Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hmmmm, what rhymes with "surge"?

While nursing ALB very late last night, I was listening to public radio, which we have playing in his room all night. The folk music show "Traditions" was on (sadly its last airing, I'm guessing), and host Mary Cliff indicated she'd heard that Tom Paxton might be rewriting his song "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" to bring it into modern times with our modern war-not-really-a-war-because-we-won-dontchya-know. As I listened to the original, I realized how apt it is today (lyrics obtained from The Blue Voice):

I got a letter from L. B. J.
It said this is your lucky day.
It's time to put your khaki trousers on.
Though it may seem very queer
We've got no jobs to give you here
So we are sending you to Viet Nam

[Chorus:]Lyndon Johnson told the nation,
"Have no fear of escalation.
I am trying everyone to please.
Though it isn't really war,
We're sending fifty thousand more,
To help save Viet nam from Viet Namese."

I jumped off the old troop ship,
And sank in mud up to my hips.
I cussed until the captain called me down.
Never mind how hard it's raining,
Think of all the ground we're gaining,
Just don't take one step outside of town.

[Chorus]

Every night the local gentry,
Sneak out past the sleeping sentry.
They go to join the old VC.
In their nightly little dramas,
They put on their black pajamas,
And come lobbing mortar shells at me.

[Chorus]

We go round in helicopters,
Like a bunch of big grasshoppers,
Searching for the Viet Cong in vain.
They left a note that they had gone.
They had to get down to Saigon,
Their government positions to maintain.

[Chorus]

Well here I sit in this rice paddy,
Wondering about Big Daddy,
And I know that Lyndon loves me so.
Yet how sadly I remember,
Way back yonder in November,
When he said I'd never have to go.

[Chorus]

9 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

Gives me chills, actually.

2:19 PM, January 28, 2007  
Anonymous kenju said...

It seems we haven't learned from our mistakes. How sad.

4:02 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger liz said...

I had that song hammered into me at Camp Kinderland lo these many years ago (along with "It Could Have Been Me" by Holly Near, and "I Come and Stand By Every Door").

And it has had a way of running through my head daily of late.

9:17 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Blue Moon Mama said...

Deja vu all over again. Ugh.

Anyway - I've come upon your blog through Lawyer Mama.

I always like to say HI to the other lawyer moms out there who blog. Glad to have been introduced to your blog!

7:56 AM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

Truly frightening that we're going this way again.

10:25 AM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Yankee, Transferred said...

ugh.

11:24 AM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...

Purge?

If you ask Dubya, "courage."

3:01 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger LawMommy said...

I haven't made it through most of your post yet because HUH!?????!!?? What??????????? TRADITIONS is going off the air??

Deeply, deeply sad. I missed Sunday's nights broadcast, and we were in Vietnam for most of January...ugh. That's just so depressing. I love that show...
Gretchen

1:05 PM, January 31, 2007  
Anonymous whymommy said...

This is one of my favorite Tom Paxton songs. Which is to say one of my favorite songs. Always has been. The past few years it's just been eerie.

Thanks for putting it out there again (and boo to getting rid of Traditions. I'm mad too!)


(BTW, I'm up nursing too. WHEN do they sleep through the night again? :-))

12:59 AM, February 02, 2007  

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