Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Martika - Toy Soldiers | Veterans Day Insomniacs Club

Many of you can quickly identify “Toy Soldiers” as the sample used on a similarly titled Eminem single from his 2004 album Encore. I probably would have never heard this song if it weren’t for “Like Toy Soldiers”, as I’m sure a lot of people can attest to as well. “Toy Soldiers” was Martika’s third and most successful single from her eponymous debut album, released in 1988. A lot of ‘80’s songs tend to be very corny and trite in my opinion, and “Toy Soldiers” falls under this category too, to some regard. But the depth of the lyrics and Martika’s solid performance redeem the song in my book. I’ve always been fascinated by movies and music that aim to subversively depict dark and bleak content under the vise of innocent, childlike imagery. “Toy Soldiers” does just that, using nursery-jingle catchiness to portray the pains of drug addiction and death. In addition to this, many of the lyrics – not just the title – can be interpreted to describe war:

Bit by bit
Torn apart
We never win
But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers

We never win. And now our military is set to deploy an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan. Thanks a lot, Mr. President… In honor of our troops who are stationed abroad, I hope for the day when we change our foreign policy and end these unnecessary wars. Until then, please get back home in one piece… Peace.