Soldier Of Love

Live At The BBC album artworkWritten by: Cason-Moon
Recorded: 2 July 1963

Released: 30 November 1994 (UK), 5 December 1994 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
Live At The BBC

Soldier Of Love was taped for the Pop Go The Beatles programme at the BBC's radio studios in Maida Vale, London, and was first broadcast on 16 July 1963.

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Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms) was first recorded by US soul singer Arthur Alexander, who released it as a single in 1962. The Beatles were big fans of Alexander's music; they recorded Anna (Go To Him) for their debut album, Please Please Me, and taped three versions of his A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues for the BBC.

Anna by Arthur Alexander was on the [first] album, too. I remember having several records by him, and John sang three or four of his songs. Soldier Of Love was one; it appears on the BBC recordings.
George Harrison
Anthology

Although not included on Live At The BBC, the original BBC broadcast was introduced by George Harrison and host Rodney Burke.

Burke: George is just coming up here with a letter in his hand. You're looking very serious about it. What is is, George?

Harrison: It's a letter from Cathy of Newport, Isle of Wight, who says: Paul's been to the Isle of Wight, and why haven't I? Well I haven't got the passport, ha ha. [laughter] And, and she says, 'Would you please sing a song for the fifth of St Theresa Convent of Ryde, Isle of Wight'. So we'd like to feature John shouting Soldiers [sic] Of Love.

Lyrics

Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And surrender to me
Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And love me peacefully, yeah
Use your arms for loving me
Baby that's the way it's got to be

There ain't no reason for you to declare
War on the one that loves you so
So forget the other boy
'Cause my love is real
Come off your battlefield

Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And love me peacefully
Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And love me tenderly, yeah
Use your arms to hold me tight
Baby, I don't want to fight no more

The weapons you're using are hurting me bad
And some day you're gonna see
'Cause my love for you, baby
Is the truest you've ever had
A soldier of love at heart to be

Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And love me peacefully
Lay down your arms (soldier of love)
And surrender to me, yeah
Use your arms to squeeze and please
'Cause I'm the one that loves you so

Yeah, soldier of love
Baby, lay down your arms
Yeah, soldier of love
Baby, lay down your arms
Yeah, soldier of love

2 responses on “Soldier Of Love

  1. Frank Ceresi

    When I first heard “Soldier of Love” I thought it sounded exactly like a fifties group….which, if you think about it, is quite logical because at this stage of their careers their roots were like a fifties group. I always loved it because it turned me onto the great Arthur Alexander. Similar to Money and Twist and Shout, even today I like the Beatles version better than the original….but Arthur’s version is great too.

    Of all of the songs performed by the Beatles, this is the one that I would have loved to see them sing LIVE! With the harmonies in the background, it would have been totally definitive of the best of their 1962 sound in concert~~~~at least in my mind it would!

    1. Joe Ewald

      Always loved their version of this tune as well. The Live at the BBC version is good enough to again make you wonder about the group’s song selection for their earlier albums. There are some clunkers on each that could have easily been replaced by Soldier of Love (Please Mr. Postman?).

      And yes, seeing this one live would have been pretty special.

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