Scottish folkie Donovan epitomized the hippy trippy, flower power grooviness of the sixties. He may not have had the hard edge of Bob Dylan (notoriously, smacked down by Bob in the documentary film, Don’t Look Back), but contributed many songs that symbolize the feel good 1960s.
In 1965, he covered a Canadian folk singer’s anti-war song. Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Universal Soldier became a hit for Donovan.
In its broad listing of characteristics of soldiers, and the wide-ranging reasons for war, the song on the face of it reads like if we had no soldiers, we’d have no war. But deeper, this may suggest we are all responsible for armed conflicts.