Singing the Vietnam blues : songs of the Air Force in by Joseph F. Tuso

By Joseph F. Tuso

The songs of the U.S. Air strength flyers throughout the Vietnam battle, written within the cryptic language of pilots and navigators, aloft of their "beasts" a dozen "angels" up within the sky, uniquely replicate the stark feelings and black humors of that ill-fated war.

Veteran navigator Joseph F. Tuso spent fifteen years gathering the lyrics for greater than 100 songs written or sung via U.S. Air strength flyers from approximately 1966 via 1969. the various songs' authors are unknown. yet their lyrics, even such jarring traces as these of "Chocolate-covered Napalm," usually are set to renowned melodies, similar to "The Wabash Cannonball." a few songs have unique tunes besides. Twenty-five of the 148 songs whose lyrics are incorporated right here have been written via Dick Jonas, the greatest songwriter of the Vietnam period Air strength. Many different songs seem in print for the 1st time.

Singing the Vietnam Blues begins with a private overture that units the level for a play of war-evoked feelings and contours which are under sacred, greater than profane, and occasionally poignant. a few songs, similar to the "Phu Cat Alert Pad," are in line with historic occasions, whereas others have their origins in renowned myths, comparable to "Wolf Pack's Houseboy." regardless of the direct resource of the songs, it's the day-by-day wrestle, rescue, or shipping missions; the potential of dying; and the terror, bravado, and pageant among pilots, navigators, planes, and enemy flyers or "bandits" that generated the lyrics.

so much songs are preceded through Tuso's rationalization of every song's starting place, different models, references to present occasions or "inside jokes," and occasionally own insights and thoughts. A word list is additionally included.

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Extra info for Singing the Vietnam blues : songs of the Air Force in Southeast Asia

Sample text

There's snakes in the weeds in Banana Valley, Them snakes in the weeds know how to hate; Them snakes in the weeds in Banana Valley, They go down, down, down, and there they wait. Well, I heard all 'bout Banana Valley, How fightin' them snakes could be so great, It's so much fun in Banana Valley, Gotta go down, down, down, and investigate. Well, two weeks ago in Banana Valley, Two of my friends killed one of them snakes, Two weeks ago in Banana Valley, They went down, down, down, to attend the wake.

Bat Song Tune: "Sweet Betsy from Pike" Oh, do you remember the call sign of Bat, In South Vietnam at a place called Phu Cat? Where we lost Super Sabres by day and by night, With wall­to­wall high drags we'd blast out of sight. " We rolled in on final amid the airbursts, We pickled and pulled, till our hemorrhoids burst; With shit in the cockpit and flak in the air, The hell with four passes, we'll drop 'em in there. The FAC started climbing to get BDA; He used his field glasses from six miles away; Said, "All bombs on target, what a hell of a show!

We were cocky, bold, and happy when we played the angel's game; We split the blue with buzzing, and we rolled our way to fame, But now that's all VERBOTEN, and we're all so goddamn tame; Our spirit's shot to hell! One day I buzzed an airfield with another reckless chap; We flew a hot formation with his wingtip in my lap, But there's a new directive, and we'll have no more of that, Or we will burn in hell! The Sabres in Korea drove the MiGs out of the sky; The pilots then were fearless men and not afraid to die, But now the regs are written, you can kiss your wings goodbye, And you won't fly for hell!

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