Wasted Life
Stiff Little Fingers Lyrics


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I could be a soldier
Go out there and fight to save this land
Be a people's soldier
Paramilitary gun in hand
I won't be a soldier
I won't take no orders from no-one
Stuff their fucking armies
Killing isn't my idea of fun

And they want to waste my life
They want to waste my time
They want to waste my life
And they've stolen it away

I could be a hero
Live and die for their important cause
A united nation
Or an independent state with laws
And rules and regulations
That merely cause disturbances and wars
And that's what I have got now
All thanks to the freedom-seeking hordes

And they want to waste my life
They want to waste my time
They want to waste my life
And they've stolen it away

I'm not gonna be taken in
They said if I don't join, I just can't win
I've heard that story many times before
And every time I threw it out the door

Still they come up to me
With a different name but the same old face
I can see the connection
With another time and a different place
Now, they ain't blonde-haired or blue-eyed
But they think that they're a master race
They're nothing but blind fascists
Brought up to hate and given lives to waste

And they want to waste my life
They want to waste my time
They want to waste my life
And they've stolen it away

What they wanna do, they want to waste my life
They want to waste my time




They want to waste my life
And they've stolen it away

Overall Meaning

Stiff Little Fingers’ song Wasted Life tackles the political and societal pressures faced by young men in Northern Ireland during the height of The Troubles in the 1970s. The song explores the expectations placed on young men to join paramilitary groups or the army, the impact of this choice on their lives and the futility of the conflict. The opening verses present two options for the singer: to become a soldier and fight for their cause or to be a hero by living and dying for an important cause. However, the chorus reveals the reality that neither of these options will lead to a fulfilling life. The repetition of the line “They want to waste my life, and they’ve stolen it away” highlights the emotional exhaustion and frustration felt by the singer.


The second half of the song delves into the manipulation and propaganda used to recruit young men into these groups. The singer rejects the “different name but the same old face” of those trying to recruit him, seeing through their attempts to make him feel like he has no other option. The final lines of “Wasted Life” make a clear call to action for young men not to give in to the power-hungry, fascist ideologies being perpetuated by those in power.


Overall, the song serves as a commentary on the cyclical nature of political conflict and the tragic consequences for those caught in the middle. Stiff Little Fingers’ use of raw, punk-rock energy highlights the urgency of the message being conveyed and the intensity of the emotions felt by those affected by the conflict.


Line by Line Meaning

I could be a soldier
I have the potential to fight for my land as a soldier


Go out there and fight to save this land
I could go and fight for my country in order to protect it


Be a people's soldier
I could also become a soldier for the people of my country


Paramilitary gun in hand
I would be given a gun to use in a paramilitary manner


I won't be a soldier
However, I have decided that I won't become a soldier


I won't take no orders from no-one
I don't want to be told what to do by anyone


Stuff their fucking armies
I have no interest in joining the military


Killing isn't my idea of fun
I do not enjoy taking someone else's life


And they want to waste my life
People are trying to take my life and use it for their own purposes


They want to waste my time
People want to control my time and use it for their own agendas


And they've stolen it away
My life has been taken away from me and I have lost control


I could be a hero
I could become a heroic figure for a particular cause or nation


Live and die for their important cause
I could devote my life and even die for a cause I deem important


A united nation
I could fight for the idea of a unified nation


Or an independent state with laws
Or I could fight for an independent state with its own set of laws and regulations


And rules and regulations
However, these regulations often cause disruptions and wars


That merely cause disturbances and wars
These regulations create conflict and violence


And that's what I have got now
This is the situation I find myself in


All thanks to the freedom-seeking hordes
These problems are being caused by people who are fighting for freedom


I'm not gonna be taken in
I am too smart to be tricked into joining a particular cause or group


They said if I don't join, I just can't win
These groups are trying to convince me that I need to join them to succeed


I've heard that story many times before
I am familiar with this tactic and it doesn't work on me


And every time I threw it out the door
I always refuse to listen to their empty promises


Still they come up to me
These groups keep trying to recruit me


With a different name but the same old face
They may be operating under a different name, but they are still the same group of people


I can see the connection
I can see the similarities between these different groups


With another time and a different place
These types of groups have been around for a long time and can be found in different parts of the world


Now, they ain't blonde-haired or blue-eyed
These groups don't necessarily fit the stereotype of being blonde and blue-eyed


But they think that they're a master race
They still believe that they are superior to others


They're nothing but blind fascists
These groups are nothing more than ignorant fascists


Brought up to hate and given lives to waste
These groups have been taught to hate and are willing to waste their own lives for their cause


What they wanna do, they want to waste my life
These groups want to use me to further their own agenda


And they've stolen it away
They have deprived me of my own desires and wants for my life




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: JAKE BURNS

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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