Friday, November 18, 2005

"The 8th Of November"

The new Big and Rich CD features a haunting, beautiful ode to the gallant men of the 173rd Airborne who took on 1200 NVA and VC soldiers in the Gang Toi Hills of South Vietnam November 5-9, 1965. Badly out-manned, they managed to more than hold their own while sustaining heavy casualties themselves.

Read more about it here and here.

THIS is why I love country music. Who is writing anything even REMOTELY patriotic like this on the rock side? REM? Bruce? U2? You'll never hear it out of the rockers, lest they offend their lefty and MOR Putz base. They would want something more "nuanced" or "subtle".

The song was written after Big and Rich met one of the soldiers who was there, Niles Harris, and were moved by his story.

Said goodbye to his momma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the red white and blue
He was 19 and green
With a new M16
Just doin' what he had to do
He was dropped in the jungle
Where the choppers would rumble
With the smell of napalm in the air
Then the Sargent said
Look up ahead
Like a dark evil cloud
1200 came down
On him and 29 more
They fought for their lives
But most of them died
in the 173rd airborne

On the 8th of November
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin' down
And the hell all around
There were few men left standin' that day
Saw the eagle fly
Through a clear blue sky 1965
The 8th of November

Now he's 58
And his ponytail's grey
But the battle still plays in his head
He limps when he walks
But he's strong when he talks
About the shrapnel they left in leg
He puts on a grey suit
over his airborne tattoo
And he ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen
As he orders a tall one
Swallows it down with his tears

Compare the truth and beauty of these words to the lies and vitrol of Bruce Springsteen's take on the war in any number of songs ("To go and kill the yellow man," etc.) and you'll know why country should be the music of choice for every conservative.

1 comment: