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According to the I Fought in a War Songfacts, the song was inspired by the short story, For Esmé – with Love and Squalor by JD Salinger.

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Lyrics

I fought in a war and I left my friends behind me
To go looking for the enemy, and it wasn't very long
Before I would stand with another boy in front…

Discuss these lyrics on MetroLyrics

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