The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #72923   Message #1260499
Posted By: Joe Offer
31-Aug-04 - 04:50 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Tall and Proud (Peggy Seeger)
Subject: ADD: Tall and Proud (Ewan MacColl)
Tall and Proud
(Ewan MacColl, 1970)
tune: "Lynchburg Town"

Our boys are standing tall out there,
Full of guts and pride—
Except the ones who can't stand up,
The ones who went and died.

Knew a guy was crazy keen
To have a piece of land—
Now he's got six feet of earth
In far-off Vietnam.

Poor wayfarin' stranger,
Rambling through the town
Draft board sent him overseas
And laid that poor boy down.

Our boys are standing tall and proud
And some are lying flat,
The honoured guests at barbecues
Where only worms get fat.

Joe Baker talked of raising wheat
Under Kansas skies-—-
Now shoots of rice are growing
From the sockets of his eyes.

Knew a guy from Fresno
A Chicano poor as dirt—
Now he's lying in a ditch
With a medal on his shirt.

Our boys are standing tall and proud
Sons of Uncle Sam -
Bringing the 'merican way of life
To backward Vietnam.

Big Bill, a black from Harlem,
Demanded equal rights—
He got 'em when they buried him
With half a dozen whites.

Knew a certain traveller,
Came from Arkansas—-
Travelled straight into his grave
In Nixon's dirty war.

Our boys are standing tall and proud
Rifles in their hands—
Wondering why the hell they're fighting
In this foreign land.

To help United Steel survive.
Kovalski fought and bled—--
The shareholders are doing fine
But Joe Kovalski's dead.

Black kid from Atlanta,
Serving Uncle Sam—
Died for General Motors
In the fields of Vietnam.

Knew a guy from Texas
Name of Billy Doyle-- -
Died in the Mekong Delta
Defending Standard Oil.

The white man drafts the black man
To fight the yellow guy,
To defend the red man's land he stole
Way back in the by and by.

Our boys are standing tall and proud,
Piling up the dead—
And with every peasant hut they burn
The east glows deeper red.

from the Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook

The song is on a 1973 Rounder cassette called At the Present Moment, by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. I gather there is no recording of the song available on CD.

Click to play