As the Year Closes

We would like to extend the wish, “less of armament and none of war,” to our entire community of friends, colleagues and fellow advocates for peace, regardless of religious affiliation.

We have almost arrived, with many new reasons to engage our work, at the end of 2017.What a year it has been! Year’s end provides good occasion to look back in time, as a means to re-assess the future. For this, we have drawn on our archives where we found the above poster, which was produced between 1919 – 1920, by the  National Council for Limitation of Armaments. 

Our archive also holds the “World Peace Song,” stamped with the date of April 5, 1912, with lyrics by James E. Campion set to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

We took the discovery of this song as a challenge–it is the only tune that we know of that includes the word “arbitration”– and updated the lyrics to reflect today’s concerns. Below is a revised version by WPF’s Sam Perlo-Freeman:

World Peace Song, 2017

Should auld atrocities be forgot,
And never brought tae mind?
Should auld atrocities be forgot,
So the peace deal can be signed?

So the peace deal can be signed, my dear,
So the peace deal can be signed!
We’ll tak a cup o’ forgetfulness,
So the peace deal can be signed!

We’ve played the political marketplace,
And robbed the people blind,
But wars between us fierce have roared
Since Auld Lang Syne!

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne!
We’ll tak’ a power sharing deal
And the peace deal shall be signed!

And surely ye’ll hae yer fiefdom,
And surely I’ll hae mine!
We’ll divide the nation’s wealth again
When the peace deal has been signed!

When the peace deal has been signed, my dear
When the peace deal has been signed!
Though another war will come ‘ere lang
Let the peace deal now be signed!

Will more arms bring security,
From a world that’s full of dread?
Or is it all a waste o’ wealth
We could spend on peace instead?

Could spend on peace instead, my dear,
Could spend on peace instead!
We’d get mair jobs per million bucks,
If we spend on peace instead!

And should we sell arms far and near,
To cruel states and benign?
Can we control what’s done with them
When the contract’s sealed and signed?

When the contract’s sealed and signed my dear,
When the contract’s sealed and signed?
Our arms may flow to friend or foe,
Once the contract’s sealed and signed!

Now here’s a bribe my trusty friend,
So buy these arms of mine!
And if the po-po e’er find oot
We’ll only get a fine!

We’ll only get a fine, my dear,
We’ll only get a fine!
Our company’s too big to fail,
So we’ll only get a fine!

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