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Glad to Join the Army

from by Cathoel & the New Government

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Glad to Join the Army

if Mary had the money
she’d be glad to join the army
& to plant her feet, devote her soul
& regulate her wakings
cos the shoutings of the sergeant
drown the doubts that she has brought along
& traffic regulations that will keep us all in safety

as we hurtle to collision
with the ultimate decision:
that’s the wrath of an impersonal
and unnoticing Nature
who says: ‘look what you have done to me, and
see what you have made of me
you’ve locked the necks of mountains
and you’ve melted all the glaciers’

*had to go to war
*don’t be sad
*with a stable heart, we’ll meet again

*well it’s not my choice
*the government sent me to war
*but I’ll be back

*if I was a bird
*if I was an eagle
*then I would come flying towards you

& nothing’s growing easier
than ever we were promised
in the books we wrote some years ago, and
claimed they were the name of god
if God were here beside us
he’d be shaking his head, shaking his fist:
‘you were only selfish when I offered you stupidity’

now all the other animals
are fleeing from their only home
into the burning oceans & the canyons of your city
you say you didn’t mean it this way, you were only
trying to make some kind of difference
I want to make a difference. I want to ~
I want to ~

I want to ~ I want to ~

if Mary had the money
she’d be glad to join the army
where coincidence devotes its soul
to keep the human spirit
wholly separate from accident &
separate from body ~
and the heart & head conduct themselves
as though what’s thought is never felt
she handles the machinery
& greases down her weaponry
commando through the greenery
she’s feeling every second ~
and life has now a purpose
in this stolen sense of virtue – and she
puts her best breast forward
and she stiffens in the hatred
courage like an exoskeleton
to keep the human spirit in
we don’t respond to love sometimes,
we think of it as softening
I want to ~
I want to ~

*Tibetan language poem by Tenzin Choegyal & translated by Tenzin


from Hey, Big Splendour, released July 29, 2011
Tenzin Choegyal: arrangement, dranyan, voice, poem
Cass Maya: hand drums, arrangement, engineering
Taylor Ryan: remix & mastering
Cathoel Jorss: song, lyrics, voice, production




Cathoel & the New Government Melbourne, Australia

a collective of musicians who love jazz, folk, funk, punk, country, poetry, & silence. we met on subways & on the street, in cafes & bars, at gigs, in Melbourne, Brisbane & New York.

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