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Vietnam War Oral

Uploaded by Dont Think on Nov 17, 2004

The Vietnam War is slowly fading into history. The 20-year struggle between South Vietnam and its American, Australian an New Zealand allies against the communist North Vietnamese is remembered today through films, songs and poetry. Films such as ‘Platoon’ and songs such as ‘The Real Thing written by Russell Morris and ‘I Was Only Nineteen written by John Schuman and performed by the band Red Gum are examples of this remembrance.

Elected lines:

• ‘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 ‘till they had you dusted off’

• ‘Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon. God help me, he was going home in June’

I Was Only Nineteen


Red Gum

This song was written in the seventies, by a man called John Schuman and performed by him in a band called “Red Gum”. It immediately became a national hit, especially among the Vietnam Veterans. It is still performed today whenever Vietnam Veterans get together for a concert. This song isn’t so much a protest song, but more so a song of the effects of war. This song in fact glorifies the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam wars as it alerts us to the physical and emotional struggles that people involved in war.


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 theres 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,

Id 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 cant get to sleep?

And night times just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?

And whats 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...

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Uploaded by:   Dont Think

Date:   11/17/2004

Category:   Poetry

Length:   5 pages (1,089 words)

Views:   2301

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