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I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama

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Genre  Rock
Label  Apple
Length  6:05
Writer(s)  John Lennon
Released  9 September 1971 (US) 8 October 1971 (UK)
Recorded  c. 11–16 February, 24 May, 4July 1971 Ascot Sound Studios, Surrey

"I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama" (also known as "I Don't Want To Be a Soldier") is a song written and performed by John Lennon, and released in 1971 as the fifth track on his second studio album, Imagine. The song is a rant against the expectations of society.



This song was first recorded, along with "It's So Hard", during the February 1971 sessions that also yielded the "Power to the People" single. The song began as a studio jam. Take 2, described as a raw, funk version of Lennon's song "Well Well Well", was included in the John Lennon Anthology box set. Lennon was unhappy with this version and re-recorded it during the Imagine sessions.

The final version of the song is the only song on Imagine to feature Phil Spector's Wall of Sound effect to its full extent.

This song was covered by grunge supergroup Mad Season in 1995 and released as a bonus track on the deluxe version of their only studio album, Above, in 2013. The cover features lead vocals by Layne Staley.


The song contains only 25 different words, very similar to Lennon's song "I Want You (She's So Heavy)".


  • John Lennon - vocals, electric guitar
  • George Harrison - slide guitar
  • Nicky Hopkins - piano
  • Joey Molland - acoustic guitar
  • Tom Evans - acoustic guitar
  • Klaus Voormann - bass guitar
  • Jim Keltner - drums
  • Alan White - vibraphone
  • Mike Pinder - tambourine
  • Steve Brendell - maracas
  • The Flux Fiddlers - strings
  • References

    I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama Wikipedia

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