Mudcat Café message #649562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #44219   Message #649562
Posted By: Steve in Idaho
13-Feb-02 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: ADD: The Boonie Rat Song (Viet Nam War)-chords?
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOONIE RAT SONG (Viet Nam War)
The following is excerpted from John Del Vecchio's book "The Thirteenth Valley." It is a song held in trust by John and any profits derived from it are to be sent to him for placement in the trust fund for Viet Nam Veterans. No exceptions.

But for live performances, Viet Nam Veterans, and the use for Veterans activities it is free. We have no idea who wrote the song. According to John it was given to him by a medic who found it on the body of an M-60 Machinegunner killed in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam in 1970.

The Boonie Rat Song

I landed in this country,
One year of life to give,
My only friend a weapon,
My only prayer to live.

I walked awayfrom freedom,
And the life that I had known,
I passed the weary faces
Of the others going home.

Boonie Rats, Boonie Rats,
Scared but not alone,
300 days more or less
Then I'm going home.

The first few days were hectic,
As they psyched my mind for war,
I often got the feeling
They're trying to tie the score.

The first day with my unit
We climbed a two click hill,
To find an enemy soldier,
To capture, wound, or kill.

Boonie Rats, Boonie Rats,
Scared but not alone,
200 days more or less
Then I'm going home.

The air was hot and humid,
The ground was hard and dry,
Ten times I cursed my rucksack
And I wished that I could die.

I learned to look for danger
In the trees and on the ground,
I learned to shake with terror,
When I hear an AK round.

Boonie Rats, Boonie Rats,
Scared but not alone,
100 days more or less
Then I'm going home.

'SKYHAWKS' is our motto,
'AIRBORNE' is our cry,
Freedom is our mission,
For this we do or die.

Boonie Rats a legend
For now and times to come,
Wherever there are soldiers
They'll talk of what we've done.

Boonie Rats, Boonie Rats,
Scared but not alone,
50 days more or less,
Then I'm going home.

They say there'll always be a war,
I hope the're very wrong,
To the Boonie Rats of Viet Nam
I dedicate this song.

Boonie Rats, Boonie Rats,
Scared but not alone,
Today I see my Freedom Bird,
Today, I'm going home.


I am the author of one arrangement to this song and hope to one day put it into an mp3 - but it has several arrangements that have been done over the years. Jazz, country, rock and roll, blues, you name it one of us has done it. Mine, although I wasn't a Folk Musician at the time, probably wrote a Folk arrangement.

Steve