“For No One”

This was a very typical song of the mid 1970’s, and I was just listening to it in that context when it struck me that it’s not totally out of place today. Appeals have been made for fighting around the world to cease so that all efforts can be focused on COVID-19. Will those appeals be heard? Based on the state of worldly affairs in the 1970’s, and how little has changed, I have to be skeptical.

Please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be

Then lay down your bullshit and your protests
Then lay down your governments of greed
Take a look at what lies all around you
Then pray God we can live in peace

Everyone’s a loner ’till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone’s a no-one ’till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

So please lay down your pistols and your rifles
Please lay down your colours and your creeds
Please lay down your thoughts of being no-one
Concentrate on what you ought to be

Everyone’s a loner ’till he needs a helping hand
Everyone is everybody else
Everyone’s a no-one ’till he wants to make a stand
God alone knows how we will survive

17 thoughts on ““For No One”

  1. Barclay James Harvest, now there is a group that I haven’t thought about in a long time. I only have two of their albums : “Gone to Earth” from 1977 and “Everyone is Everybody Else”, the 1974 album with this song. “For No One” is my favorite from that album and it is apropos of the present just as it was back in the 70’s. I recall that they split into two separate groups in the late 90’s, but do not remember the reason. Be well and stay safe! Thank-you! P.S. Did you have snow this morning? We had little more than a white ground cover in Rhode Island. In Massachusetts they had enough for Benjamin and his parents to go sledding and have a snowball fight. He was ecstatic! The whole winter had only one decent snowfall with a large enough accumulation for building a Snowman…and fortunately for me, that occurred while Benjamin was staying here! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Ellen. Other BJH albums well worth considering are “Octoberon” (probably my favourite), “Ring of Changes”, “Time Honoured Ghosts”, “Victims of Circumstance” (another favourite), and “Welcome to the Show”! As for snow … just a sprinkling which melted on impact.

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  2. Funny how something from a whole other era can seem like it was written yesterday. Some words are timeless. I had that same thought a few days ago. NY Times featured COVID-19 poems and among them was and excerpt from an oldie but goodie by Paul Laurence Dunbar. “We Wear the Mask” was published in 1896. It’s about hiding our true selves, but is just as fitting today, when our “masks” are literal as well as figurative.

    We Wear the Mask

    We wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
    And mouth with myriad subtleties,

    Why should the world be over-wise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
    We wear the mask.

    Liked by 1 person

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