Vietnam War Songs

by Lt. Richard A. (Dick) Morris

    


 


 


The "Rockpile"
at Chanh Giao

     Page 1

     Page 2

     Page 3

     Division Citation
 

Concerts & Musical Presentations

 

www.RichardMorrisAuthor.com

 

Contact Songwriter

 


Links: 

Skytroopers:
Vietnam Tour of Duty
 www.skytroopers.org

 

Vietnam Veterans of America: www.vva.org

 

Co. A,  2nd Battalion,

5th Cavalry Regiment,

1st Cavalry Division (Vietnam)

www.leanapache.org

 

5th U.S. Cavalry
Association:
www.5thcav.org/

 

1st Cavalry Division
Association: www.1cda.org

 

The US Cavalry
Association:
Fort Riley KA:
www.USCavalry.org

 

History of the
5th Cavalry Regiment
 

 

 C Co. 2nd Battalion,

5th Cavalry Regiment,

1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) www.tallcomanche.org

 

2-5 Short History

 

Jazz paintings
by William C. Byers www.byersgallery.net

 

Contact Richard Morris
Note: He does not open attachments or forwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Skytroopers
 songs of war, peace, and love
from Vietnam

ballads, blues, and love songs

Includes "Diggin' A Hole," a Finalist in
the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest   


Available now on CD Baby
http://cdbaby.com/cd/richardmorris

 

 

Upcoming Concerts & Musical Performances
4-25-10        Kensington International Day of the Book – Howard Avenue, Kensington, Maryland
                               
http://www.dayofthebook.com/

 


 

    Listener Reviews

Dear Morris,
Your handsome gift of CD "Skytroopers" received in good shape. I am enjoying. Tunes and words very strong and moving--a great mix of 1968 and Today's memories. "Col
Robbie" is especially good--on Target.
Thanks for remembering me. We could have some good talks if possible. I am a muted Hawk now.
                                     Stay "Ready."
                                     J.B. Love
Col. Joseph B. Love, Apt. 2, 4160 Ortega Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32210-4403 (former commander 2nd Battalion 5th Cavalry 1st Cavalry Division RVN 1967-68)
          

    Richard Morris and Franklin Taggart in concert

-- Being a Vietnam vet, it is nice to hear songs written by a fellow vet that relate to my experiences. I can hear the folk music influence of the time in the songs. Nice music, nice voice, good job!

-- Skytroopers vividly brings back sound-images of a noble effort. Enjoyable songs; must listen to, over and over.

-- As a sometime songwriter myself, I'm struck by the craftsmanship of the rhyming and rhythm in these lyrics, and I love the musical range of the record-it really transports the listener to another time with its evocations of many different '60's styles: the surf-rock of 'Skytroopers'…the darkly hypnotic Doors-like vibe of 'Chanh Giao Cave'…the stirring film-soundtrack of 'John Wesley' (like the Good, the Bad &the Ugly!)…the cool blues of 'The Chaplain'…the stoic march of 'Camp Evans'…the loping cowboy feel of 'Charlie's Gone'…the traditional folk narrative ballad of 'Smoking Hamlet', reminiscent of Phil Ochs…the swinging syncopation of 'Long Row To Hoe'…the groovy, mellow jazzy feel of 'Mirage'…the sweet directness of the two 'Barbara' songs…the honky-tonk of 'I Got A Lonesome Me'…the Rat Pack Scat on 'Dandelion.'…I was already a fan of 'Go To Sleep' from the RickAndAudrey version; glad to have the original now too.
 

Stories related to these songs are in
Cologne No. 10 For Men
 
a Vietnam War novel by Richard Morris

Writer's Digest says, "This is truly a superb novel of the Vietnam war, a novel that compares favorably with those earlier "dark humor" war novels such as Catch-22 and M.A.S.H. The writing crackles with authenticity..."

Kirkus calls it  "A funny and serviceable satire about the gross rationalizations that propel war and peace." 
"A soldier in Vietnam invents a uniquely absurd solution to the horrors of war…
"Morris, once a rifle platoon leader who tread in the same rice paddies as his fictional character, writes convincingly of battle, bloodshed and the disarming brevity of sudden, violent death. He also infuses his war story with the black humor prevalent in many modern American war stories like Catch-22 or M.A.S.H…" --
Kirkus Discoveries Review.

Available at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other online booksellers for $14.95 paperback and $24.95 hardback, or call 1-800-AUTHORS.
  www.RichardMorrisAuthor.com.
     
  
"Read it in one long night..and LOVED it! Ole fart "Poppa," Southwest USA
July 5, 2008
–  "As a fellow Cav trooper, this book brought back fond memories...had me laughing out loud..."

Readers call it
 - realism  that only someone who was there can appreciate

- powerful; how war changes men
-
a riveting read that blends drama, romance and humor
- altogether hilarious, dinky dau, delightfully wacky, zany

 


 Coming In February
  A new novel by Richard Morris

      A novel of suspense, mystery, history, and humor,
   as Ron Watkins looks into the 1907 mob murder
   of his great-grandfather on a Maryland tobacco
   plantation.

 

Skytroopers
songs of war, peace, and love from Vietnam

Lyrics

I wrote these peace and war songs between June 1967 and May 1968. At that time I was a rifle platoon leader, company executive officer (Alpha Co.), and battalion communications officer with the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry
(2/5 Cavalry) in the Republic of Vietnam.

Skytroopers, John Wesley (a black point man), Charlie, and Bong Son Bridge express the warrior's spirit; Chanh Giao Cave, horror; Diggin a Hole, The Chaplain, and When's The Sun Gonna Shine On Camp Evans, fear; Charlie's Gone, my mystification at the NVA disappearance from Khe Sahn in 1968; You Ain't Alone, despair. I consider
The Chaplain
my best song of peace.

Together We Can Empty The South China Sea, It's A Long Row To Hoe, The Plague, and Sing A Toast express anger and frustration at the lack of popular support for the war.

Two newly-listed songs I wrote as battalion songwriter for the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, which was once commanded in Texas by Robert E. Lee. These songs are Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir) and We Are Saddled Up And Ready, Col. Robbie.

The rest are love songs. Mirage, Barbara, and I Needed A Girl Like Barbara were written for my wife, whom I met when I was in Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia and she was a student at Auburn University. We were married in Auburn three months before I went to Nam and are together today. Her letters and care packages helped "keep me going" during the war. Go to Sleep, is a lullaby I later sang to our children.
 
The war songs reflect my passions at a time when our nation was fighting to contain international Communism. Since then I have come to respect the views of those who opposed the war, which I now believe was a mistake. I am horrified at what indiscriminate shooting and bombing can do. Back then I was a hawk. Now I'm a dove.

I hope the songs "strike a chord" in you―soldiers and civilians alike―we who have fought so many wars together.

The song CD is complete, with arrangements and instrumentals by Franklin Taggart, a brilliant musician and musical magician (see www.franklintaggart.com) who added guitar, drums, and lots of other things. 
Look for the CD on CDbaby.com.
On CD Baby, you will be able to hear much of each song on the album. 

Richard Morris
RichardMorrisAuthor.com  


  Songs of War and Peace

   1. Skytroopers
   2. Charlie
   3. Bong Son Bridge
   4. Chanh Giao Cave  
(The Rockpile Operation)
   5. The Ballad Of John Wesley
   6. Diggin' A Hole*
   7. The Chaplain
   8. When’s The Sun Gonna Shine On Camp Evans?
   9. Charlie’s Gone From Khe Sahn
 (Operation Pegasus, 31 March 68)
  10. You Ain't Alone
  11. Smoking Hamlet (Together We Can Empty The South China Sea)
  12. It's A Long Row To Hoe
  13. Counting Bodies In The Nam (2007)

  Love Songs

  14. Mirage
  15. Barbara
  16. I Needed A Girl Like Barb'ra 
  17. I Got A Lonesome Me
  18. Go To Sleep
 (lullaby)
  19. Dandelion

  Unrecorded Songs

  Git On Home, Girl
  Summer Isn't Over Yet   
  Marci
  Sunny Days
  The Plague
  Sing A Toast

  I Am Infantry (I'd Rather Run)
  NEW! Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir)
  NEW! We Are Saddled Up And Ready, Col. Robbie

* "Diggin' A Hole" received a Finalist award in 2006 contest in the Vocal Jazz & Blues category of the 23rd Annual Mid-Atlantic Song Contest at the December 3, 2006 Gala at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia. See http://www.saw.org/masc.asp.

 

 
Songs of War and Peace

1. Skytroopers
© Richard A. Morris 1968

["Skytroopers" was the nickname of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)]
 

v. 1

We’re Skytroopers,
First Cav fighting men.
We’re mean and quick.
We coil like a cobra.
Strike like a cobra, yeah.

We’re Skytroopers.
Charlie hates to tangle with us
‘Cause when we put out the lead
He’s gonna wake up dead
Or he’s sure gonna wish he was.

We hop on a huey in a whirl of dust
And hit the friendly sky.
We pounce on Charlie with a vicious lust
And here’s why, why, why:

We’re Skytroopers
A swarm of dragon flies.
We got Charlie on the run
And it's almost fun
Just to hear his "Chieu Hoi" cries.

v. 2

We’re Skytroopers
Look at what we got:
We got ARA, air-mobile rockets.
We slip ‘em in their pockets, yeah.

We’re Skytroopers.
They say Nam is Charlie’s at night.
But we let Spooky play
And he makes night day
And his miniguns are out of sight.

Go-Go’s a dancin’ on invisible toes
Her fifties all a-flame.
Mike seven-niner streakin’ out o' her nose
Ain’t it a shame, shame, shame.

We’re Skytroopers
The baddest men in hell.
Ain’t nobody messes with the horse and belt.
If they do, they don’t live to tell.
‘Cause if they do, they just don’t live to tell.
 

2. Charlie
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[Charlie was a nickname for Viet Cong (VC) soldiers, taken from the phonetic alphabet—Victor Charlie—and also loosely applied to North Vietnamese Army soldiers (NVA).]
 

The mountains are porous ant hills where lurks the enemy
Deep inside he makes his nest or ‘neath the canopy.
The mountains float on banks of fog that throw a perfect screen.
He ventures out to prowl at night when he can move unseen.
Charlie, Charlie.

But still we kill him ten to one and keep him on the run.
We sniff and search and hunt him down beneath the blazing sun.
And then at night we set our lairs and wait until he comes.
He’s never beat the Cavalry and it never will be done.

Charlie, Charlie, give up.
 

3. Bong Son Bridge
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[The 2nd Battalion 5th Cavalry spent a week guarding the bridge across the Bong Son River after three weeks of combat assaults and patrols in the field. It was a pleasant time when soldiers received passes to town to drink, buy souvenirs, and engage in amorous pursuits.]

Let me tell you 'bout a bridge in Vietnam:
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
Just one lane wide and it aint' too long,
The Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
It's a vital link in Highway One:
The Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
And the Fifth Cav guards her like a jealous husband,
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.

There's a ninety trucker convoy a-comin' on
The Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
They started a-movin' at the break of dawn to
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
They've been churnin' up the dust down from old Qui Nhon.
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
And a -pullin' all the cargo that the Army lives on.
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.

Don't you try to blow it Cousin Charlie
'Cause you'll die if you try.
We've got the deadly Dusters leveled on you,
So goodbye.

Listen to the little girls a-sellin' beer at
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
"Hey you, GI, come and set right here" at
Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
"It's beaucoup cold for fifty P"
at Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
"It's number one and it cost Ti Ti"
at Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
at Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
at Bong Son (Bong Son), Bong Son Bridge.
at Bong Son!
 

4. Chanh Giao Cave
© Richard A. Morris 1967

[(Rockpile Operation): 23 Aug 67 through 3 Sep 67, A Co. 2/5 Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Div., trapped 74 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops in a rock pile near Bong Son. Over a 13-day siege, under the able leadership of Captain Clayton Pratt, the company killed 33 NVA soldiers, captured 41, and had one man wounded and none killed. The company received a congratulatory message from MG Tolson, CG, 1st Air Cav Div, Bong Son, RVN, 15 Sept. 1967.]
 

Chanh Giao Cave
A pile of boulders where they hid in the day.
Chanh Giao Cave
Their rocky fortress in the end made them slaves.

We caught them by surprise and laid siege to them at Chanh Giao Cave.
And never did our eyes leave those rat-holes for thirteen
days.

Chanh Giao Cave
They wounded Willie down at Chanh Giao Cave.
But we dropped grenades until their bravest man was deathly afraid.
Then one by one they shouted "Chieu Hoi" and climbed up and out of the cave,
Except the ones that met their father’s fathers down in Chanh Giao Cave.

Keep alert, watch that hole
There’s more where they come from.
Set right there, day and night till they’re beggin’ for a crumb.
Smell the stench of rotted men wedged in a stony bed.
Brush away them pesky flies; let ‘em know that you ain’t dead.

Time is on our side men.
There are frag wounds in their hide, men.
Hunger’s clawing them inside, men.
There’s one.
"Chieu hoi, chieu hoi, chieu hoi."

Chanh Giao cave
The day we left it, it was Chanh Giao grave.
Thirty-three NVA never saw again the bright light of day.
We gave them all the choice to live or die at Chanh Giao Cave.
But only forty-one said they would not end it all at Cahn Giao Cave.Chanh Giao Cave, Chanh Giao Cave.
 

5. The Ballad Of John Wesley
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[Pvt. E-1 John Wesley was a black point man in C Co. 2nd of the 5th Cavalry whose heroic feats were widely told. Those in this song may or may not be true.]

John Wesley
An old NVA belt on his steel pot
Gave warning: Charlie mess with me and death will be your lot.
And a boyish grin showed a golden tooth with a white enamel star.
On his pump shotgun ‘neath a brass Cav patch
he’d eleven notches carved.

John Wesley
It was five a.m. in foggy 506.
For him though, that old High Noon clock was counting deadly ticks.
As around the bend five NVA with their bad AKs did come.
And a woman’s voice ordered him "Lai dai" as she chambered up a round.
John Wesley, did he drop his gun and try to run away.
No he opened up and he turned them all to clay.

John Wesley
It was New Year’s day and a truce had been decreed.
In defense, he patrolled around his company FOB,
When he came upon three well-armed Cong, all comfortable and nice.
When they saw him there they boldly smiled and kept on munching rice.
John Wesley, did he blow his cool and fill the fools with lead?
No he opened up some Cs and dined instead.

John Wesley, John Wesley, John Wesley
 

6. Diggin' A Hole
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[This song received a Finalist award in the Vocal Jazz & Blues category of the 23rd Annual Mid-Atlantic Song Contest in Vienna, Virginia (2006). (www.saw.org/masc.asp). The song is about the foxholes and sleeping holes we dug everywhere we went—to stay alive.]
 

v. 1
Toss that spade down my way.
Got to slice me up some clay.
Over here, it ain't for play.
Diggin' a hole.

Swing that pick. Let it fly.
Bite that boulder, make it cry.
No one's gotta tell me why
I'm diggin' a hole.

Hell, no, Sergeant!
I ain't diggin' for China, no.
I ain't diggin' in my grave hole, either.
I'm just diggin' my way back home.

Stretch that back. Drive it down.
Eat that dust without a frown.
Raise an arm and wipe your brow.
Diggin' a hole.

v. 2
Now that shovel weighs a ton.
Twenty lashes from the sun.
When in hell will I be done?
Diggin' a hole.

Achin' muscles beg an' plead.
Burnin' blisters break and bleed.
Now my pick has lost its greed
for diggin' a hole.

Don't go quittin!
Just take a sip of this water cool.
Think about your old lady, will you?
Get back to diggin', you lazy fool.

When those rockets come my way
I'll lay here alone and pray
And be glad I spent the day
Diggin' a hole.
And be glad I spent the day
Diggin' a hole.
 

7. The Chaplain
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[A fictional story of a chaplain who suffers battle fatigue. ]
 

The Chaplain's goin' in today.
Got battle fatigue, they say.
The war has gotten to him.
The man is only human.
The Chaplain's goin' in today.

The Chaplain's goin' in today.
He saw some people blowed a-way.
He saw the stacks of plastic,
The mothers' sons in plastic,
And now he's goin' in today.

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord be with you and me.
The Chaplain stopped believin'
His mind and guts are grievin'
And now he will be leavin' the fray.

The Chaplain's goin' in today.
He's goin' to the rear to stay.
He humped the hills beside us.
He did his best to guide us.
But now he don't know what to say.

He humped the hills beside us.
He did his best to guide us.
But now he don't know what to say.
 

8. When’s the Sun Gonna Shine on Camp Evans?
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[During monsoon season, Camp Evans—the 1st Cav northern HQ base between Quang Tri and Hue—was socked-in and vulnerable to enemy mortar and rocket attack. Song takes place before Tet.]
 

When’s the Sun Gonna Shine on Camp Evans?
When’s the end of the mist comin’ on?
When’s the cloud gonna lift to the heavens?
It won’t be long. It won’t be long.

When will death say goodbye to Camp Evans?
When will mortars and rockets be gone?
When the sun shines again on Camp Evans.
It won’t be long. It won’t be long.

This cold monsoon’s a-crampin’ our style.
But don’t despair quite yet.
This’ll be Cav country in a short while.
We’ll win the north with sweat.

When will death say goodbye to Camp Evans.
When the birds see their way to the Cong.
When the sun shines again on Camp Evans.
It won’t be long. It won’t be long.
It won’t be long.
 

9. Charlie's Gone From Khe Sahn
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[(Operation Pegasus, 31 March 68) The 1st Cavalry Division launched Operation Pegasus to relieve the 3500 Marines and 2100 ARVN troops surrounded and under siege by 20,000 NVA troops at Khe Sanh near the DMZ. A Co. 2/5 landed on a hill denuded by Agent Orange with a 30-foot-wide bomb crater on top. Eerily, we found no enemy troops – only some discarded weapons – and presumed that the attack on the Marines had ended. Where was Charlie? Other companies saw days of tough combat. Overall, the division killed more than 1000 enemy; 19,000 fled.]

Charlie's Gone, Charlie's Gone, from Khe Sahn, from Khe Sahn.
When we got there, when we got there,
the Leathernecks were lyin' in the sun
and a-havin' fun, a-havin' fun,
and a-sippin' a long, cool one.
'Cause Charlie's gone.

Charlie's Gone, Charlie's Gone, from Khe Sahn, from Khe Sahn.
We'd like to think, we'd like to think, he heard the Cav was comin' and he run.
But there's more than that, there's more than that,
'Cause the jets are gettin' deadly with their bombs.

He didn't even say goodbye.
He didn't even pack his bags.
He didn't even say where he was goin' knowin'
We'd want to pay a visit to him soon.

Charlie's Gone, Charlie's Gone, from Khe Sahn, from Khe Sahn.
We're moppin up, we're moppin' up
his weapons by the hundred these days.
But no KIAs, no KIAs and no pris'ners are we gettin' from the caves
Cause Charlie's gone.
Adieu.
 

10. You Ain't Alone
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[Soldier blues in Vietnam]
 

Do you ever feel
neither here nor there,
Kind of in between,
Sort of up in the air:
Like you don't know where you come from
And you don't know where to go?
Well, brother, if you feel that way,
You ain't alone.

Do you ever feel
People don't understand,
Kind of like you're lost
In a foreign land
Where no one knows your language
And no one cares to know?
Well, brother, if you feel that way,
You ain't alone.

I been gone a long time, so far away from home,
And I hear it callin' me back from my aimless roam.
But I know I can't go back--there's nothin' there to find,
'Cause I know, the past is only in the mind.

Do you ever feel
Kind of cold inside,
'Cause the joy of life has finally died,
And you can't love anybody
'Cause there's no blood in a stone.
Well, brother, if you feel that way,
You ain't alone.
 

11. Smoking Hamlet (Together We Can Empty The South China Sea)
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[Inspired by a "Stars and Stripes" article about the Vietcong destruction of a Montagnard village in the Central Highlands]

We moved into a smoking hamlet at the break of day.
The hooches lay in dying embers. Gone their roofs of clay.
The cattle lay in bloody pools awaiting their decay.
The only sound the crackling embers gorging down their prey.

A shadow moved and snapped a twig. I jerked my rifle high.
An aged man with placid visage soon came hobbling by.
Without a fear he came to me and gave the reason why.
The VC kidnapped everyone and left him there to die.

Quietly he said to me.

Together we can empty the South China Sea
And move the purple mountains with one bold decree.
Together we can make every bamboo viper flee.
Together you and I can be free.
 

12. It's A Long Row To Hoe (Marching Song)
© Richard A. Morris 1967

[Expresses determination and anger at the lack of support by people at home]
 

It's a long row to hoe. It's a long march to clover.
It's a bloody bad road, but our spirit is high.
Got a long way to go, but we'll stay till it's over,
And nobody will say we didn't try.
We will try. We will try.
And nobody will say we didn't try.
Got a long way to go, but we'll stay till it's over,
And nobody will say we didn't try.

It's a long row to hoe for the supper tomorrow.
Gotta plow, plant, and hoe, and the weeds we must kill.
And for freedom to grow, it must be watered with sorrow.
It's a long way to winning but we will.
But we will. But we will.
It's a long way to winning, but we will.
And for freedom to grow, it must be watered with sorrow.
It's a long way to winning but we will.

It's a long row to hoe when nobody's behind you.
It'a a backbreaking load when they curse you at home.
But how can you say "quit" with the past to remind you.
Oh, we'll win it if we have to all alone.
All alone. All alone.
Oh, we'll win it if we have to all alone.
But how can you say "quit" with the past to remind you.
Oh, we'll win it if we have to all alone.

It's a long row to hoe and our grief we must swallow,
but we're not all alone, for the sun is still bright.
And the seed that we sow is for the children that follow.
With our honor to guide us, we will fight.
We will fight. We will fight.
With our honor to guide us, we will fight.
And the seed that we sow is for the children that follow.
With our honor to guide us, we will fight.
 

13. Counting Bodies In the Nam
© Richard A. Morris 2007

[A tribute to the practice in Vietnam of counting friendly and enemy soldiers killed in action and calculating kill ratios to measure success in battle. I never witnessed the shenanigans that could have occurred in counting bodies more than once or counting bodies that we found. The song is an intro to my critically-praised Vietnam War novel, Cologne No. 10 For Men, available from online booksellers such as www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesAndNoble.com . Also see www.RichardMorrisAuthor.com.]
 

V. 1
Counting bodies in the Nam 
   to prove that we have won.
So what if we don’t control the land
   and give it right back to Charlie again.
Cause land don’t count at all – just – the bodies.
And we don’t have to kill ‘em to count ‘em, no.
Doo, doo Doo, doo Doo,

v.2
Find a body, claim it quick
   in a hamlet or a crick.
In a grave   we’ll dig it up
   and add it to the glorious sum.
To raise our kill ratio
It’s their dead over ours, you know.
The proof that we’re ahead.
As long as we ain’t dead.

Illusion, delusion.
The kill rat tells the truth, we know.
Ten to one says we’re winning, yeah,
Even if all hell is beginning.
Doo, doo Doo, doo Doo.

v.3

Counting bodies in the Nam  
   to prove that we have won.
And we don’t really have to kill anyone. 
   Just count ‘em dead and add ‘em up.
We can even count ‘em more than once
'Cause it’s only the count that counts, you dunce.
Till pacification lets us stop counting
And pacification lets us stop killing.
But there will be no peace until we leave.
Yes, there will be no peace until we leave.


Love Songs

I met my wife Barbara when I was in Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and she was a student at Auburn University. We were married in Auburn three months before I went to Nam. Her letters and care packages helped "keep me going" during the war.

14. Mirage
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[I wrote this one on a sand dune by the South China Sea.]

First I saw you standing there
With your dark and windy hair
Gazing out upon a lonely blue sea.
Then I shouted through the ocean's roar and ran to you.
But you vanished like a wave upon the beach.

Then I saw you in the night
When the glow of city light
Was reflected through a mist upon the street.
But your face became another as I spoke to you,
And another time I tasted bittersweet.

You are my mirage.
You come and play with me,
Then are gone.
Come back, my mirage.
Run away with me
To the dawn.

Though we're half a world apart
There's a wizard in my heart
That creates you for a moment anywhere.
And my love gets ever stronger at the sight of you
Though you always fade away into thin air.
Come again my sweet mirage.
 

15. Barbara
© Richard A. Morris 1968

"Barbara, I love you
and I always will, oh
Barbara, I’ll be true,"
sang the whippoorwill.

High on the sky above
in the peaceful night, he
flew to her and on her
windowsill did light.

A lonely soldier far across the sea
had sent him on his journey,
But Barbara lay in slumber deep
dreaming of his return.

"Barbara, I love you
and I always will, oh
Barbara, I’ll be true,"
sang the whippoorwill.

(repeat)

They met at last, the
girl and boy.
Her tearful face was
flushed with joy.
The whippoorwill sailed high above
Guarding over their love.

"Oh, Barbara, I love you
and I always will, oh
Barbara, I’ll be true,"
sang the whippoorwill.
 

16. I Needed A Girl Like Barb’ra
© Richard A. Morris 1968

She liked my world and liked my dreams and
I liked hers and so it seemed that
Somewhere she decided to love me, and
Happily I took my cue.
I made up my mind to love her too.

I needed a girl like Barb’ra to
walk with hand in hand, to
help me on the perilous journey
to our promised land, to
help me laugh at the failures, and
learn and try again, to
never let my heart get old and
tired before the end.

I needed a girl like Barb’ra to
know me as I am, to
be a mirror to my soul and
see through any sham, to
help me know my weakness, and
bring out what is strong, to
light a candle in my darkness
when the night is long.

With faith in dreams that seem absurd she’ll
keep my hope alive.
The power of a loving word will
keep me going, reaching, growing,
loving.

I needed a girl like Barb’ra to
find eternal life in
what we give our children and in
what we give mankind. To
help make our gift to the future be
good and true and right. For
all these things I needed Barb’ra
for my only wife.
 

17. I Got A Lonesome Me
© Richard A. Morris 1968

I got lonesome, lonesome ears that long to hear you.
I got lonesome, lonesome eyes that want to get you in view.
I got lonesome, loverly lips that wanta plant on you a passionate kiss
But worst of all I got lonesome me and it's lonesome for you.
 

I got a lonesome, lonesome nose that wants a whiff of your perfume.
I got a lonesome, lonesome tongue that wants to sweet-talk you.
I got a lonesome itchy old back that's gonna drive me mad if you don't give it a scratch.
But worst of all I got lonesome me and it's lonesome for you.

I got lonesome, lonesome hands that want to feel your silky skin.
I got lonesome, lonesome arms that want to hug you till you grin.
I got a stomach that craves your groovy food and feet to put you in a dancin' mood.
But worst of all I got lonesome me and it's lonesome for you.
 

18. Go To Sleep
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[a lullaby I later sang to our children. Hear Rick and Audrey’s version on their award-winning kids’ CD, Imagine That, at www.rickandaudrey.com.]
 

Go to sleep, little one.
Count your sheep, pretty one.
Daddy's near, mommy's near.
Go to sleep.

Say your prayers, little one.
Your Father cares, pretty one.
Till the dawn, while you're gone,
He will care.

Fly away on pillow wings to
little people land,
Where the weeping willow sings and
little kings command

And when the sun
wakes up the day
Say goodbye, come
home to play.
But for now, kiss my brow,
Go to sleep.
 

19. Dandelion
© Richard A. Morris 1968

[one for the flower people]
 

v. 1
Hey! Dandelion.
People call you a weed,
But you're pretty indeed.
Just as bright as the sun.

Hey, Dandelion.
They must drive you away
If you cannot obey
It's your freedom that they shun.

When you see they're itchin' to smother you,
Then you figure you better fade,
So you hitch a ride on a friendly breeze, summer breeze,
And you blow your mind away.

Hey, Dandelion,
They will see you again
May they love you then,
You indomitable one.

v. 2
Hey! Dandelion.
People call you a weed,
But you're pretty indeed.
Just as bright as the sun.

Hey! Dandelion.
They can't make you their slave,
For you follow a crave,
And you're always findin' fun.

But when it gets so old as to smother you
Everything is telling you, "fade."
There will come a breeze caressing you, cooling you,
Who will blow your mind away.

Hey, Dandelion.
Come and visit with me
And I'll let you be free,
You indomitable one.

Dandelion. Yeah-yeah, yeah!

 

Unrecorded Songs

Git On Home, Girl
© Richard A. Morris 1968

v. 1
Git on home, girl.
I'm tired of your pretty face.
I'm tired of sighs
And desperate eyes.
Go on and leave this place.

Our love's dead and gone, girl.
Leave it rest in peace.
The grass has grown
Above the stone.
It's time for lies to cease.

In spring we yearned
But summer burned
And Autumn stripped it bare.
The snows have come
To hide what's done
And tell you I don't care.

Now, git on home, girl.
It's gettin' awful late.
Go and pack
And git on back
And honey, shut the gate.

v. 2
Git on home, girl.
Our sun and moon have set.
The stars above
That bore our love
Have vanished in regret.
Don't ask me no questions
There ain't no reason why.
Save them tears
For listenin' ears.
There ain't no use to cry.

The road behind us
Made us blind
And beckoned at every bend.
But can't you see,
Honestly,
The sign that says, "Dead-End"?

Now, git on home, girl.
It's time to start off new.
Shed that black
And git on back
And honey...I did love you.
 

Summer Isn't Over Yet
© Richard A. Morris 1968

Back in June, life was like a trip through the sky.
Fun and kicks seemed to grab you like a jet.
Fast and far, you could never dream you would cry.
Never think, "Summer isn't over yet."

Hot July: love came in a tunnel of spray.
With him you weren't afraid of getting wet.
Yesterday and tomorrow drifted away
And with them, "Summer isn't over yet."

August days. Heaven pays. Tardy time returns to haunt you.
Now you pray. Now you wonder, "Will he always love me, or will it all end?"

September makes you heave a desperate sight.
Foolishly, every hope you have you bet.
Right till the moment that he tells you, "Goodbye,"
You still cry, "Summer isn't over yet."
You still lie, "Summer isn't over yet."
You still shout, "Summer can't be over yet."
 

Marci
© Richard A. Morris 1968

["Who’s Marci," my adult daughters ask suspiciously.
"She’s no one. I couldn’t write another song named ‘Barbara.’"]

Marci, you're the girl that I long to know.
Marci, I see you everywhere I go.
Marci, let me enter the world of your smile and laughter.
Marci, unpredictable miracles
Happen when I think about loving you.

Marci, come and sweep me away to your Shangri-la.
I see you and suddenly darling my heart skips a beat.
I hear you and choirs of angels your words repeat and repeat.

Marci, there's a devilish grin on you.
Marci, just a whisper of sin in you.
Let me solve the mystery hid in your heart.

You're the dream that passes through my mind when I sleep.
You're the fresh, warm breath of spring that I long to keep.
Marci, let me wrap up you heart in mine.
Marci, let me taste your bewitching wine.
Marci, you're the girl that I know I will love.
Marci, you're the girl that I know I will love.
 

Sunny Days
© Richard A. Morris 1968

Darling, do you ever think of the sunny days
When we were together so in love, back in the honey days?Oh if your soul remembers
And still I stir the embers
Then come, come, come, come.

Darling, I have often longed for the sunny days
When alone we lingered in the dunes, caught by the honey days
That can return tomorrow
If you chance a little sorrow
And come, come, come, come.

Once I was a frozen brook
And you, you the winds of spring that took
The chill from my silent, immobile form.
Ah, but I was young -- I ran away
To feel the cold once more today.
I want you again with me -- warm, forever.

Darling, if you never think of the sunny days,
Give your heart a parting moment there, back in the honey days,
And if you hear them call you
And if you feel them draw you,
Then come, come, come, come, come.
 

The Plague
© Richard A. Morris 1968

Where is the roar of cheering crowds to send us on our way?Where is the love of victory for freedom's right-of-way?
When will the band get out and play, "When Johnnie Comes Marching Home"?
When will the plague pass away.

Where is the anger for trait'rous men who dare to burn our flag?
Where is disgust for cowards all who dodge the draft and brag?
Where is the mettle that makes us persevere when things get tough?
When will the plague pass away.

The plague makes us despise the land that we love.
The plague blinds our eyes to the truth and the light above.
The plague turns us against our leaders and ourselves.
The plague makes us a nation of elves.

Silently it eats away the courage of a people brave
and chains the brain and turns the soul to clay.

Where is the love whose child is hate of those who make men slaves?
Where is respect for those who die their brothers' lives to save?
Where is the God who gave us faith to boldly act for the right?
When will the plague pass away?
When will the plague pass away?
 

Sing a Toast
© Richard A. Morris 1968

v. 1
Gather round you citizens,
Wise old veterans,
Sing a toast with me now.
For the boys lie bleeding and
Sorely needing a
Word to boost their morale.

You have sent us packing to
Give a shellacking to
Freedom's latter-day foes.
Now they burn our banner and
Call us killers and to
Victory they cry, "No!"

CHORUS:

Of the Stars and Stripes we'll hear no gripes
Till they lay us under the ground.
If you ain't got guts then pass the nuts and
Toss another one down.

v. 2
Sing a toast to soldiers all
Who at Freedom's call,
Lay their lives on the line.
May the eye of history
Show their gallantry
When the war is behind.

Sing a toast to GI Joe."
"Why" he doesn't know.
Duty drives him inside.
Though he whispers "FTA"*
He'll fight all the way
For his country with pride.

*(F---The Army)

CHORUS

v. 3

Sing a toast to men that bomb
Northern Vietnam.
Lead-filled skyways they roam.
May they keep their courage
Through tons of verbiage
The doves aim at them from home.

Sing a Toast to girls that wait
At the whim of Fate
For their men to return.
May they know their bitter pain
Will not be in vain
If our will does not turn.

CHORUS

v. 4
Sing a toast to Vietnamese
Brothers valiantly
Giving all for their land.
May they have their liberty
And tranquility.
May they fearlessly stand.

Sing a toast to mother earth
Who gave sacred birth
To a bickering brood.
May the old girl live to see
Man live peacefully
Sharing her bounteous food.

CHORUS
 

I Am Infantry (I'd Rather Run)
© Richard A. Morris 1968

I met a sailer in a bar. He
asked me if I liked to run so far.
He sang of sailing ships at sea, and
told me, "Burn your boots and come with me!"
He told me of Halsey and John Paul Jones.
I laughed and felt an itching in my bones.
I raised my fist and gave him one, singin'
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!"

Ta-da-room-ta-da-room-ta-dun.
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

I met a Jarhead on a bus.
I really didn't want to make a fuss,
But he said Dwight D. was a dud.
How could let the gyrene sling such mud?
I turned him topsy and by his feet
I bounced his cranium on every seat.
I threw him out the door in fun, singin'
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

Ta-da-room-ta-da-room-ta-dun.
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

I saw a tanker in a tree.
Said he, "Please save me from the enemy.
"I caught a round and lost a track.
"Then all my ammo fell right off the rack.
"The fire works that followed were a sight to see.
They blew me out the turret into this here tree.
A metal coffin is no fun.
I'll be Infantry, I'd rather run!

Ta-da-room-ta-da-room-ta-dun.
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

A cannoncocker came my way.
I asked him "How-itz-er ears today?"
He didn't hear or couldn't smile.
He looked like a mummy from along the Nile.
He'd laid in a round right upon our troops.
He'd phoned regrets with a timid, "Ooops."
Ten thousand legs o'erran his gun, singin'
"We are Infantry, you'd better run!"

Ta-da-room-ta-da-room-ta-dun.
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

I met a young girl on a pass.
I've never seen a cuter little lass.
She sighed and warmed right up to me.
She said, "I go for the Infantry."
We hopped in a car and we took a spin."
She asked me coyly what I thought of sin.
I said, "I think it's lots of fun, but
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!"

Ta-da-room-ta-da-room-ta-dun.
I am Infantry, I'd rather run!

 

New Listing!
Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir)
© Richard A. Morris 1968

(I wrote this for the Black Knights of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment – formerly called the 5th Cavalry)

Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir)

The time has come to fight

Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir)

To battle for the right

For the motherland that raised us all

For the freedom that we have

For the colors that will never fall

The fighting 5th Cav

Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready, Sir)

Let the bugle blow

Saddle Up, Black Knights

To victory we go

 

Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready Sir)

Through history we’ll ride

Down the valiant trail we have cut

And on which knights have died

First to win our country’s western land

Then to keep our country one

Then to make men free in every land

Beneath the sun

Saddle Up, Black Knights (Ready Sir)

On a horse or tank or bird

Saddle Up, Black Knights

Forever will be heard.

 

 

New Listing! 
We Are Saddled Up And Ready,
Col. Robbie

© Richard A. Morris 1968

(Robert E. Lee commanded the 5th Cavalry in Texas before assuming commands for the Confederacy)

 

We are saddled up and ready, Col. Robbie

We are saddled up and ready, Col. Lee

And there’s not a man between us

We’d rather lead us

We’d follow you to Hades, Col. Lee

 

We are riding over Texas, Col. Robbie

To make it safe for settlers, Col. Lee

We’ll fight the fierce Apaches

Cheyennes and Comanches

The Indians will know the name of Lee

 

The Mexicans have crossed the Rio Grande

The bandits loot and pillage every day

We’ll chase them down the border

Teach them law and order

And make them all obey you, Col. Lee

 

You joined the rebel army, Col. Robbie

To command Virginia’s forces, Col. Lee

Now some will fight beside you

And some against you

But all will still respect you, Col. Lee

 

We are saddled up and ready, Col. Robbie

We are saddled up and ready, Col. Lee

And there’s not a man between us

We’d rather lead us

We’d follow you to Hades, Col. Lee

 

 

 

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For paintings by Sy Mohr, see http://www.symohrgallery.net.  For jazz paintings (Jazz Series) and civil rights paintings (Civil Rights Series) by William C. Byers and African-American notecards and jazz prints in Stephanie's Store, see http://www.byersgallery.net.