Tender Comrade

by the Media Cannibals (Sandy, Alex, Morgan, & Gwyneth)

(song by Billy Bragg)

Original c. 1993-1994
Digital remaster 2006 by Justacat

avi (xvid) format (15Mb)

(Click on link to download zipped vid file to your computer)

NOTE ABOUT PLAYING THIS VID: The vid is encoded in avi format using the Xvid codec. If it won't play on your computer, you may need to download the Xvid codec from the Xvid site. Alternatively, you can simply download the excellent free VLC Media Player, which plays DivX files without the need to download the codec separately and plays DivX (and most other media) files extremely well.

VIDDER'S NOTE [From Sandy's original liner notes for the Media Cannibals 2 vid tape]:

Laura A. gave me this beautiful song about soldiers bonding under fire and I loved it, but it was both a cappella and much too slow. Using the pause button of a cassette player (low tech!), we cut a verse, and made all of the pauses at the ends of each line much shorter. I was afraid that it would still be too slow and too quiet, but I like it.

Additional note from Gwyneth, September 2006: Remaking this was a very daunting prospect for the MCs due to the low-tech methods we used back then that Sandy describes -- how to match the exact pause lengths of the song, and cut out exactly the same amount of lines? How would we be able to get the clips to match when there was no clear beat on which to cut? We really wanted to bring this vid back to life for the digital age, but were kind of afraid to.

Along came Justacat, who told me that she'd edited the song herself already to match the version used on this vid. The amount of work she did on Tender Comrade is really unbelievable if you know the challenge of making it the first time. We are deeply indebted to her perseverance and and dedication to making this vid become a digital reality, especially when faced with huge obstacles: at one point, we discovered that the copy of a copy of an original MCs tape she had was off by quite a few seconds, so that the audio and video were dramatically out of synch. This was after she'd gone to painstaking effort to edit clips in the silent, long pauses, an enormous challenge in itself; then, she had to go back and re-edit so the edit points would fall on the lyric lines, in essence, remastering this vid twice.

Tender Comrade
by Billy Bragg

What will you do when the war is over
Tender comrade
What will you say of the bond we had
Tender comrade

Will you say that we were brave
As the shells fell all around us
Or that we wept and cried for our mothers
And cursed our fathers

For forgetting that all men are brothers
Will you say that we were heroes
Or that fear of dying among strangers
Tore our innocence and false shame away

And from that moment on
Deep in my heart I knew
That I would only give my life
For love

Brothers in arms
In each other's arms
Was the only time that I
Was not afraid

What will you do when the war is over
Tender comrade
What will you say of the bond we had
Tender comrade

If you have problems using this site, please contact the archivist at