Johnny Cash, “Singin’ in Viet Nam talkin’ blues”


One mornin’ at breakfast I said to my wife / “We’ve been everywhere once and some places twice” / As I had another helpin’ of country ham / She said “We ain’t never been to Vietnam / There’s a bunch of our boys over there”

So we went to the Orient, Saigon / Well, we got a big welcome when we drove in / Through the gates of a place that they call Long Ben / We checked in and everything got kinda quite / But a soldier boy said “Just wait ’til tonight. Things get noisy, things start happening’. Big bad firecrackers”

Well, that night we did about four shows for the boys / And they were livin’ it up with a whole lot of noise / We did our last song for the night / Then we crawled into bed for some peace and quite / But things weren’t peaceful and things weren’t quite, things were scary

Well, for a few minutes June never said one word / And I thought at first that she hadn’t heard / Then a shell exploded not two miles away / She sat up in bed and I heard her say “What was that?” / I said “That was a shell or a bomb”, She said “I’m scared”, I said “Me too”

Well, all night long that noise kept on / And the sound would chill you right to the bone / The bullets and the bombs and the motor shells / Shook our bed every time one fell and it never let up / It was gonna get worse before it got any better

Well, when the sun came up the noise died down / We got a few minutes sleep and we were sleepin’ sound / Then a soldier knocked on our door and said / “Last night we brought in seven dead and fourteen wounded” / And would we come down to the base hospital and see the boys, yeah

So we went to the hospital ward by day / And every night we were singin’ away / Then the shells and the bombs ’til dawn again / And the helicopters brought in a wounded man / Night after night, day after day, comin’ and a goin’

So we sadly sang for them our last song and reluctantly we said so long / We did our best to let them know that we cared / For every last one of them it’s over there / Whether we belonged over there or not / Somebody over here loves them and needs them

Well, now that’s about all there is to tell about that little trip into livin’ hell / And if I ever go back over there anymore / Hope there’s none of our boys there for me to sing for / I hope that war’s over with and they all come back home / To stay in peace

[By Johnny R. Cash © Bmg Rights Management US LLC, 1971]

Spread the love