MIL Old song, reworked ...

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by 202 Stroker, May 13, 2006.

  1. 202 Stroker

    202 Stroker We watch the lightning crack over cane fields ..

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    http://www.brokenyellow.com/theherd.html
    ( Click the play now image.. and yes, it's in Quicktime format , live with it .. it's a great song..)

    In 1983, John Schumann sat on a desk amongst a group of Vietnam veterans.

    “I’ve got this song,” he said, “but I won’t sing it unless you give it your blessing.”

    John closed his eyes and accompanying himself on guitar, sang ‘I Was Only 19’.

    At the song’s end John listened for the verdict. There was dead silence.
    “ Bugger it” realised John, “ It’s gone down like a lead balloon, sunk without trace, still-born.”

    Just as John was about to pick up his guitar and leave, some throat clearing sounds came from the veterans. The silence did not signal disapproval, it was just that the veterans were too moved to speak, choking to hold back tears.

    The song’s popularity spread like a bushfire. It is now recognised as one of the greatest Australian songs ever written.

    The Herd’s version of ‘I Was Only 19’ and its video-clip are worthy agents for its rebirth. They have both brought tears to my eyes.

    Tim McCombe

    President

    Vietnam Veterans Federation


    John Schumann’s ‘I Was Only 19’ is one of the great Australian songs about war. Only ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ stands with it.

    It tells the story of National Serviceman Mick Storan who was called up and sent to the war in Vietnam.

    Mick starts out on his adventure: ‘And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the key, this clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.’ But when his adventure is over he is asking: ‘And can you tell me doctor why I still can’t get to sleep, and night-time’s just a jungle dark and a barking M16.’

    It’s the story of so many young men and, more recently, young women who are sent off to defend what the government tells them are Australia’s vital interests.

    And whilst the government shows enthusiasm and gratitude as it waves good-buy to the troops, it can show much less enthusiasm in meeting the needs of those who return damaged.

    It is a sad fact that Vietnam veterans are still fighting the government to redress injustices in the compensation system.

    But as they did in war: ‘And you wouldn’t let your mates down…’, so now Vietnam veterans have formed groups to help one-another and to fight government indifference and bureaucratic stone-walling.

    It’s another kind of war.

    Graham Walker
    Vietnam Veteran
    Military Advisor for the Video Clip
     
  2. 202 Stroker

    202 Stroker We watch the lightning crack over cane fields ..

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    Here are the original lyrics ...


    Just a few things that may help you understand the lyrics better.
    Puckapunyal was a recruit training center and Cunungra is a Jungle Warfare training center.
    Shoalwater was a place that the Army used for Military excercises.
    The SLR was the personal weapon mostly used in Vietnam.
    Vung Tau & Nui Dat were Aussie bases in Vietnam.
    V.B. is Victorian Bitter a very popular Aussie beer.



    Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal
    (1t was long march from cadets).
    The sixth battalion was the next to tour and It was me who drew the card.
    We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left.


    Chorus I:
    And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay.
    This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
    And there's me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.
    God help me, I was only nineteen.


    From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat,
    I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
    But we made our tents a home. V.B. and pinups on the lockers,
    And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.


    Chorus 2:
    And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
    And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
    And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
    God help me, I was only nineteen.


    A four week operation, when each step can 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 something else.


    Chorus 3:
    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 going home in June.


    1 can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
    On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.
    And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle.
    'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row


    Chorus 4:
    And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears.
    And stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
    I caught some pieces In my back that I didn't even feel.
    God help me, I was only nineteen.


    Chorus 5:
    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?
    And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
    God help me, I was only nineteen.
     
  3. TheNewMonaro

    TheNewMonaro New Member

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    That sounds different to the Herd version I've heard, to be honest I prefer the other one :o

    Edit: Ahh, it's the one they did with Redgum, makes sense now :cool:
     

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