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Songs about Vietnam War

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FRIENDLY FAC AND GREEN BERET
TCHEPONE


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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
Teresa 26 Feb 99 - 06:08 PM
rich r 26 Feb 99 - 06:11 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Feb 99 - 06:54 PM
Night Owl 26 Feb 99 - 07:03 PM
rich r 26 Feb 99 - 07:04 PM
Gene 26 Feb 99 - 08:18 PM
R. Driscoll 26 Feb 99 - 08:18 PM
26 Feb 99 - 08:27 PM
Roger in Baltimore 26 Feb 99 - 08:53 PM
Teresa 26 Feb 99 - 09:16 PM
Will (inactive) 26 Feb 99 - 10:12 PM
Ritchie 27 Feb 99 - 08:00 AM
Big Mick 27 Feb 99 - 09:20 AM
Ritchie 27 Feb 99 - 09:44 AM
dwditty 27 Feb 99 - 11:02 AM
Night Owl 27 Feb 99 - 12:56 PM
27 Feb 99 - 02:08 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Feb 99 - 06:23 PM
*red (inactive) 28 Feb 99 - 01:58 AM
alison 28 Feb 99 - 09:00 AM
Robin 28 Feb 99 - 03:33 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 28 Feb 99 - 09:09 PM
Night Owl 28 Feb 99 - 10:57 PM
Night Owl 28 Feb 99 - 11:05 PM
Pete M 28 Feb 99 - 11:10 PM
Gene 01 Mar 99 - 01:28 PM
John in Brisbane 01 Mar 99 - 06:09 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--

THERE'S A WALL IN WASHINGTON
by Iris DeMent (copyright 1996 Songs of Iris)
As recorded by Iris DeMent on "The Way I Should" (1996)

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 traveled 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 traveled 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 traveled 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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