M*A*S*H Theme Song Lyrics

This is a GREAT song. The music hits just the right note with its gentleness and hint of underlying sorrow. And the lyrics perfectly capture the spirit of the film, mocking defeatism while acknowledging their suffering.

The Last Supper

THE SCENE: Capt. Walter Kosciusko "Painless Pole" Waldowski - the best equipped dentist in the army - has decided his womanizing is merely a cover-up for homosexuality. Feeling he has nothing to live for, he can see only one way out: suicide. Painless seeks out his surgical friends for a quick and easy method. "Black capsule!" says Trapper John. Painless wonders if it will really work but is assured by Trapper, "It worked for Hitler and Eva Braun."

So the stage is set for the Last Supper. Painless consumes his Black Capsule and lies down in his coffin. At this Private Seidman, accompanied by guitar, begins to sing:

"Suicide is Painless"

Music by Johnny Mandel
Lyrics by Mike Altman

(Lyrics in red are ones sung in the movie)

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...


That suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's to late, and...


The game of life is hard to play
I'm going to lose it anyway
the losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say


The only way to win is cheat
and lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat


The sword of time will pierce our skins
it doesn't hurt when it begins
but as it works its way on in
the pain grows stronger...watch it grin but...


A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'

'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please

...and you can do the same thing if you please.

"You're throwing your whole education away." - Private Lorenzo Boone to Painless

The song can be downloaded in ZIP format from the Sounds Page

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