One Tin Solid

Listen Children, to a story, that was written, long ago

About a kingdom, on a mountain, and the valley far below
on the mountain was a treasure, buried deep beneath the stone,

And the valley people swore they’d have if for their very own


Go ahead and hate your neighbor,

Go ahead and cheat a friend

Do it in the name of heaven,

You can justify it in the end

There wont be any trumpets blowing,

Come the judgment day

On the bloody morning after,

One tin soldier rides away

Then the people of the valley,

Sent a message up the hill

Asking for the buried treasure,

Tons of gold for which they’d kill

Came an answer from the mountain

With our brothers, we will share

All the secrets of our kingdom,

All the riches buried there


So the valley shook with anger,

(Mount your horses, draw your swords)

And they killed the mountain people,

So they won their just reward

Now they stand beside the treasure

On the mountain dark and red

Turn the stone and look beneath it,

Peace on earth was all it said


My sister heard this song at a Girl Scout camp in 5th grade. It was taught and sung around a campfire environment. She said she remembered it more that other camp songs because she agreed with the message that it conveyed. She continued to sing the song for several years as she continued to attend Girl Scout camp.

I heard my sister singing this song after she learned it at camp. I like this song because of how it ties religious ideas with everyday characteristics. You have the valley people that are greedy and want the treasure from the mountain. The mountain people don’t actually have treasure, but they are willing to share their way of life with them. The valley people then take war to the mountain, killing everyone on the mountain. When they look for the treasure, all the mountain people had was peace.

I had believed this song was pure folklore – a camp song that was song mainly in that environment. After some research, I discovered that the song was written by two men, Dennis Lambert and  Brian Potter, and recorded in 1969 by the band Original Caste. I know my sister did not know that when she learned the song and am sure that most, if not all, of the camp counselors teaching the song did not know there is an official, recorded version of the song. This is an example of some that went from being a published material and sort of de-evolved into a folk song.