at flag ceremonies( raising and lowering), and at funerals.
Raise your rifles to the sky boys
Fire that volley loud

This represents the twenty-one gun salute that is most commonly used in the Navy, to respect a soldier. The men empty the clips in their guns, which signifies the lack of hostile intent.
Sons rebelled, while fathers yelled, and mothers clutched the cross


This shows how the city mourned and dealt with e loss of their loved ones. A monument stands there today in memory of them.
News was bad on upland ave., metuchen mourn our loss


Upland Avenue is the street in Metuchen, New Jersey that Charlie's Family lived on. Three others died as well.
Comparison to
All Quiet on the Western Front
Charlie boy, don't go to war, first born in forty-four.
Kennedy made him believe we could do much more.
This stanza holds the tone of opposition to war. It openly tells Charles not to go. This is just like the idea in
All Quiet
that war isn't all glory, and these boys shouldn't have to endure it. The next line speaks of an older, more experienced man these boys look up to that over glorified war in their minds. This is almost identical to the schoolteacher in the novel.
Lillian, don't hang your head, love should make you feel good
In uniform, you raised a man, who volunteered to stand.
This stanza is alike in the fact that they are telling the families to be proud of their sons for being shipped off to certain death. It is further concreting the obvious dislike of war.
News was bad on upland ave., Metuchen mourn our loss
Sons rebelled, while fathers yelled, and mothers clutched the cross
In the novel, Paul speaks about the mourning that is happening. He even gives the example of the mourning of his teammates mother, to whom he must deliver the news of her son's death. This stanza is an example of this horror. It's pointing out those that are left behind while young men are slaughtered in war.
Conclusion
This song is a ballad about the horrors of war. It outlines the sadness of the families of those that are killed. It shames the political leaders for convincing these young men to volunteer. In all of these ways, the song closely resembles the novel. In both works, the narrator, or writer, is trying to express his hatred towards war and what it causes.
Full transcript