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Songs about Vietnam War

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Anne 25 Feb 99 - 11:05 PM
25 Feb 99 - 11:50 PM
ddw in windsor 25 Feb 99 - 11:57 PM
Gene 26 Feb 99 - 12:04 AM
anna 26 Feb 99 - 12:09 AM
rich r 26 Feb 99 - 12:18 AM
dwditty 26 Feb 99 - 05:50 AM
Banjer 26 Feb 99 - 07:14 AM
AndyG 26 Feb 99 - 07:56 AM
Wolfgang 26 Feb 99 - 08:05 AM
Ritchie 26 Feb 99 - 08:08 AM
Neil Lowe (inactive) 26 Feb 99 - 08:11 AM
Big Mick 26 Feb 99 - 08:58 AM
Wolfgang 26 Feb 99 - 09:06 AM
Reggie Miles 26 Feb 99 - 01:20 PM
Reggie Miles 26 Feb 99 - 01:40 PM
Reggie Miles 26 Feb 99 - 02:03 PM
Matthew Bram 26 Feb 99 - 02:33 PM
catspaw49 26 Feb 99 - 04:06 PM
alison 26 Feb 99 - 05:02 PM
Bert 26 Feb 99 - 05:06 PM
bill\sables 26 Feb 99 - 05:08 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Feb 99 - 05:11 PM
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rich r 26 Feb 99 - 06:11 PM
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Subject: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Anne
Date: 25 Feb 99 - 11:05 PM

I'm looking for songs about the Vietnam War. Titles, Snatches of lyrics having to do with the Veterans. Perhaps there was another thread about this? I'm looking for more than protest songs. Thanks, Anne


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From:
Date: 25 Feb 99 - 11:50 PM

Hardly a protest song, "The Ballad of the Green Berets"--John (not Jon)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 25 Feb 99 - 11:57 PM

Hi Anne,

I'm not at home so I can't lay my hands on it at the moment, but I have a songbook called Songs of the Vietnam War or something like that. It might be a few days, but if you keep this thread active I'll get the particulars on it and post it the next time I'm into the 'Cat chat.

ddw


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Gene
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 12:04 AM

Hi Anne..here's a few I have...
Ballads of the Green Berets/SSgt Barry Sadler
Title Song/+ Letter From Vietnam/I'm a Lucky One/
Garet Trooper/The Soldier Has Come Home/
Saigon/Salute to the Nurses/Lullaby/
I'm Watching the Raindrops Fall/
Badge of Courage/Trooper's Lament/Bamiba/

Other songs are: Hello Vietnam/Dear Uncle Sam/
Bring Our Soldiers Home/What We're Fighting For/
Special Forces/Whirly Bird Crew/The U. S. Rangers/
The Men In The Green Fatigues/The Fighting 101st/
Major Todd [of the Green Berets]/Sam From Vietnam/
The Young Soldiers/I'll Say Goodbye to Vietnam/
The Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley/War Baby/
Wars and Wars/Till We Bring Our Johnnies Home/
Jungle War/Why Doesn't Someone Write to Me/
Tell The Folks I Miss 'em/Goodbye Curly Head/
Don't Worry, Just Pray It's All Worth Fighting For/
It's Got to be Done/Over in Vietnam/LBJ and Liberty/
and more....a few may not be Vietnam related..

And a 2nd LP by S/Sgt Barry Sadler...have to dig out the title and song list...
And Kris Kristofferson hosted a tribute show
on PBS-Austin City Limits a few years ago,
of former Vietnam veterans singing parodies of
popular songs woven around events in Vietnam
Jolly Green is one I remember about the chopper
rescue/pickup crews...and Incoming and some
I don't remember the titles of at the moment
I have that also...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: anna
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 12:09 AM

There's a moving song on Don McLean's "American Pie" album called "The Grave." It begins:

"The grave that they dug him had flowers/ Gathered from the hillside in bright summer colors/ And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone/ He's gone. But eternity knows him/ And knows what he's done..."


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: rich r
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 12:18 AM

Look for the following:

CD - "In Country: Folk Songs of Americans in the Vietnam War" (Flying Fish, FF70552, 1991) contains 27 songs by various artists.

book - "Singing The Vietnam Blues: Songs of the Air Force in Southeast Asia" by Joseph F. Tuso. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, 1990. ISBN 0-89096-383-5 or 0-89096- 455-6 paperback . This book contains 148 song lyrics.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: dwditty
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 05:50 AM

Don't forget Tom Paxton's "Talkin' Vietnam Pot Luck Blues"


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUNGLE BELLS^^
From: Banjer
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 07:14 AM

The one song that sticks in my mind about that era is the parody of Jingle Bells. It is called, "Jungle Bells"

Dashing through the mud, in a Jeep that should be junk
O'er the roads we go, half of us are drunk
Wheels on dirt roads bounce, making asses sore
Lord I'd rather go to hell than finish out this tour.

Chorus:
Jungle bells, mortar shells, VC in the grass
We'll get no Merry Christmas cheer until this year has passed
Jungle bells, mortar shells, VC in the grass
Take your Merry Christmas cheer and shove it up your ass.

Christmas time is here, as everybody knows
People think it's dear, GI's think it blows
All at home are gay, children are at play
While we stuck out here so goddamn far away.

The moral of this song, it's plain as it can be
Please no midnight carols sing, and screw your Christmas tree
There's one thing left to say, before we have to leave
Vietnam is not the place to be on Christmas Eve


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: AndyG
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 07:56 AM

Anne,
Not perhaps what you want, being a protest and not from a soldiers PoV, but it is a great song and in the database, PENNY EVANS.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:05 AM

"Fields of Vietnam" on the Mick Moloney record "We have met together"

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Ritchie
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:08 AM

'Feel like I'm fixing to die rag' Country joe and the Fish

love and happiness an I don't give a damn.

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Neil Lowe (inactive)
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:11 AM

John Prine's "Sam Stone" would marginally fit into this category, I think.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AFTER THE WAR^^
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:58 AM

Interesting to see the perspective of all of you on this. I have been through several phases on this. I prefer not to go into details, but my feelings on this are a bit raw and difficult. I suppose I avoid doing songs that take a position on the legitamacy/illegitimacy of that war and instead just deals with the horrific details of war. Not Vietnam related, but Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "The Green Field's of France" are examples of what I mean. The best song of this type that I have heard from my war, was done by a tremendous singer/songwriter from Colorado by the name of Tim Irvine. I sing it a few times a year for my brothers and sisters from that conflict. The song is called "After The War". Here are the lyrics:

AFTER THE WAR

My name is Billy Johnson, Indiana's my state.
I turned 21 back in '68.
Drafted into the army, sent to Fort Leonard Wood.
When I left my hometown I prayed it wasn't for good.

His name was Hector Gonzalez, from San Jose.
We got stuck with KP, the very first day.
After peelin' potatoes for hours on end,
Hector and I were the closest of friends.

When they put us on a troop jet, and flew us to 'Nam,
Some guy stood up in the back and read the twenty-third psalm.
He talked about walkin' through that valley of death,
I said Hector I'm scared, He said "just take a deep breath".

When we got off the plane and our assignments came in,
I got sent to Pleiku, he got sent to Long Binh.
He hugged me goodbye and turned around at the door,
And he said, "Don't forget look me up, after the war".

About three months later, He wrote me a letter,
He said some days are rough and some days are better,
And a kid named gilardo we knew from basic training,
Was missing in action up north, by the way, i meant what i said before;
Don't forget to look me up, after the war.

I was out on patrol in the spring of '69,
I stepped on a trip wire, took some shrapnel from a mine.
Spent the rest of my tour in a hospital bed,
With a pin in my leg, and a plate in my head.

On the plane ride home I thought of all I'd been through,
I'd lived nine lives and I was just 22
And I thought about Hector and what I'd promised before,
And I planned to look him up,Right after the war.

Twenty-one years later in Washington DC,
I was there on vacation with my family.
I went out to that park to see that wall
And face up to a past I didn't want to recall.

First I looked for that guy that Hector wrote me about,
He wasn't on the list, I guess he lucked out.
Then my eyes caught a name at the top of the page,
Corporal Hector Gonzalez, 21 years of age

My throat got tight, my mouth went dry.
I looked up at that wall and I started to cry.
And the memories hit me like incoming fire,
From a time when we were so-o-o young,
Hector wavin' at me from the door,
Sayin' don't forget to look me up, after the War.

I lay awake some nights, I can still hear the guns,
Still hear the screams, I can still taste the blood.
I can still see Hector wavin' goodbye from the door,
Sayin' "Don't Forget To Look Me Up, After The War"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 09:06 AM

great song, Mick

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Reggie Miles
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 01:20 PM

A favorite song of mine is one that I first heard Patrick Sky sing. I can't remember the title but I know it's on one of the two albums he recorded. Not on the one I own though. It's a minor keyed march or durge that starts like this.

When I got back from Luang Prabang, I had air in my pants where my balls used to hang and they gave me a medal and a good harang and now I'm a fuckin' hero.

Mourn your dead land of the free, if you want to be a hero follow me, mourn your dead land of the free, if you want to be a hero follow me.

Reggie Miles


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Reggie Miles
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 01:40 PM

I just spent a minute looking up Dave Van Ronk in the data base. It seems Luang Prabang is his song. Should have done that in the first place but I wasn't sure it was his. His answer to whimpy protest songs. Reggie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Reggie Miles
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 02:03 PM

My apologies I'm afraid I misquoted Daves antiwar song. It's a good one to check out Anne. Just type Dave Van Ronk in the search the data base area.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Matthew Bram
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 02:33 PM

Anne -

I hate to say this, but this is the only song I ever heard my friends bring back from Nam.

When Johnny comes home in a plastic bag, Hurrah, Hurrah.

When Johnny comes home in a plastic bag, Hurrah, Hurrah.

When Johnny comes home in a plastic bag, We'll all turn out in the streets and gag

And we'll all be dead by Christmas time next year.

Hey, I'm not making this up.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 04:06 PM

Don't feel bad there Reggie, Pat Sky had several with probably the best being "Jimmy Clay"

I've been following this thread with interest. As Rick Fielding pointed out the other day, there were plenty of songs for people on both sides of the fence to bolster spirits no matter where you stood. It's hard to read Mick's song without being moved; I certainly was. How can you not share the empathy? But VietNam was not WWII and you cannot separate the politics of it from the tragic waste. The traumatic stress cases from VietNam were so much higher percentage wise because in the final analysis, the "why" was missing.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: alison
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 05:02 PM

Hi,

There's one called "I was only 19".. good song (think it's Australian)... can't remember the words (although I think it has been posted before... don't have time to look I'm off to the mountains for a festival."

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Bert
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 05:06 PM

Alison,

you should have said 'festival I'm off to the mountains'

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: bill\sables
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 05:08 PM

The vietnam song that impressed me most was "Jimmy Newman" I'm not sure who wrote it but I heard it form a recording By John Denver


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 05:11 PM

One of my all time favourite singers, John Herald, from Woodstock NY, recorded a beautiful song call "Dear Sam" a few years ago. I believe it was about Vietnam, and unfortunately once again focused on some poor guy who was left crippled by the war.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Teresa
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 06:08 PM

The song Alison referred to was recorded by the Australian group Red Gum. It is the only Vietnam war song I've heard about the Australian perspective. Does anyone know of any more? Didn't Australians fight in Vietnam? Teresa


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: rich r
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 06:11 PM

Jimmy Newman is by Tom Paxton. It is on several of his recordings: "#6", "The Compleat Tom Paxton", "The Very Best of Tom Paxton", and "The Best of Tom Paxton". The latter 2 are CD's

There is also a recording of the song by Fred Holstein on an album called "Gathering At The Early Of Old Town", originally an LP on the Mountain Railroad label and recently reissued on CD.

It is also on John Denver's "Take Me To Tomorrow " album

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 06:54 PM

If you try a DT search for @Vietnam, you'll find about 30 hits.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Night Owl
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 07:03 PM

Gordon Lightfoot recorded a song that was an accurate accounting of an event that happened in Canada at the time of the war. Unfortunately, can't remember the title but have the album here.....somewhere...if you're interested I'll look for it over the weekend, unless someone else knows the title. Thanks Big Mick for the song...and the reality we forget too easily.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'S A WALL IN WASHINGTON (I DeMent)^^
From: rich r
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 07:04 PM

One of the most powerful "new " songs about the Vietnam debacle was written and recorded by Iris DeMent on her "The Way I Should" CD.

THERE'S A WALL IN WASHINGTON
by Iris DeMent (copyright 1996 Songs of Iris)

There's a wall in Washington
And it's made of cold black granite
They say sixty thousand names are etched there in it
In that wall in Washington

A father, he travelled from far away
To walk the path till he finds that name
He reaches his hand up and traces each letter
The tears they fall as his memories gather
For the boy who filled his heart with pride
Is now but a name that's been etched
In the side of this wall in Washington.

There's a wall in Washington
A mother, she travelled from far away
To walk the path till she finds that name
She reaches her hand up and traces each letter
The tears they fall as her memories gather
She feels the baby at her breast
But her heart it breaks because all that is left is
This wall in Washington.

There's a wall in Washington
A boy, he travelled from far away
To walk the path till he finds that name
He reaches his hand up and traces each letter
He stares at the name of his unknown father
His heart is young and it's filled with pain
In anger he cries out
"Who is to blame for this wall in Washington
That's made of cold black granite
Why is my father's name etched here in it
In this wall in Washington.

There's a wall in Washington
There's a wall in Washington.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Gene
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:18 PM

July 4th, one year [1991-1993 time frame]
TNN ran a video of this
and several other war related songs

50,000 NAMES
Words and music by Jamie O'Hara

Click here


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: R. Driscoll
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:18 PM

Couple of more to add to the list.

Gordon Lightfoot song called "The Patriot Dream" from his Don Quixote album.

Phil Ochs wrote a number including "Draft Dodger Rag" and "Talking Vietnam".

Song called "Saigon Bride" by Joan Baez from her album "Joan", 1967.

John Denver did a couple. Think "Jimmy Newman" is one of the best. Another is "Readjustment Blues" from the Aerie album, 1971.

More obscure is a song call "(Still Waiting at) The Wall" written by Tim Murphy. Have this on a tape of Irish music by Pat Garvey. Beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From:
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:27 PM

Come to think of it, and it has been years and years and years since I listened to it, didn't Alices Restaurant have a connection to the Viet Nam War? Something about having to go for a pre-induction physical, amongst his trash travails? Or am I confusing with something else?--John (not Jon)


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOUCH A NAME ON THE WALL (Joel Mabus)^^
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 08:53 PM

This is my traditional song for Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

Touch a Name on the Wall
Joel Mabus

I guess you could call it our summer of freedom,
The year that we both turned 18.
We hitchhiked to Denver, fresh out of high school,
Man, we were sights to be seen.
That was the year that you dated my cousin,
'Til they took us away in the fall.
And Lord how I wish you were standing here with me,
As I touch your name on the wall.

CHO:
Touch a name on the wall,(2X)
Lord help us all, touch a name on the wall.

Each time I come here, I wear my fatigues,
To honor the men that I knew.
And I touch every name that came from my outfit,
And read 'em out loud when I do.
Some people say that they all died for nothin',
But I can't completely agree.
'Cause this brother here, he didn't die for no country,
He died for me. CHO:

Usually walls are just made for division,
They separate me from you.
But God bless the wall that brings us together,
And reminds us of what we've been through.
And God damn the liars and the tin-plated heroes,
That trade on the blood of these men.
And God give us the strength to stand up and tell 'em, Never again! CHO:

Roger in Baltimore SP5, 959th Quartermaster Detachment, 240th Quartermaster Battalion, First Logistics Division, Quin Nhon, VN, 1970 - 1971.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Teresa
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 09:16 PM

Thank you, Roger--it's so good to hear from someone who's been there. Teresa


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Will (inactive)
Date: 26 Feb 99 - 10:12 PM

It's worth getting a copy of Van Ronk's "Going back to Brooklyn" just for Luang Prabang. Dave's got the loudest growl you've ever heard for "now I'm fucking hero".


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Ritchie
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 08:00 AM

Bill Withers recorded and I think actually wrote a great song called "I can't write left handed" Well worth a listen.

have a lovely daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 09:20 AM

Let me see if I can help out here a bit. First off, yes there were Aussie units in 'Nam. Just an FYI.

This war was fought by people raised in the 50's and early 60's, raised with what I came to call the "big lie". We were raised by the generation that fought in "a real war". They raised us on Leave It To Beaver, Sky King, Father Knows Best, Combat and McHales Navy. We went to the theaters and watched those blessed men fight against "goosestepping Nazi's" and "slant eyed Japs". These were not people they were just savages, not like us, and our side saved the world from them. And when our boys died, they died valiantly, with their girlfriends and mother's name on their lips, honored heroes. And when Johnny came marching home, they all felt gay and the beautiful girl married him and they lived in a house with grass that never needed cutting and a white picket fence that never needed painting. And they listened to boring music. And they raised their sons and daughters in the doctrine of "My country right or wrong". We had a duty to help the rest of the world be as civilized as we were. You know, make them Christian, and all that, even if they weren't really like us. Then one day, off you went and the next thing you know you are getting off the plane. In your entire life, you will never forget how the country slapped you in the face when you came off the plane. You will never forget the humidity. And soon you are in your first fire fight. You will never forget the first human being that you killed. You remember looking at the face of a kid that couldn't have been more than 15, and you remember the tears on his dead face, and you remember the tears running down your own face and wondering why he wasn't someplace playing baseball or a guitar or something. Welcome to Vietnam. Next you remember fighting like hell in someplace with a name you cannot even pronounce. You fight for 2 or 3 days. After you pack up your own dead and wounded, you count the "enemy" dead, you count weapons not attached to bodies, and you count blood pools bigger than a trashcan lid. You add them all up and report the sum as a body count. Then you hop on the choppers and leave. And tomorrow it is back in the hands of "the enemy" and you wonder what the hell that was all about. You think about the guy who you played cards with, and copped a buzz with, while "Spirit in the Sky" was playing on somebody's tape deck, and remember holding his upper torso in your arms while his lower body is lying 15 feet away, and he is crying for his mom and blowing bubbles out of his mouth. And he doesn't just close his eyes and die, in fact his eyes are opened in a crazy way and his face is all screwed up. Not at all like the movies. And you think about the "gooks", "charlie", the "slopes", you know, "the enemy". But the problem is, that when you get to know the people of this country, you figure out that they really love their kids, have dreams for them like you, that 'the enemy's' mothers cry for their dead children just like your mother would. You remember a very old man that would tell you story's of his people, and he reminds you of your own Grandda telling you about Finn and the Giant's Causeway, the warriors of the Red Branch, and all. And you remember the idiot who treated this treasured old man as if he were some kind of subspecies worthy of no respect. And you wonder who the savage is. And the children.....the kids.....you love their smiles, and at times, even today, you wake up seeing the terror on the face of a six year girl whose ville was the sight of a very intense firefight and she is so terrified and you wish you had her in your arms because kids shouldn't have to go through this. You remember the time you killed a man at close quarters with a knife and felt the shudder his body gave up as his soul left it. And then one day, Johnny got to go marching home. But not with his unit, all by himself, back to the world. And you remember getting back on the plane, just like you got off. You stop and look, and wonder if it was a dream, or if maybe you shouldn't stay because of what you had become. But you get on and go back to "the world". You wanted to go home and tell them you did your best, you were confused about what it was about, and why Kevin is dead, but you did your duty and survived. Time for the straight job, time to pick that guitar up and start making music. Off the plane in San Francisco, and some guy who looks just like what you want to look like in a few months calls you a dirty motherfucker, a fucking baby killer and spits on your dress blues. You never killed a baby, would have killed anyone who tried to, and you were seriously considering killing this idiot for suggesting it. You go to the bathroom, take off your uniform, put on some civvies and leave the uniform in the trash. When you visited home on leave, your Dad tells you about the real war, as if you were away on a training exercise for a year. You know that you don't belong there anymore, and go back to Southern California and spend the next 2 years in SoCal and Baja, seeing if you can't do every drug combo around, and drink all the tequila they have. They had too much, but you make a good effort. And finally, the Mexican family who took in the "pinche guerro", spent a few months cleaning him up, and Mama telling him it is time to live or die. Make up your mind. You spend some time with your legs dangling over a cliff outside Ensenada, and to this day you can remember the mental struggle with yourself as to whether you should throw yourself off or get up and walk away and go home. Close fight, but you decided to live. And you remember this wonderful, dirt poor family that gives you a medal roughly the size of a silver dollar, in fact it is solid silver, with the Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe on it. It is very old, and hard to read the writing. And probably has special meaning to them. And goddamn it all, but here are these fucking people who are not like we are, but damned if you don't want to be like them. And Mama kisses you, bids you "Vaya con Dios, mijo" and sends you away. You never see them again, but you go home. You spend the next four or five years trying to figure out what and why, all the while trying to raise a couple of kids as normal human beings. On one hand, you know that communism, at least what they called communism, is a failed system, but you have seen the horror practiced in the name of spreading democracy. Yet you look around at the country that my people came to, invested their lives in, and you meet folks from other countries the same way, and you realize that you will never be able to figure out the why, and that you can never do anything about it, except one thing. You can use the talent that God gave you, to tell the story of the warriors, to sing the songs of the horror, to tell the tales of the causes that your own people have fought for and died for, and if you act as a bard then it will help your own soul to rest. But ascribe the why, who was right and who was wrong.........Sorry, can't do it. And I will never, ever allow anyone to trivialize the terrible cost of war. Doesn't mean it shouldn't be paid, just that old men have to consider that cost very seriously before they send young people to pay it. The danger that the young man I described faced, the worst danger was the loss of my soul. He became used to dying, killing and suffering. So my friend, I don't want to get into singing about who was right and who was wrong, but I will sing the songs of my brothers and sisters around the campfire every chance I get. I will tell of the MEN AND WOMEN that I fought, because they were valiant and believed they were doing the right thing. And that is why I prefer, and it is just my preference, to not sing songs of protest, or the Ballad of The Green Berets. But I will sing Tim Irvine's ballad, and I will sing Bogle's songs, and if the atmosphere is right, I will probably cry when I do so.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Ritchie
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 09:44 AM

Mick, I've just read what you had to say and I immediately wanted to reply but in honesty compared to how eloquently you put over your views I felt that what ever I wrote would be shallow...

As a kid I saw pictures of the Holocaust and I could n't fathom it out...I still can't... nor can I understand aparthied or any type of racism..I've just finished reading Capt.Correlli's mandolin and again wondered why ?

Luckily I've been to Germany and met some really lovely German people and although it's a cliche they are just the same as you or me or perhaps even nicer.

Mick,thanks and it's good to cry..but please keep smiling.

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: dwditty
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 11:02 AM

Mick,
You brought back the sights, sounds, taste, and smell of my trip to the Central Highlands in 1969. I cried.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Night Owl
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 12:56 PM

Mick...Just finished reading your posting....I think it should be required reading in our school systems before any diplomas are handed out...and a copy posted on the wall at the Pentagon. Thanks! Also agree with your comments about protest songs about that war,...too many mothers and fathers lost their children and young men and women lost their physical and emotional "footing" for us to be debating the right or wrong of their deaths and the right or wrong of valiant attempts to stop that war. Seems to me to be a tightrope walk, to respect the dead and maimed while at the same time remain vigilant that it never happens again. I do believe there is an ongoing need to keep talking about it,with integrity, as you did here.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From:
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 02:08 PM

Mick

God bless you Mick,

I cry for you and all of the others who were once young men. I cry for my class mate who I met in 1985. He looked to be 20 years older than I. While I was headed off to college, he was drafted in the Army. At age 19, he was a squad leader trying to figure out how to keep himself and 10 other young men alive in a foreign jungle. On the whole, he succeeded, but I feel he lost himself in the process.

I am glad you found some piece of Mick to happy with.

You and I are children of the same era and I feel a strong brotherhood with you, even more so now. May you continue to find peace and may you continue to cry when you sing these songs, they are worthy of all of our tears.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Feb 99 - 06:23 PM

Mick,as hard as it was for me to read your story, I can't imagine how difficult it was to write it. I'm glad you could share it with all of us,though.

I was a college student in 68 and 69 and enjoyed the enviable position of being "college deferred." When the lottery came along I drew a low number, but with the help of my family Doctor I was able to invent a medical history of hypertension that kept me out of the war. I remember friends and acquaintances, on leave or back from Nam for good- how fresh scrubbed and straight they looked, and yet how they always seemed to drink more and dope more than the rest of us...and how they kept to themselves. And how I never tried to help them in any way, to feel like they still had a friend, they still fit in. Maybe it was because they had changed, and I couldn't deal with it.

I never thanked any of those guys for doing what they felt was right for themselves and for their country, and yeah, for me too. I guess I still feel guilt when I hear about what you guys had to deal with, when I think about the thousands of my generation that died there. Maybe it's easier to say it here Mick, because I dont have to look you in the eye. But I want to thank you, and all of the other men and women who did the right thing for all of us all those years ago...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: *red (inactive)
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 01:58 AM

John Prine's "Take the Star out of the Window" would be a good one....


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: alison
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 09:00 AM

I don't remember Vietnam, I was very young..... but I'm sitting here with tears running down my cheeks.....

Here's a link to the Aussie song

I was only 19

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Robin
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 03:33 PM

Mick, Thank you for sharing the song and especially the experience. I lost several friends to that war but feel better that they served alongside men such as yourself. Keep singing and maybe try a book, so many of us would be moved by it. Just a thought. Best wishes to you.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 09:09 PM

I too was greatly moved by your account, Mick--and I'm sure I'm not alone in being thankful that you left that cliff top. I was protesting that war, myself--hitting the streets in San Francisco, the precincts in Richmond and El Cerrito, a tiny part of the effort that finally brought Ron Dellums to Congress in place of hawk Jeffrey Cohelan. I never heard anyone call a returning vet a babykiller, but I read about it. We blamed the war on Johnson and "everyone in MacNamara's Band" (a phrase from Malvina Reynolds' song "Andorra") and corporate America, and believed that the way to "support our boys in Vietnam" was to bring them home.

There are a few songs I remember from that time that I didn't see listed above: Pete Seeger's "The Big Muddy," John Prine's "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You into Heaven Any More," Bobby Bare's "It's Hard to Be a Christian Soldier," and, of course, "Andorra," mentioned above. Being from Berkeley, home of Country Joe MacDonald as well as Malvina Reynolds, I heard "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die" performed live more than once at a now defunct folk club called the Jabberwock, and I still like to play and sing it (I know it was mentioned above). --seed


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Night Owl
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 10:57 PM

Remembering ...."with God on our Side"...I'm not sure that was the title nor when it was written, but the lyrics, as I remember, speak of our naivete at the time of Vietnam. Mick was eloquent in expressing what that song said to me at the time.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Night Owl
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 11:05 PM

Duh.....should've checked the data base before sending the last message...says Bob Dylan...1983...doesn't seem right to me...must be an age thing!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Pete M
Date: 28 Feb 99 - 11:10 PM

I'd just like to add my thanks to you Mick for your courage in comforting your friends under fire, in walking away from the cliff and in writing of your experiences for us. Thank you too for the hope, comfort, companionship and joy you bring to us all here, in your job and with your music.

All the while there are people with your depth of understanding and eloquence, there is hope that we can indeed learn from the past rather than repeat their mistakes.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Gene
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 01:28 PM

CD song titles listed by rich r in previous post
CD - "In Country:
Folk Songs of Americans in the Vietnam War"
(Flying Fish, FF70552, 1991)
contains 27 songs by various artists.

1.. Green T-Shirt Blues
2.. Grunt
3.. Six Clicks
4.. Saigon Warrior
5.. First Cav
6.. Ho Chi Minh Trail
7.. The Panther Pack Is Prowling;
Ling Po Drove The Truck Away
8.. King Of The Trail
9.. Tchepone
10.. Sitting In The Cab Of My Truck
11.. Ba Muoi Ba
12.. Pull The Boom From The Gas Hole
13.. Jolly Green
14.. Cobra Seven
15.. Green Beret And Friendly FAC
16.. Firefight
17.. Will There Be A Tomorrow?
18.. I've Been Everywhere
19.. Here I Sit
20.. Danang Lullaby
21.. Fighter Pilot's Christmas
22.. Chu Yen
23.. Boonie Rat Song
24.. Battle Hymn Of The River Rats
25.. Crack Went The Rifle
26.. Freedom Bird
27.. Played Around And Stayed Around Vietnam Too Long


*SOURCE OF TITLES*


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 06:09 PM

Thanks Mick for your very moving pictures - this is a testament to the Mudcat at its very best.

And at the risk of completely destroying the mood there is a song in the DT which I have never heard sung, and probably never will - Ballad Of The Queen Berets.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 09:08 PM

To those who get it - Thanks.
To those who said thanks, You are welcome.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 10:58 PM

Mick, you paint a fine picture, well done. I'm glad to see you finally came home whole. My brother came home but I never got him back, I lost a good deal of my childhood friends & those that did get home, like my brother, didn't really come back & a good percentage of those died silently in a gutter or an alley with a needle or a gun in hand & as an unsung hero. I never went Mick, I was fighting my own war, I was one of the last of the 4F's, (I don't feel at all guilty, those that spent time in hell will have their peace) they took one look at me & determined I'd be a foul influence with any that I served with. By that time I'd already served 2 prision sentences & was a junkie by 15, so when my chums came back we had all fought some sort of war, some here & some there & we could bury our cares & ourselves, together, around the same cooker & syringe. When you & others left for Nam the soul of a nation was torn & you can't divide a country's youth without the terrible backlash that came along with this split. So, some may have called you babykiller Mick but I really believe it was misdirected anger felt from the gross loss of life, love, loved ones & the total neglect of human worth on the part of those that sent you & divided us. Thirty years later many are still a long way from home, hopefully we'll never have to see any other kids walk those same long & terrible roads to hell, home is where we should all be. To your health & heart Mick. Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Fourth Day of May^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 11:06 PM

THE FOURTH DAY OF MAY
by Thom Bishop
tune: "The Bold Fenian Men"

On the 4th day of May I want out a-walkin,
'Twas a bright sunny day, 'til I heard someone talking,
I listened a while to the things they were sayin'
Glory-o, glory-o, there were 4 killed at Kent!

With fists clenched so tightly I walked through the town there,
I went to the commons to see what was down there,
There were banners a-flyin'--loud speakers all 'round there,
Glory-o, glory-o, there were 4 killed at Kent.

Now it's nearly_______ years since the guns was a-blazin',
And it seems we've gone numb in the process of aging,
For not much has come from that war we were waging,
Glory-o, glory-o, there were 4 killed at Kent.

by Thom Bishop
posted by Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 Mar 99 - 11:25 PM

And to yours, Barry, and all. I have never thought ill of those that didn't go, and I hope I didna leave that impression. I, like you, my dear friend, felt that the whole of the reaction was sympomatic of the times and the ills. Part of the healing for us was realizing that the reaction in the airport, and in the larger media, to us was not personal, but rather directed at society as a whole. And I have always felt that those who chose to fight against the war, were in many cases, very brave. I have a picture I treaure of three young men, all dressed in bell bottoms, and striped tees and sandals. Two have long hair and beards, and the third is very clean cut. The picture was taken of my best friend and me on the day I was shipping out for Treasure Island in transit, and he was heading to Canada. My father hated him for that, and couldn't figure out why I didn't. But I knew Mack's heart and I knew he was giving up everything for what he believed in. And years later, he proved it. When amnesty was offered, Mack came home. But he refused the amnesty and told the authority's that he hadn't done anything wrong. And if they felt he had, then they should try him and jail him. They did try him, Mack pleaded not guilty, and was acquitted of the most serious charges. He did get nipped on some minor charge and worked his community service off in a hospital. And then he went back to Canada. While I struggled with my feelings about most things, I never felt anything but admiration for him. And I miss him today.

But, as for you Mr. Finn, congratulations on the outcome of your own battle. It is never about the end, it is always about the struggle. There is always another demon to slay, and one must never stop the battle. I am proud to be your friend. And dwditty, and Roger in Baltimore, and Lonesome EJ, and Ritchie.........I had no more than submitted the message than I was asking myself what the hell I had done that for. But your messages answered the question for me. All of you who read it and attempted to understand, whether you agreed or disagreed with its premise/purpose, remind me why I love our community so.

Mick


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Subject: To Anne re Vietnam songs
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 12:48 AM

sorry about the delay, Anne, and about the new thread; I tried to post to the old one when I logged on tonight, but there was no message box at the end of the thread. Is there an automatic cutoff when a lot of info is posted to a thread?

Anyway, the book I was talking about earlier is The Vietnam Songbood, bu Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber. It was published in 1969 by The Guardian, 197 E. 4th St., N.Y., N.Y., 10009 and distributed by Monthly Review Press, 116 West 14th St. N.Y., 10011.

You got such a terrific response to your original thread you may not need this any longer, but I promised it, so I thought I'd send it along.

This book has more than 100 songs, mostly from the U.S., but also from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and several other countries around the world -- including some from Vietnam itself. The tone and most of the songs are of protest, so you won't find any Barry Sadler tunes, but there are enough light-hearted and/or funny tunes, spoofs, etc. to be able to present the era to today's kids without turning them off because they don't understand. Lord knows, we want them to remember what happened to their dads and moms during that time and especially what happened to people like Big Mick.

ddw

Copied to the Vietnam thread which seems to be working OK.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 02:05 AM

And now Mick it's clear how you mistook my why. I've waited and read with great interest and empathy every post as it's come up. Like you, I don't sing of rights or wrongs, hawks or doves, liberal or conservatives...those are the whys I can't answer, none of us can. We all came from similar backgrounds, or at least had parents of the generation of WWII who saw the job that needed to be done and went out and did it. I was raised by parents who said; Do what you must, Say what you believe...But Boy, you better be able to back that up! My frustration with many teens today is that they have no back up...they just want to do this or that "because they want to." Wouldn't have worked at my house. Not at yours either huh?

I don't know when I came to see the war differently. It was not a cataclysmic or religious moment. It happened over time. No bright and shining truths, just a pervasive angst. Many had deep moral convictions in non-violence, religious beliefs, and ethics. Not me. No, I was simple. It had never been a question to me over whether or not I could kill someone. I'd listened at the knee of WWI & II vets, men I admired and wanted to emulate...and I knew I could do it too. Our country was going through wars on many fronts then and it became apparent that perhaps I wasn't hearing the truth from those in power...and for the first time it began to dawn on me. I'm going to go half way around the world and kill people before they kill me...I hope. And when I do, how am I going to feel about it? If they were going to ask I do this, then I needed a reason to fall back on and justify things when it was over. The deeper my search into the why of the war, the stronger my antipathy for it. And guys started coming home weaker than our friend Mick and went over the edge. Mick, the bravest thing you did was to walk away from the cliff...I may well have gone over. What bothered me most was that our country was asking us to do it for...for what??? So if I felt that strongly, was it right to take a C.O. position? No. How about Canada? No, if I really wanted my country to understand, the fight was here. End the war and get everybody out of that position of having to wipe out their natural, human, emotions so they could go on with a war that had the weakest of foundations. Some came home without trauma, most did not. Some are names on the Wall.

So I did what I could do as an individual. I notified the draft board that I was relinquishing my II-S deferment AND my draft card which I cut in two and enclosed. Then the talk with my parents. After several days I did convince them that I was not only serious but they were able to see my logic and point of view. Though they feared this would ruin my life, they saw I was doing what I believed was right. Both have been gone for many years now, but I bless them everyday for the strength and upbringing they gave me. I told them many times they should be the happiest parents on the planet...I did that which they taught me. I'm sure it probably wasn't what they had in mind.

So off I went to Petersburg where I was able to improve my pickin' skills at the expense of the Federal government. It doesn't rank as one of the top experiences of my life, but then again, it's not meant to!

And now here we all are in 1999; not old men, but certainly older. Yes Mick, old men start wars where young men die. Barry,Roger,Ritchie,Mick,dwditty,Lonesome EJ,BSeed, et al...if VietNam has a legacy, may it be that we, the "babykillers" and "traitors" alike, can keep our children and grandchildren safely away from the choices we had to make. Bless you all.

catspaw


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Subject: To Anne re Vietnam songs
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 03:34 AM

sorry about the delay, Anne, and about the new thread; I tried to post to the old one when I logged on tonight, but there was no message box at the end of the thread. Is there an automatic cutoff when a lot of info is posted to a thread?

Anyway, the book I was talking about earlier is The Vietnam Songbood, bu Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber. It was published in 1969 by The Guardian, 197 E. 4th St., N.Y., N.Y., 10009 and distributed by Monthly Review Press, 116 West 14th St. N.Y., 10011.

You got such a terrific response to your original thread you may not need this any longer, but I promised it, so I thought I'd send it along.

This book has more than 100 songs, mostly from the U.S., but also from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and several other countries around the world -- including some from Vietnam itself. The tone and most of the songs are of protest, so you won't find any Barry Sadler tunes, but there are enough light-hearted and/or funny tunes, spoofs, etc. to be able to present the era to today's kids without turning them off because they don't understand. Lord knows, we want them to remember what happened to their dads and moms during that time and especially what happened to people like Big Mick.

ddw

Transferred from another thread. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CANADIAN TRAVELER (Art Thieme)^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 11:27 AM

That war took us all---those who went, those who didn't, those who went to Canada and those, like me, who were not 4-F, but were 1-Y.---That meant my knee (from football) was what the army called "internally deranged" and they wouldn't take me. (Some said it was my head that was 1-y.) But I wrote this song in Western Canada in the September of 1969. Many who fought that war at home and in Canada have their own sad tales to tell. We've all paid and continue to pay the price for Lyndon Johnson's and McNamara's war.

"THE CANADIAN TRAVELER"
by Art Thieme
---tune: "Come All You Tramps And Hawkers"
(words influenced by "Buffalo Skinners" and "Peter Emberly"--the former being a great traditional American Western ballad, and the latter is a great Canadian traditional ballad of death in the lumber woods.)

My name is not important, Alberta is my home,
I left the plains of America in Canada for to roam,
I left the pains of America to escape an unjust war,
But little did I ever think what the fates did have in store.

It was in the town of Calgary in the Spring of '63,
A man by the name of St.Laurent come steppin' up to me,
Said, "How do you do, young fellow, and how would you like to go,
And change the course of the Kicking Horse near the valley called Yoho."

Well, me bein' out of employment to this fellow I did say,
"This going out on your survey crew depends upon the pay."
"Well,I will pay good wages, transportation to and fro,
If you will accompany me to the valley called Yoho."

Well, it's now we've crossed the raging tide and our troubles have begun,
But I lost half of all my gear and then I broke my thumb,
One fell and died among the rocks--one died of cold and snow,
One fell into the foaming wash of the river called Yoho.

Our time bein' near over, St. Laurent he did say,
The boys had been extravagant were in debt to him that day,
We tied him up and left his knife just ten feet from his hands,
And we headed into the wilderness of that big Peace River land.

Oh, there's danger on the ocean where the waves roll mountains high,
And there's danger on the battlefield where the angry bullets fly,
And there's danger in the old north woods where I am forced to roam,
'Til folks of worth find peace on Earth, my footsteps crunch the snow.

(repeat first verse)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 07:37 PM

Interesting song Art...Did your audiences like it, get it, whatever?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Mar 99 - 09:14 PM

Catspaw, You asked: "Did your audience get it, like it, whatever"?

Only if I set it up right. Then the audiences got it.

It was usually part of a medley of designed to show the many terrible faces of (the) war:

"If I Were Free To speak My Mind" (I'd tell a tale to all mankind, 'Bout how the flowers do bloom and fade, 'Bout how we fought and the price we paid.)JUST THE CHORUS, TO TIE THE SONGS TOGETHER.

"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" by Mel Tillis

"Franklin Roosevelt Told The People How He Felt" from the Almanac Singers--Pete leading.(We damn near believed what he said, He said, "I hate war and so does Elanore, But we won't be safe 'til everybody's dead."-----an interesting anti-war song from WW2.

Then the above song---"The Canadian Traveler"

Ended with the chorus to "If I Were Free To Speak My Mind".

This medley did vary. Generally, "The 4th Day Of May" by Thom Bishop (posted by moi in this thread earlier) was in the medley---depending on how the audience seemed to be reacting. Sometimes Ed McCurdy's song "Strangest Dream" was included too... I did variations of this until the war was "over". And then for another year or two on occasion...

Art


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 01:22 AM

Mick,

I've just bawled my eyes out, in my latecoming to this thread. While I was in my early teens, I knew several older boys who went to Vietnam and never returned. I've been to the Wall in Washington. I have never in my life read anything as eloquent and telling as your posting; it obviously came from the heart and soul which is you.

While WWII was held up to us all as the "big one", noble, etc. it, too, had late day casualties which our government would deny and hide. My uncle Howard joined the Marines when he was only 17. Was at Guadacanal and in a foxhole for some ungodly long time, wounded and hospitalized in New Zealand for over a year before he could return home.

He had shrapnel in his leg and some which traveled up by his heart which the doctors said could kill him at anytime, this when he was in his early 20's. He was a closet alcoholic, a brilliant jazz clarinetist, an exquisite woodworker who never talked much about the war, had a civil service job for the rest of his life, then retirement.

He tried for years to get on disability, fought the bureaucrats for years, even testified in Washington, to no avail.

Unable to talk to anyone about his pain and memories and unable to drown them in booze anymore, he decided not to continue live with the pain and the memories of the horrible deaths and destruction he'd seen and perpetrated: he blew his brains out in 1993, on Bastille day, which happens to be my youngest daughter's birthday. I consider his death to have been a delayed casualty of that war.

Thank you and may Peace be with you always.

Katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Mar 99 - 08:09 PM

Catspaw, I did indeed miss where you were coming from, and I am very grateful that you corrected my view. I am thankful to you for sharing your experience, and I would love to know more about it and how it shaped the person that you are now. My guess is that you spent many hours before and since that time weighing your decision and trying to come to grips with it. And though we took different paths, I believe the similarities would be striking. I salute your courage in facing up to what you believed in,acting on it, even though it meant that there was a very large price to pay. I don't often talk of those times, and all that I went through in trying to deal with it. I suspect that you don't either, so I appreciate your sharing with us. Experiences like yours and mine are two sides of the same coin for our generation.

Katlaughing, Thanks for your story, as it points out a very important reality. There are a lot of casualty's of war, whose name will never show up on a memorial anywhere, like your Uncle. One of my closest friends in this world had a brother-in-law who was so emotionally traumatized by his experiences in and after 'Nam that he finally died of a complete loss of desire to live. He wrote a rambling poem about it before he died. The form and style he used is not good, but one can hear the pain very clearly. My friend gave it to me and for 7 or 8 years I have been trying to put it to music. It is painful to read, but one day I will find a way to get this done.

Once again, thanks to all for your postings and your understanding.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Night Owl
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 12:51 AM

I wish, I wish, I wish......Cat's Paw and Big Mick could get together and write us a healing song based on the similarities of their individual courage and strength of character. Forgive my ignorance if such a song exists currently....?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Neil Lowe (inactive)
Date: 04 Mar 99 - 10:06 AM

One of the most interesting aspects of threads is how they evolve over time and metamorphose into something the originator may have not originally intended....

I've been following this one with particular interest, for, although I was too young to have participated in the Vietnam travesty, I was old enough to have been affected by it, having spent 16 of my first 18 years (if you take the "official" beginning and end of U.S. involvement in the "police action" as 1959 to 1975, respectively - isn't that what's listed on the Wall?)under its auspices. So I remember having it piped into our living room via the modern miracle of television, with fresh footage each night of operations under way and field reporters with cameras rolling, crouched down with a soldier asking "How do you feel about the war?" just as he pops out from behind his cover to squeeze off a few rounds at an invisible enemy.

Observationally speaking, the journalistic visual media may have had as much to do with turning popular sentiment away from the war as the various forms of protest, maybe more so. As long as Middle America could be fed the idealistic pabalum "at the end of a long newspaper spoon," as William Burroughs put it, minus the imagery, we could insulate ourselves from the obscenity of war and instead mentally run little video clips of John Wayne-type acts of heroism to pacify our worried minds. But start broadcasting images into the home of shirtless and bandaged young men being medivac'ed out of some hot spot and Mom and Pop start to realize, "Hey that could be our little Johnny." Then all the romantic notions of "just causes" and righteousness begin to fade, as does the support for putting U.S. troops in harm's way. It's notable that there was a media blackout for the invasion of Grenada, Panama, and the Gulf War. I guess the warmongers learned their lesson well.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 01:41 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,jsavarino@jps.net
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 02:52 AM

I've got one titled "Little Pills - from the Barrel of a Gun" - you can hear part of it at http://songs.com/jims

and how 'bout some new lyrics for "Ballad of the Green Berets"?

Fighting morons from the sky
Stupid jerks, they jump and die
Don't want no wings, on my sons' chest
I like living children best


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Mary G
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 03:04 AM

i helped to bury a green beret not long ago and I personally didn't find those new lyrics very appealing.

mg


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,canoer
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 03:27 AM

I must mention John McCutcheon, Christmas in the Trenches (sorry I haven't learned how to underline with this computer yet). May be set in WW I -- but it's true anytime.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 05:28 AM

Thanks for this thread.

It contains the BEST, from ALL of you.

All the best from all of me.

Roger


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: InOBU
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 08:29 AM

Hey Mick:
Your post brought me back to the worst of a time which I often feel conflicted about. I was involved in the Veitnam War resistence. Many I worked with came to the resitence to that war because they went through what you did. I discovered that, though raised a Quaker, I was not a pasifist, and if the government wants to arrest me for lies on my CO statement, go ahead... I went to Belfast for similar reasons to those that you speak of in your understanding of Veitnamese nationalism. Belfast was not the central highlands of Vietnam, but it was intence in the seventies. It changes one, but I dont feel that short of those who where interned and tortured in Ireland, the damage to self from the American in Veitnam experience is unique.
The Irish Arts Center, back when it had political meaning, was begun by many of us who where of the Veitnam war generation, and infact overlapped the end of the war. There was a haunted look in the eyes of those who had come back form Veitnam, and an anger, that often just simmered at those who were the next generation or so removed from the event that they didnt know where not to tread.
That war continued to claim my friends for years after, many who were Arts center members. As a generation, I am often reminded of the WW1 lost generation. They could not understand the air headed jazz age, and haunted the margins of those times.
I know it is little to say, Mick, but we must not forget that as a generation, we all did great things, though not for the obvious benefit of the WW2 generation. There was no good to come out of the horror and hurt, but as amny have said, the huge courage to get into life again, was a victory and triumph. That there is a generation after those times is a triumph.
I feel there is not a way in words to express what I am trying to say, Mick, other than your memories help others to grow, so may be there will be a day when we dont alow differences to be settled in this horrible way.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 09:34 AM

Sweet mother of God, Mick; your posts on this thread,and the chorus it has inspired, is some of the greatest sound I have heard in my life.

I'm sorry I came late to it. I agree your posts should be required reading for high school graduates and would like to see it made permanent.

I have little I can add, of any substance, but from a later place in time let me add my thanks to those that you spoke to originally. Guess the thing to do now is wipe the eys and get on towrd the fuiture; but I will not forget the images you (and the others here) have created for us for a long time. Thanks, friend.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 09:41 AM

Cannot post so I sent a private one to Big Mick...Still hurts mates, even after all these years..Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 10:06 AM

Several things strike me about this thread.

First, it was the beginning of a very close friendship between Mick and I. I'd been on the 'Cat only a few months and was hesitant about being any more open than I was, but it was a lot to say at that point in time. What's most important is that it was enough for Mick and I to gain respect for each other and talk about wounds that never heal. Its no secret around here that we are good friends. This is where it began.

Second, I was impressed at the broad spectrum of experiences related here. Not every experience was represented, but the cross section was certainly there. And yes, Shambles, I agree with your statement regarding this thread.

Last, I let a friend read it who is a high school government teacher and he asked he could have a copy. I said no. This was a very personal thread and I would want permission from everyone on it before I gave it to anyone. But we discussed something else which I've thought about since. If you took this and a few other experiences and put them into a one act "Tableau" style one act play, with music, and using the real words written here.........I have a vision of this that's hard to explain. Anyway, it would be an excellent way of teaching the time period to future generations.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 10:14 AM

Oh, 'Spaw, I knew you were good fer sumpn --= this is a brilliant idea and would render the most vivid, moving theatre, kept simple and sparse with the primary force being the voices; they could even speak from darkness, if the right voices were used. Won't you write it? You and Mick and those who gave to the thread! It would be the best thing in the off-Bway loop!

A.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: MMario
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 10:35 AM

I saw something very similair done by a group of high school students in a "black box" environment - the students wrote the dialogue themselves, one taking his father's viewpoint as a marine veteran of 'nam whose entire platoon was wiped out the day after he was taken out with a fragmentation grenade, the other taking the viewpoint of HIS father, who had "gone underground" to evade the draft.

Not only did it have an incredible impact on the audience, but what the boys and the rest of the cast went thorugh emotionaly during the rehearsals was ...well, there really isn't any way to describe it. But it left the younger generation with, I believe, a bit more understanding of their parents.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 11:52 AM

I have been sitting here for the better part of an hour trying to get up courage to add to this.....with tears running down my face, for all of you who went and all of you who didn't. I don't think I can add anything very coherent, but I was 18 in '69 and I still don't think I'm ready to visit the Wall. My 15 yr. old daughter went last spring and brought me photos of some names I asked for. Took me weeks just to look at the photos. Aw shucks, I'm bawling again.Thank you all.......I miss them all so much.All the fine young men.....


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 11:56 AM

Now...'sPaw, capture what Sorcha has aid, add it to the weaving, and build the thing! It needs to go out to the world.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM

Refresh for 'Spaw!

A


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Subject: Lyr Add: Heed Their Call^^
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 02:17 PM

"Heed Their Call" Yours,Aye.Simply Dave

There are many names and monuments
To the ones who went before
There are many blank one's waiting
So go and visit The Wall
Stay there for a few moments
Then go and heed their call

Their comrades will soon be joining
The ones who went before
There are many names a missing
Never put upon the wall
Stay there for a few moments
Then go and heed their call

The monuments our history faded
The ones who went before
Too many sons and daughters fall
Family or stranger, warriors all
Stay there for a few moments
Then go and heed their call

Go and tell the children about
The ones who went before
Dont feed the wall my darlings
No more names upon a wall
Stay there for a few moments
Saying yes we heed your call


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 02:30 PM

Davie, lad

The only time I usually tear up like this is when I'm standing dog on the bridgewing. Damn! That was vurry nice, sailor.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 04:40 PM

Thank you Amos, from one as talented as you it is praise indeed. I could'nt post anything else this morning. Just had to do that, in case they ever do show this to kids. I too am standing next to you on the bridge wing, windward side. Got a sponge handy mate? I can see bugger all at the moment. Three walls in three countries, I've stood there, and know about the others. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: folk1234
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 05:30 PM

I chose not to enter this thread a year ago, but I read it end to end today. Truly great perspectives from many very kind and sensitive mudcatters. Thank you GUEST for revising this gem.
My own perspective on Viet Nam has changed over the years; has become more mellow, like old wine, as I myself have.
Back in the 60's I thought ill of those who refused to serve. I thought most to be down-right cowards. I believed there were a few true pacifists, but far too many were simply afraid of death or injury. Believe me, all of us on the plane to Viet Nam were about as close to pacifism as one could be - having serious reservation about what we were about to get ourselves into. Nevertheless, we came, we served, and most of us left.
As a young enlisted Marine in the early-60's, I was sent to a beautiful college campus in Lawrence, Kansas to complete my degree. I had a great time, plenty of money, fine wholesome young ladies, football, wrestling, and even some great professors from whom I learned to appreciate the boundless universe of learning. And all the while, some of my best friends were "hippies". It was they who threw the best parties. Protest back then was mostly about 'free love' and freedom from the 'norm', what ever that was. Anti-war protests were springing up in those crazy campuses on the east and west coasts, but not in Kansas. (Long after I was gone the heartland was as violent as were the lowlands.) And there were drugs, beginning with morning glory seed tea, and later ending, for some permanently, with LSD. Honest, I never did drugs. I was too afraid of the USMC finding out.
Anyway Graduation, Quantico, and RVN quickly followed. I can't describe it any better than those above have, but even if you took the 'enemy' away, the life of an infantryman (grunt) was so miserable that it is difficult for me to believe I had ever experienced it. The bugs, the cold (yes cold!), the heat, the cuts, bruises, sprains, blisters - always tired, mostly boored, and a few moments of absolute pee-in-the-pants terror made for real life surrealism. Friendly and enemy casualties were shocking, but writing the letters (actually the Battalion Adjutant drafted the rough letters and I added a 'personal' touch) to loved ones was by far the most difficult task. After nine months I was wounded for the 3rd time and medevaced to the US Naval Hospital, Guam for recovery before returning to the States for reassignment (and also to get married). I was back in RVN in 1972 as a Battalion advisor the to VN Marine Corps. Much more danger, unbelievable human carnage, but not a scratch to me body? How strange The Winds of War! Returned to the 'world', a loving wife, and 2 infant daughters on Christmas Eve of 1972, never again to face the challenges of combat.
As the years passed, I began to meet, often through folk music, some whom I had previously despised for their anti-war activities. I found them to be both of strong conviction and of ever-lasting question. The question of course was, "Why?". "Why as a civilized people?" "Why as a Nation?" "Why as an individual?". To this day, neither I nor my new friends can answer these questions. We only can hope that our children will not have to make these terrible decisions. As for songs about Viet Nam, I don't much care for them.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 05:44 PM

Thank you folk; both for what you write, and for what you did.

I want Spaw to make a life-topping accomplishment out of capturing the small burning honest pieces that make up this thread, and composing them into a piece that will impart it, unforgettably, to an audience, somehow. I sense he can do it. I know (I think) he would love to do it. I would hope that those who wrote here would be proud to let and help him do it, so that a better understanding of what it was, what it meant, could occur.

On the other hand, maybe it can't be done across the distance between strangers. If anyone could do it, I think 'spaw could.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM

Even tho I haven't been here long, I agree. My permission is granted.(for my own post, of course--)Please, 'spaw?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE FAMILY^^
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 08:33 PM

The Little Family

A story in the papers,
just a paragraph or two
but it kept on running through my mind,
so I pass it on to you.

A family going to market,
in a little cart they ride,
the father and the mother,
two little children by their side.

And they're off to sell the food they've grown,
and when the day is done
maybe spend a little money,
maybe have a little fun.

And they're talking and they're singing,
planning what they'll do tonight,
and the mother's telling a story,
to keep the little children quiet.

And they're going along so steady -
when there's shooting all round,
and it lays that little family
all dead upon the ground.

And the shooting's quickly over,
just as soon as it's begun.
And the soldiers rise from the bushes
"Oh God, what have we done."

A story in the papers,
just a paragraph or two
but it kept on running through my mind,
is there's nothing I can do?

I wrote this a few years after seeing the paragraph about an incident in Vietnam. It could have been in so many other wars, before and since. The number of civilians killed on both sides was far greater than the number of soldiers. Like in most modern wars. A wall with all their name on would have to stretch round the world.

The tune I settled on is, more or less, "Pretty Boy Floyd".


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: BarbaraLynn
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 10:49 PM

That's an interesting "take" on what the VC might have thought . And certainly is well written, I wish I knew the tune so I could better put it together, but I don't think I know it, will have to check the files.

In a more serious vein, and pursuant to the thread, since I had a loved one (my fiance) over there with the Marines in '67-'68, different songs to me symbolize the Vietnam War. Songs like "Soldier Boy" (don't recall who did it), and "Unchained Melody" (Righteous Bros.). "Cruel War" (PP&M) was one I played again and again on my guitar, although it was hard to get through it without tears.

At the time, Our Song, his and mine, was "Never My Love" (The Association), which I had on a 45 rpm record (remember those?). Played that practically non-stop in my college dorm room while writing letters. Well...my fiance did not come back alive. So, after a while, I put that record away.

A couple of years later, I took all my 45's, which were boxed in some sort of order, and I turned the whole stack over and put them on the turn-table, figuring to listen to all those "flip sides" that never made it big, stuff I'd never heard. I was working away on something, and this song came on that just froze me -- mind and body. It was a stirring, but mournful, song about the death of a soldier...and when I went to see WHAT it was on the back of...it was on the back of Our Song. The title of it is "Requiem for The Masses" (The Association) and it is most definitely about the Vietnam War. And it was there all along, like a hidden sign or something....

BarbaraLynn


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 11:05 PM

Good Lord, this thread had an interesting day.........

To all of you who posted, I am grateful. Thirty years and I sit here with the powerful memories of that time and the time that followed replaying like a movie I just saw......Wasn't thirty years was it? Seems like yesterday. folk1234, well spoken and the power comes from the truth you speak. Maybe that's what this thread has in it more than anything else...truth.

Amos & Sorcha....I've been thinking about it for almost a year. Maybe there will be a time that's right for me to try to tie all this up. I hope so.

Pat


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 11:34 PM

Well, 'Spaw, no one can write in any time not his own, but please save all this thread backed up or printed, somewhere you can get it out. So if you do find the moment when the crystallizing vision of how to do it comes tyo you, you'll have it if needed. Thanks for thinking about it.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 01:53 AM

Two things.

First, you may use anything I have written here.

Second, I would like you to sit quietly in a corner and reflect on these two words and let them stir up all the deepest meanings within that they can convey. The words are "Thank You".

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: WASHAWAY BEACH^^
From: Mary G
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 03:16 AM

I have a lot of songs about the war...I was an Army Officer, stateside...adjutant with the transportation corps...

Ancient Mariner..your words are true...we just found out today we lost another one...101st...

Barbara L. and any other women..I run an email list for women who were affected by the war...as veterans, widows, fiances etc...called Sanctuary after the ship..http://wwwl.angelfire.com/wv/sanctuary

to whoever wrote those hateful words about the green berets...for shame...

here is the song called WASHAWAY BEACH..for a nurse...

I live in a land they call washaway beach
where the cranberries grow and the sandpipers screech
the land keeps washing away from my reach
oh wash me away in the morning

chorus

for time and the tide have taken a toll
on the beach and the jetty the shore and shoal
the weary old waves they just rock and they roll
and wash me away in the morning

if you wash away sand you can wash away grief
and cleanse me of memories past all belief
at very long last I can get some relief
oh wash me away in the morning

wash every enemy wash every friend
give us the peace where the peace has no end
what war tore assunder let nature now mend
oh wash me away in the morning

the sea washed away and the sea can rebuild
and wash all the places where blood has been spilled
my heart has been broken my heart will be filled
oh wash me away in the morning...

mg


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Chris/Darwin
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 06:54 AM

Like a lot of other latecomers to this thread, I have been blown away. In Australia we went into a draft ballot from 1965. My birthday did not come out of the hat, so I went on to a "normal" life. Because my father and father-in-law were both WW2 vets, I thought it was my duty at the time to serve in Vietnam if I was called up. That later changed, but at 20 you are not very politically aware.

By the time Australia pulled out in 1973, the tide of public opinion was firmly against our involvement in Vietnam. Australia has had a long history of opposition to conscription; so many lies were told by our leaders at the time, that most Australians came to believe that it was all wrong.

The result of that was almost total rejection of returning serviceman, just as Mick so eloquently describes. I know many vets from my age group, and universally they did not talk about Vietnam or their part in it - they wouldn't even acknowledge involvement unless prompted. I can only imagine what they must have gone through on their return to Australia. Some didn't make it, like a bloke in Tamworth I knew whose body was destroyed by a mine, and who lived a blind and painful (but cheerful and uncomplaining)existence for 15 years before dying of complications.

For Australian vets, it was the song "I was only 19" that turned the tide of public opinion. The writer, John Schuman of the band "Redgum", was clearly against the war. However, the story of Frankie stepping on a mine on the day mankind stood on the moon touched him deeply.

Australians finally came to terms with the fact that the servicemen were not monsters at all, but ordinary men who answered their country's call, even if it is now clear that the call was based on lies.

Australian vets still do not talk about the war, but are now less defensive and much prouder than before the song came out. Monuments, marches, reunions are now possible. Although these can never wipe away the scars, for many the change has meant being part of the community again.

The power of song never ceases to amaze me. Certainly in this case one song changed a nation's attitude.

Thanks for the inspiration Mick and others, I have never been moved more reading anything in my whole life.

Regards Chris


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: BarbaraLynn
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 08:43 AM

mg, that was Beautiful. I think I've got to get to an ocean pretty soon, after that....

I'd like to just say that, along with others, I have been deeply touched by virtually all the posts in this thread. There have been a number of diverse viewpoints and experiences shared, and they merit thoughtful attention and respect. It's a rare thing when a group of people who mostly don't know one another on a face-to-face basis, can open up like this on such a sensitive topic, and do so with Heart and without rancor. There are legacies from the Vietnam War that are awful to contemplate, but this thread shows that there are also legacies that in every way Honor the most fundamental thing that any war will teach: that we as human beings need to care about one another.

'Spaw, go to it!

BarbaraLynn


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Amos
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 09:22 AM

MaryG, what a sweet and fine song.

Whose is it? Did you write it?

I love it.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: lamarca
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 01:04 PM

Warning: thread creep....

Spaw, yesterday you wrote:
Last, I let a friend read it who is a high school government teacher and he asked he could have a copy. I said no. This was a very personal thread and I would want permission from everyone on it before I gave it to anyone...

This is the kind of attitude about the Mudcat discussion group that NEEDS to be countered. THIS IS NOT A PRIVATE FORUM!!! All of these very personal revelations are up here and available for everyone in the whole world to see. If you are uncomfortable about having them passed around to people you don't know, you should not be posting them!

'Spaw, this isn't meant as an attack on you personally, but I wish more people would begin to understand that once they've posted something here on the 'Cat, it is open to ANYONE who clicks on that thread.

We regular posters have developed a community of people who like to reach out and correspond with each other about things that are important in our lives. This thread has been an important example of this. But please, always realize that our "audience" isn't limited to the friends we have made here.

Sorry for the digression, but this has pushed my buttons about privacy and the Web big time...

Mary


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 01:37 PM

"That's an interesting "take" on what the VC might have thought." I'm not sure whether I see the soldiers in the bushes as VC or Americans, and whether it makes too much difference. Any war both sides end up killing innocent civilians, and most of the people who do the killing feel pretty bad about it, and that's what the song is about.

PRETTY BOY FLOYD is in the DT, with a tune attached.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM

I don't know how I managed to miss this thread when it was first posted. I turned 18 in 1965............tho not a Vietnam song per se, to this day I cannot sing Eric Bogle's "No Man's Land" all the way thru nor yet listen to it with dry eyes- certainly this also was a 'whole generation who were butchered and damned'.

For the last sevaral days things have come to mind that I hadn't thought of in thirty years... but should have.

To each & every one of you, Thanks.

Greg


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Marki
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 02:18 PM

Well, unfortunately I'm too young to have been around at the time of the Vietnam War and I don't even know a whole of history about it. Never-the-less I do know a couple of good songs about it (which is what this thread started out as, right?)

One is called "A Veteren's Song" by the Scottish rock group Nazareth. Sorry I don't know the words off hand, but it's quite touching & depressing.

Two is the song "The Wall". I believe other's here have mentioned it (written by Tim Murphy). I have a fabulous version of it sung by John McDermott (on his CD "If ye break Faith").

Another song about war but not specifically the Vietnam War is "After the War". No not the one that was mentioned earlier here. It's one by Paul Gross (Canadian actor/singer/songwriter) and it's on his cd "Two Houses". It's basically any soldiers song. I cried the first couple times I heard it. Again, sorry I don't know the words off hand.

I appreciated reading everybody elses rants & raves. Quite fascinating, especially for someone like me who as a young Canadian, doesn't know too much about the Vietnam War. Thanks. It's been a good read.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: folk1234
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 02:33 PM

Of course, 'Spaw, or anyone else, my words are freely given to the public domain. That's where they should be.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: BarbaraLynn
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 03:39 PM

""That's an interesting "take" on what the VC might have thought." I'm not sure whether I see the soldiers in the bushes as VC or Americans, and whether it makes too much difference. Any war both sides end up killing innocent civilians, and most of the people who do the killing feel pretty bad about it, and that's what the song is about."

Yep, I got that about how the soldiers in the bushes could be VC or Americans -- it's a really nice turn of phrasing, there. My thought I guess was that in the broader context of this thread, some might take it at first glance to refer to Americans, but when I read it, I thought it one way first and then the other way and so commented. And you are so right that no matter who does the killing, pays an emotional price for it. There is a book entitled _On Killing_, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman that explores the psychology.

BarbaraLynn


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: JVZ
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 06:00 PM

Arlo Guthrie wrote a song a little while back. I think it's called "When a Soldier Makes It Home" The lyrics are on his sight. I think you'll find it a good read and/or a good listen. On the CD that I have of it, he introduces it by saying that over the years he's met two kind's of people, those who care and those who don't; and you'll find both kinds on either side of any issue. He went on to say that you can find, at times, a lot more in common with some folks who disagree with you passionately than you might with some others who agree with you, but with little zest or ferver. Sorry, Arlo, for paraphrasing so poorly.

John


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: annamill
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 11:14 PM

I started reading this thread because someone was moved by the something 'spaw had said... I wanted to see..

I'm sitting here crying.. I HATED THAT TIME!

I had beautiful young friends that went away and died, or worse, came back with so much hurt I didn't know who they were. I fought with everything I had that stupid war!! PAIN!!

My friend Art (not our Art) and I were talking and he was angry because his brother had died so far away and he didn't want his brother to have died for nothing....but he did..he did..

I created a poster called "The color of blood when you're at war". It had the pictures from Life of the Milay Massacre (I can't even spell it..cheez). The young mother with her hand held up just before one of OUR soldiers killed her and her child..

Kent State...

I was ashamed to be an American, a human.. I wanted my friends back!!!!

Shit!!

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 11:18 PM

For Mary G any chance we could take this thread to a part two because she cannot download beyond 90 posts,,,,Mudcat wizards who can please do. I believe it's important. Yours,Aye.Dave


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:02 AM

This thread is getting to be a bit long. So I have created an extension. You will find it listed as: Songs About Vietnam Part II


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:00 PM

Revisited this old but thought-provoking thread having seen it under "Mudcat Classic Threads" in the FAQ thread.

Just to bring it up the list again I'll chip in with one or two songs that always seem to get overlooked. There is one by Dory Previn that begins "On the veterans' big parade..." (sorry, don't know its title), one titled "My son John" or similar by Tom Paxton, which really should be in the DT, though I've not found it under various permutations, and a protest song by Buffy St Marie called "Moratorium."

"Jimmy Newman" which deservedly gets some mentions above is not by John Denver as someone claimed, but by Tom Paxton as someone else (earlier in the thread!) said.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GreatGoo
Date: 19 May 00 - 12:18 AM

How about "The Ballad of Ben Tre"

Gonna tell a little story
About a town they called Ben Tre
Sittin on a river bank
As pretty as you please
Till she got caught between
Two idyologies .....


Don't remember who sang it, more of a poem to words as I recall.

GreatGoo


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,AF Dave
Date: 19 May 00 - 09:13 AM

"In Country" has been mentioned, but there is a whole series of songs, now available on compact discs, by Dick Jonas, a fighter pilot who flew over Viet Nam.

Search for Jonas or erosonic.com AFAI can recall.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 19 May 00 - 09:48 AM

This is a long thread, and I have not yet read every word. But I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned "Born In the USA" by Bruce Springsteen. Don't assume you know where this one is coming from without listening closely to the words -- it's a very different song than it's been made out to be.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: NH Dave
Date: 19 May 00 - 10:41 PM

I object to the use of the term "parody" applied to the various Viet Nam War songs that are sung to an older tune. A parody, to me, is something sung to a familiar tune that derides or makes fun of the old tune, or the older words to the tune. Most of us in Viet Nam were not accomplished musicians or composers, just folks who had something to say, and managed to fit it into the scanscion of a familiar tune, mainly because that was a tune they and those around them knew and sang. This is an ancient folks tradition, or the abbreviation "TTA" would not have so much use here in our database. It is frequently said that people like Woodie Guthrie and Robert Burns put all their lyrics to a very limited number of tunes. "Come all ye Tramps and Hawkers", "Paddy West", and another song about a lover on the shores of Lake Ponchitrane [sp] all use similar, if not identical, tunes, yet none is considered a parody of any of the others.

Additionally, many military songs of one generation, say WWII, got updated once for Korea and then again for Viet Nam, and probably were sung with newer words in Kuwait, Somalia, or Kosovo. One such song, sung TTA The Wabash Cannonball, started out about a civilian airfield in Teeterboro NJ, got updated to "Itazuke Tower" during Korea, and in Viet Nam became "Ubon Tower". No parody here, just a song changing to meet a newer need.

We were lucky to have folks like those on the "In Country" CD who were able to craft new words to old tunes, and even write new tunes occasionally, to let us know how this war was really sung.

Dave


This thread is getting to be a bit long, so a civic-minded Mudcatter created an extension.
You will find it listed as: Songs About Vietnam Part II

Please don't post any more message here.
Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 03:19 AM

ask my son is both about this war in Iraq and the Vietnam war as sung in the voice of a vietnam vet. talking about his life and his sons in Iraq.

please go to askmyson.org

Richard
c0-writer


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: DannyC
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 07:45 AM

Mike Dugger of Kansas has written a few powerful songs about his experiences as a boat gunner in the Mekong Delta (late' 60s - early '70s). I think he may have recorded a couple of them. Mike can likely be reached thru the website for the group "Glen Road".


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,AuntKathy
Date: 29 May 08 - 10:37 AM

My name is Kathy and since my 2 nephews enlisted.Anthony is 20 and in the Navy and his younger bro Vito.19 is in the Army. I have been haunted by a song that I listened to on the radio one Memorial Day weekend back in the mid 90s.It just so happened that I had been taping music that day and caught an exclusive debut of Vietnam Veteran.Timothy P. Irwins song After The War. The song. the true story behind it....well. the whole experience truly changed my life forever.I treasured that song for many. many years. A few years back though the tape came up missing andI was crushed.Eventually I got over it until I found out last fall that Vito was going to be deployed to Iraq and Anthony to Kuwait. Ive Googled searched the song and the writer but I cant find ANYTHING at all. If anyone out there has any suggestions on where I might be able to locate this songwriter and/or song. I would greatly appreciate your help. Please email me @ Maries13thchild@yahoo.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this and God Bless.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Muttley
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:59 AM

3 Great Songs from the Australian perspective:

"I Was Only 19: A Walk in the Light Green"

"Khe Sahn"

"God Bless the Vets"

One very good song from America from a VERY surprising source:

"Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus


Lyrics to I Was Only 19:

Mum and Dad and Denny saw the Passing-out Parade at Puckapunyal
(It was a long march from cadets)
The Sixth Battalion was the next to tour; It was me who drew the card
We did Conungra, Shoalwater before we left.
And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean
An' there's me in me 'Slouch Hat' with me SLR and 'Greens'
God help me: I was only 19!

From Vung Tau,riding Chinooks, to the dust at Nui Dat
(I've been in and out of choppers now for months)
We made our tents a home; VB and pin-ups on the lockers
An' an Asian Orange* sunset through the scrub

CHORUS
   And can you tell me doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
   The night-times just a jungle, dark and a barking M-16
   An' what's this rash that comes and goes,
   Can you tell me what it means;
   God help me: I was only 19!

A Four-week operation; Any step could mean your last one on two legs
(It was a war within yourself)
But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you 'dusted off'
So you closed your eyes and thought about somethin' else
An' then someone yelled out "Contact!" and the bloke behind me swore
We hooked in there for hours: Then a God-almighty roar
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon
God help me: He was goin' home in June

I can still see Frankie drinking 'tinnies' in the Grand Hotel
On a thirty-six-hour 'Rec Leave' in Vung Tau
An' I can still see frankie lying screamin' in the jungle;
'Til the morphine 'kicked' and killed the bloody row.
And the ANZAC legends never mentioned mud and blood and tears
An' the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
I caught some pieces in me back that I didn't even feel
God help me: I was only 19!

CHORUS
   And can you tell me doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
   And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet
   An' what's this rash that comes and goes,
   Can you tell me what it means;
   God help me: I was only 19!

   And can you tell me doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
   The night-times just a jungle, dark and a barking M-16
   An' what's this rash that comes and goes,
   Can you tell me what it means;
   God help me . . . . . (fade out) (let the chord die naturally)

I was only 19 was written and recorded by 'Redgum' to tell the story of one Vet who was hit in the spine and rendered paraplegic by shrapnel from a land-mine which killed his best mate Frank while they were out 'Jungle Bashing' (on patrol).
A Walk in the light green refers to the maps they used. If the patrol area was coloured in dark green, it meant impenetrable jungle which gave a sense of security as those areas were harder to set up ambushes in. However, light green meant open jungle, plantation rice paddies etc - perfect places to get "hit" by the enemy.

I Was Only 19 was pretty much the catalyst for the government turning around and FINALLY acknowledging the service of the Vets and recognising the filthy treatment and neglect of them by governments and ordinary Australians both since 1972. It led to the Welcome Home March held in Sydney in October 1987 - 15 to 25 years too late; but at least it was an acknowledgement.

The "Asian Orange Suset" lyrics are frequently altered to "AGENT Orange Sunset" - the defoliant has led to innumerable skin diseases and cancers in Vets as well as birth defects in their children and grandchildren.


Terms Used:
Passing-out Parade - end of basic training
Puckapunyal - main trainee base for recruits (National Service
             conscripts and 'Regulars') the other was Kapooka
Conungra - Jungle warfare training base
Shoalwater - Amphibious landing training base
Townsville - northern Queensland city where soldiers headed for
             Vietnam to begin a tour shipped out from.
Vung Tau - Main Australian Coastal Base / Airforce Base
Chinooks - twin rotor transport choppers
Nui Dat - Main Australian Tactical Base in Phuoc Tuy Province
VB - Victoria Bitter - beer
'dusted off' - evacuation - medical or otherwise
"Contact!" - enemy encountered
'tinnies' - cans of beer
ANZAC - Australian & New Zealand Army Corps - formed in 1915 and
       forged a legend of bravery under fire and holding out
       against superior odds and superior terrain in 1915 at
       Gallipoli



KHE SAHN

I left my heart with the sappers 'round Khe Sahn
And I sold my soul with my cigarettes to the Black Market Man
I've had the Vietnam cold turkey from the ocean to the Silver City
And it's only other Vets can understand

Bout the long-forgotten dockside guarantees
There were no V-Day heroes in 1973
And how we sailed into Sydney Harbour
I saw an old friend but I couldn't kiss her
She was loud and I was home to the Lucky Land

She was like so many more from that time on
Their lives were Oh-so empty until they founf their 'Chosen One'
And their legs were often open; but their mind was always closed
And their hearts were held in fast, suburban chains

And the legal pads were yellow; hours long, pay-packets lean
And the telex writers clattered where the gun-ships once had been
But car-parks made me jumpy and I never stopped to think
'Bout my growing need for Speed and Novocaine

So I worked across the country from end-to-end
Tryin' to find a place to settle down where my mixed-up life could
mend
Held a job on an oil rig; flyin' choppers when I could
But the night life nearly drove me 'round the bend

And I travelled 'round the world from year to year
And each one found me aimless: One more year the worse for wear
And I've been back to south-east Asia; but the answers sure ain't there
So I'm drifting north to check things out again

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
In only seven flyin' hours, I'll be landin' in Hong Kong
An' there ain't nothin' likr the kisses from a teen-aged Chinese
    Princess
I'm gonna hit some Hong Kong mattress all night long

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
An' it's really got me worried - I'm goin' nowhere an' I'm in a
    hurry
Y'know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone

      (Repeat & Fade)

Khe Sahn was written and recorded by Sydney Rock Band 'Cold Chisel' and rapidly became an anthem for the Vets (as did I was Only 19 - but they coulkd sing Khe Sahn without getting 'misty'). Despite being a rock ballad and usually sung fairly hard and raucously - it does do well on acoustic and with a slightly softer treatment.


Terms Used:

Silver City - Sydney


Sorry - can't find my copy of "God Bless the Vets" - an obscure CD recorded by a brother from our Bike Club - God's Squad. "Kool" wrote and recorded it and was close to many blokes from the Vietnam Veteran's Motorcycle Club - he got involved through me because we were close and due to my being in God's Squad, I was the Padre for the VVMC Australia wide.

Muttley

God Bless the Vets


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: 5thgroup
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 01:03 PM

In this and the next two posts are three poems wrought by my meager hand.

THE A-TEAM NIGHT

               
                The monsoon's hot rain had washed away
                Day's light. We could not see, yet knew
                The fight to come. We huddled there
                In the mud, weapons in our hands.
                Ready to die, hoping to live,
                        Not knowing which would be.
               
                There is no way out save dying.
                I cannot just get up and leave.
                I cannot change yesterday's dead.
                I cannot help my buddies through
                        This hell to come tonight.
               
                                                There - in the wire!
                        A shadowed form slips in to blow
                        Us apart, then die.
                                                Stop him NOW!
                        But no one can.
               
                The Captain is dead in the blast.
                Screams and shouts and shots fill the air.
                Confusion is all about me.
                I fire and fire at ghostly figures.
                I shall die, still I fire at them
                        As the wave breaks over us.
               
                Artillery and rockets strike.
                Some ours, some theirs. But yet, the dead
                Do not know, nor care, which side sent
                The killing shot. There is no flag
                To wave over the wasted lives.
                        To furl over the graves.
               
                In the dawn as the smoke drifts by
                Haggard spectres rise and gather
                Over those dead and dying men
                To count the cost; to ease the pain
                Of the wounded and the untouched.
                        And to ask, "Why not me?"
               
                Still, twenty years after that night,
                I sit and cry for those who died
                Where I should have. I cannot change
                The loss, but yet I feel the hurt
                For I am here and they are not.
                        "Why?" I ask again, "Why?"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: 5thgroup
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 01:05 PM

Another effort:

                 The Wall 2


The night we held the camp
        against Charlie
                was long
                and cold
                and wet.

He came out of the woods
        to murder us
                with guns
                and bombs
                and fire.

Johnson and Nichols and Jacobs and Brown
        took their positions
                at the edge of the camp
                at the edge of the world
                at the edge of their lives.

Johnson and Nichols and Jacobs and Brown
        held their positions
                and laid down
                a steady stream of fire
                that poured into the
                hordes that came,

Stopping the masses advancing on us
        until the dawn came and
        we knew
        we lived.

Johnson and Nichols and Jacobs and Brown
        still hold their positions
                on The Wall.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: 5thgroup
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 01:08 PM

Last of the three...

When Veterans Were Old Men.

Do you remember when you were a child, and a parade was so much fun?
All the veterans marching along, enjoying the walk in the sun.
We always thought of veterans then, whose wars were over and done
As aging men whose days were filled with stories of battles won.

With crippled backs and tired old faces and hands and feet so sore.
"I'll never be that old," I said. "How did they fight their war?"
But then, when we came back, so young and oh so tired,
Veterans were what they called us, then, a name we never desired.

Oh, sure they called us other things, baby-killer, murderer, thief.
But only "Veteran" finally stuck, but that was no relief.
For now we see ourselves each day, talking with others like us.
"Veteran?" Yes, but when and how did age and wear finally strike us?

The days grow short, the nights seem cold, our youth now out of reach.
We're veterans now, and so we go. Our lessons we must teach.
Each age must pay its dues, it's said. Some pay much more than others.
The highest price is paid in blood, by husbands, sons and brothers.

I look in the mirror and who do I see? My grandfather and his son.
And also peering back at me, I see, me and my own dear son.
So listen to what we have to say, Veterans we may be.
Perhaps you see old worn-out men, but remember: YOU ARE FREE!

*********************
This first part was written in 1991, as my response to being particularly struck by the youth of
Desert Storm veterans, and the age of my fellow Vietnam Veterans, as the many groups
marched in San Francisco's Welcome Home Desert Storm Parade.

On Veterans' Day, 1999, I was finally sensitized to the many women and families so
greatly affected by wars and the trials suffered at home, often in silence.
This is now the completion for the above:


For Evelyne:
And now I know and now I see the invisible veterans too.
The mothers, the daughters, and all the wives and what they had to do.
The tears that came and the tears to come, and all the pain to feel;
Of how they served, and how they hurt, and what they got from the deal.

And what of the woman later wed to a vet who was hurting so?
Of his pain, and of his trials, and his history he would never show?
Like so many men he had held it in, and never had let it flow,
And now he's gone, and now she aches, and why? She'll never know.

The tears and fears and losses borne by the ones we left back home
Were never measured and never known and were always felt alone.
We honor the men and praise their strength and salute their pain and skill,
But on no day has any town paid tribute to those who hurt so still.

For some the pain was given to them by the men they loved and knew,
For other women who lost it all, the hurt runs just as true.
So when you see those lonely eyes or the bruises deep and blue,
Remember the woman with loves lost or gone, like us, she is a veteran too.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Pavel From Russia
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 03:32 AM

Hallo everybody!

Who knows how to play Boonie Rat song?
Who know the chords?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Falco
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:42 AM

Don't forget "Country Joe McDonald and the Fish" Great song.

"And it's one, two three what are we fighting for"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,RED
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 10:21 AM

In addition to several John Prine songs, my favorite is The Ballad of Penny Evans as sung by Steve Goodman.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Josh
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:23 AM

Anyone know of a song about a man meeting a veteran at the Vietnam Memorial, and finding out the veteran's a ghost? Been bugging me for literally 15, 20 years.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Seth from Olympia
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 10:21 AM

Yhese days, age 65, going through grocery stores especially, the muzak pumps out a lot a old sixties pop music, some of it good, some of it awful, some of it(The letter, 96 Tears, Dock of the Bay and a few others) songs that connect me right back there. GIves me the willies. Don't want to hear them, especially when I'm pushin' my grocery cart around out in public. Makes me want to scream and holler and throw up my hands... Am I the only person who has this reaction? My wife, also 65, doesn't respond to any of it..thanks for this long thread...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 11:35 AM

Guest, Josh, probably not the one you are looking for, but please have a look at this one: CLICK HERE.

When looking for specific lyrics, it usually best to start a new thread about it, which I have done for you HERE.

Welcome to the Mudcat,

kat - one of the moderators


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:08 AM

Pushing my supermarket at a leisurely stroll with a friend one early Sunday afternoon for some reason the powers that be in the supermarket decided to play a selection of sixties music which included the Animals 'We Gotta get Out of this Place' and Jefferson Aeroplane's 'White Rabbit' and I had visions of the chinnooks with the rotors going round and I just wanted to make for the wine section get a few bottles and get out of there. Although they do not have Vietnam lyrics as such it conjured up the time and it was so depressing that nothing has changed apart from anything else. I suppose the supermarket would not have had any idea about the significance of the songs it is just a generation thing.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:19 AM

I think I'll add in a link to Joel Mabus's fine song about the Vietnam Memorial: click here for lyrics

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM

What, no "Bad Moon Rising"?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 06:07 AM

Billy Don't Be A Hero - Paper Lace
Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy
Songs About The Vietnam War


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 11:51 AM

Phil Ochs- Talking Vietnam
Vietnam potluck- Tom Paxton


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,jack warshaw
Date: 22 May 13 - 06:31 AM

Hi
From 1967 I travelled with Ewan MacColl's Critics Group performing and writing in aid of Folksingers for Freedom in Vietnam. Does anyone have copies of the FFV broadsheets or lyrics of songs issued? Any leads most welcome.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 22 May 13 - 04:22 PM

UTUBE LINKS for REDGUMs: I WAS ONLY 19

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=utube+redgum&mid=D1F26E71C27613883D00D1F26E71C27613883D00&view=detail&FORM=VIRE3

===

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

===


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 May 13 - 04:49 PM

Starting about now I am collecting songs and perhaps singers to make a cd from those who were there or otherwise involved in the war...could be civilian, certainly stateside military or civilian. I am not in the slightest bit interested in hearing how bad we were so don't bother...so if you were in the war somehow let me know. I'm staying away from political views. So far I think I have a Donut Dolly or two, nurses, fixed wing, helicopter pilot, perhaps a jet pilot, adjutant..oops all officers or WO so far...need enlisted obviously. I have a number of songs. Most have not seen the light of day. And have a nice Memorial Day if you commemorate it. mg


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 May 13 - 04:59 PM

songs must be free of copyright or every single copyright there is must be waived for every purpose so that people can copy this for their friends if they want. And I will tell you right out there are people I will not even sell a copy to for any price.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
From: Bettynh
Date: 23 May 13 - 12:09 PM

OK. so I have a book, The Vietnam Songnook, edited in 1969 by Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber. Some of the songs are obviously dated, and many are certainly obscure - there are 7 songs from North Vietnam. I can transcribe a few, scan a few. If you're interested PM me fairly soon because I intend to sell it at Old Songs Festival this year.

I did happen on this one by Pete Seeger:

King Henry

Words by Pete Seeger, Music Traditional (It has chords marked as well, I don't recognize the tune. I can scan it for you).

King Henry marched forth, a sword in his hand
Two thousand horsemen all at his command:
In a fortnight the rivers ran red through the land,
The year, fifteen hundred and twenty.

The year it is now much later it seems,
It's easier far, in the land of our dreams,
Just keep your mouth shut and dont hear the screams
Ten thousand miles over the ocean.

Simon was drafted in 'sixty three,
In 'sixty four, sent over the sea.
Last month this lettter ne sent to me:
He said, "You won't like what I'm saying."

He said, "We've no friends here, not hardly a one.
We've got a few generals who just want our guns.
But it'll take more than them if we're ever to win;
Why, we'll have to flatten the country."

"It's my own troops I have to watch out for," he said.
"I'll sleep with a pistol right under my head;"
He wrote this last month, last week he was dead,
And Simon came home in a casket.

I mind my own business, I watch my TV,
Complain about taxes, but pay anyway,
In a civilized manner my forefathers betray
Who long ago struggled for freedom.

But each day a new headline screams at my bluff,
On TV some general says we must be tough.
In my dreams I stare at this family I love
Alll gutted and spattered with napalm.

(Repeat first and second verses)

Note with the song: Parts of this song are directly from a Kansas serviceman's letter to his wife, written shortly before he was killed in Vietnam in 1965. The quote in the fifth verse is from the letter of an 'Advisor' officer, written a week before his death.


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