Kris Kristofferson, the renowned country singer-songwriter, has gifted the world with timeless songs that resonate with raw emotions and thought-provoking themes. One such song is “Under the Gun,” which delves into the harsh realities of life, reflecting upon broken promises, shattered hearts, and a world trapped in turmoil. Through poignant lyrics, Kristofferson paints a vivid picture of a society grappling with its own demons, where innocence is lost and hope is a fragile flame flickering under the weight of constant adversity.
In the opening lines of “Under the Gun,” Kristofferson sets a somber tone, emphasizing the consequences of our actions. Breaking a man, a promise, or a heart can lead to the fragmentation of not only individuals but also the homes they create. The songwriter compels us to take a hard look at a heaven that has descended into hell, a metaphorical representation of a world teetering on the edge of despair.
Continuing his introspection, Kristofferson introduces us to a young and hungry child, forced to grow up too quickly in a chaotic world. This child, running wild and yearning for freedom, becomes a symbol of innocence lost. The songwriter poignantly suggests that this child’s life may be tragically cut short, a casualty of circumstances beyond their control. Born under the gun, their struggle for survival embodies the bleak reality faced by many.
Kristofferson turns his attention to the powerful figures who exploit their authority, disregarding the rules and deceiving the masses. These swollen men, blinded by their own power, elevate the dangers of their games. Their lies contribute to an atmosphere of escalating conflict, where the innocent suffer the most. The songwriter warns that this cycle perpetuates a world constantly under the threat of violence and unrest.
In the chorus, Kristofferson expresses a sense of urgency. There is no more time, no more chances to rectify the mistakes that have been made. The wars waged, whether on a global or personal level, yield no winners in the end. The land itself becomes a testament to the losers, a reminder of the consequences of a world under the constant shadow of conflict.
Using the metaphor of a candle, Kristofferson encourages the audience to hold onto the truth and let it illuminate their lives. Truth, like a shining sun, has the power to guide and inspire. Despite the trials and tribulations, there is still love left to believe in. It is this flickering hope that sustains us in a world burdened by the weight of the gun.
“Under the Gun” by Kris Kristofferson serves as a haunting reminder of the struggles and challenges that plague our society. Through evocative lyrics, the song explores the consequences of our actions and the enduring spirit of hope amidst despair. Kristofferson’s poignant storytelling and ability to capture the human experience make this song a timeless piece of art that resonates with listeners, urging us to reflect on the world we live in and strive for a better future.
Album: Music from Songwriter
Artist: Kris Kristofferson
Break a man, break a promise
Break a heart, break a home
Take a long hard look at a heaven
Gone to hell under the gun
See the child, young and hungry
Growing wild, on the run
And he’ll die reaching for freedom
He was born under the gun
Swollen men, blind with power
Break the rules, one by one
With their lies raising the danger
Of their games under the gun.
No more time, no more chances
No more wars will be won
In the end only the losers
Hold the land under the gun
Hold the truth like a candle
Let it shine like the sun
On the love that’s left to believe in
In a world under the gun.