Small Faces - Tin Soldier

Small Faces - Tin Soldier

‘Tin Soldier’ is a song released by the English rock band Small Faces on 2 December 1967, written by Steve Marriott (credited to Marriott/Lane). The song peaked at number nine in the UK singles chart and number 38 in Canada. It has since been covered by many other notable rock artists. After the cod psychedelia of ‘Itchycoo Park,’ Small Faces were worried it might typecast them so they reverted to the bluesy feel that had bought most of their chart success. Released on the Immediate label, with ‘I Feel Much Better’ on the flip side, it was the group's first top ten entry in Germany but it only made #73 in the USA, a disappointment following Itychoo's breakthrough on the American charts.

Tin Soldier was originally written by Steve Marriott for singer P.P. Arnold, but Marriott liked it so much he kept it himself. It was a song that he wrote to his first wife, Jenny Rylance. P.P. Arnold can be heard singing backing vocals on the song and also performed as guest singer at television recordings of the song. The song signalled a return to the band's R&B roots whilst continuing their forays into psychedelic rock and other musical experiments. When Tin Soldier was released the BBC informed the band that the last line of the song had to be removed from all TV and radio broadcasts, mistakenly believing that Marriott sang "sleep with you", when in fact the lyric is "sit with you". Marriott explained that the song was about "getting into someone's mind—not their body". Tin Soldier reached number nine in the UK Singles Chart and remains one of Small Faces' best known songs.

Small Faces

Talking about the song, and the influence of his wife Jenny, Marriott stated: “The meaning of the song is about getting into somebody's mind—not their body. It refers to a girl I used to talk to all the time and she really gave me a buzz. The single was to give her a buzz in return and maybe other people as well. I dig it. There's no great message really and no physical scenes.” The song seems to have been influenced by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, the story of an imperfect tin soldier's desire for a paper ballerina. The opening lyric is "I am a little tin soldier that wants to jump into your fire".

Upon reaching No. 73 in the U.S. with this single, their label Immediate Records abandoned its attempts to penetrate the American market. "Tin Soldier" would ultimately be the last song performed live by the Small Faces during their original incarnation; It was performed on 8 March 1969 at Springfield Ballroom (now demolished and replaced by the football stand of Springfield Stadium) in Jersey.

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Label – Immediate
Songwriters – Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane
Producers – Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane


[Verse 1]
I am a little tin soldier
That wants to jump into your fire
You are a look in your eye
A dream passing by in the sky
[Pre-Chorus 1]
I don't understand
And all I need is treat me like a man
'Cause I ain't no child
Take me like I am
I got to know that I belong to you
Do anything that you want me to
Sing any song that you want me to sing to you
I don't need no aggravation
I just got to make you
I just got to make you my occupation
I got to know that I belong to you
Do anything that you want to do
Sing any song that you want me to sing to you
[Verse 2]
All I need is your whispered hello
Smiles melting the snow nothing heard
Your eyes are deeper than time
Say a love that won't rhyme without words
[Pre-Chorus 2]
So now I've lost my way
I need help to show me things to say
Give me your love before mine fades away
I got to know that I belong to you
Do anything that you want to do
Sing any song that you want me to sing to you
Oh no no
I just want some reaction
Someone to give me satisfaction
All I want to do is stick with you
'Cause I love you
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