by Si Kahn & Tom Chapin
© 2009 Joe Hill Music & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

I grew up hunting in the woods with my father
In a little mountain town not far from here.
When I turned six he gave me my first rifle,
I was eight years old
When I killed my first deer.
Dad said I had an itchy trigger finger,
But we needed meat
And he taught me how to aim.
He said, “If you're gonna kill,
Then you better do it cleanly
Or give it up and never hunt again.”

Somehow I barely made it through high school,
I dreamed about escaping every day.
I couldn't see me working at the prison
So I joined the Army just to get away.
The mountains of Iraq seem like my hometown.
The valleys and the ridges looked the same.
I knew that I was born to be a soldier,
I figured it was just like hunting game.

I saw him in my scope across the valley.
I squeezed the trigger slowly and he fell.
But in that moment when I saw him crumble,
Something in my soul crumbled as well.
The Bible says that it's a sin to murder,
I figured that in war it was all right.
But always in my dreams I see him falling,
His blood soaks my pillow every night.

The doctors say that I am post-traumatic,
They tell me that with time the mist will clear.
But they don't understand the things that happen
When you cannot tell a person from a deer.
Some nights I dream I'm hunting with my father,
Some nights I dream they've sent me back to war.
Dad said I had an itchy trigger finger,
So I cut it off and I will hunt no more.
I cut it off and I will kill no more.

This song appears on Tom Chapin's Let The Bad Times Roll CD.

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