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Lyr Req: I Was Only 19

14 Nov 98 - 05:07 PM (#45383)
Subject: i was only 19
From: filanon

i'm probably in the wrong place to ask but i realy need the lyrics to this song

"I was only 19"

the song is Australian, it refers to a man and his experiences in the Vietnam war.

As far as i can tell the artist was Redgum (or Green??)

cheers mate

15 Nov 98 - 05:48 PM (#45505)
Subject: RE: i was only 19
From: Ted from Australia

The artist was Redgum.
Have you tried searching the DT?

16 Nov 98 - 05:35 AM (#45583)
Subject: Lyr Add: I WAS ONLY 19 (A WALK IN THE LIGHT...)^^
From: Benjamin Bodhra/nai/


Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal,
It was a long march from cadets.
And the 6th Battalion was the next to tour it was me who drew the straw,
We did Kunundra, Shoalwater before we left,
And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay,
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean,
And there's me in me slouch hat with me SLR and Greens,
God help me I was only 19

Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust of Nui Dat,
We'd been in and out of choppers now for months,
And we made our tents our homes, VB, and pin-ups on the lockers,
And an Agent Orange sunset through the scrub.

And can you tell me doctor why I still can't get to sleep,
Why the night-times just a jungle dark with a barking M-16,
And what's this rash that comes and goes can you tell me what it means,
God help me, I was only 19

4 week operations where each step could mean your last one on two legs,
It was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn't let your mates down till they had you dusted off,
So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.
And the someone yelled out "Contact!", and the bloke behind me swore,
We looked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar,
And Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the Moon,
God help me, He was going home in June.

And I can still see Frankie drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel,
On a 36 hour rec leave in Vung Tau,
And I can still hear Frankie lying screaming in the jungle,
Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row.

And the ANZAC legend didn't mention mud and blood and tears,
And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real,
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel,
God help I was only 19

And can you tell me doctor why I still can't get to sleep,
And why the Channel 7 chopper chills me to my feet,
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means,
God help me I was only 19.

(A walk in the light green, in the title) refers to operational patrols in areas marked light green on topo maps. Darl green meant lots of jungle, lots of cover, and not a lot of mines. Light Green meant thinly wooded areas, stuff all cover and heaps of mines.)

26 Nov 98 - 11:18 AM (#46857)
Subject: RE: i was only 19

Some explanation of terms(for non Aussies)- Unlike the US, the Australian Army rotated military units through Vietnam for what was usually a 12 month tour of duty. The US of course rotated individuals...anyway Puckapunyal(Pucka)- was amongst other things a recruit training depot. C(k)unundra- at the time it was a Jungle warfare training centre. Shoalwater(Bay)- military training area Slouch hat- type of head-dress unique to the Australian Army. SLR- Self Loading Rifle, 7.62mm. Based on the Belguim FN assault rifle. Was semi-automatic only. VB- Victoria Bitter or "Vitamin B". The most popular beer in Oz. Dusted off- evacuated for medical reasons ...and the ANZAC legend...-interesting line as the "ANZAC legend" which was based primarily on Aussie deeds in WW1 did mention a fair amount about blood a death(see blokes like C.E.W.Bean) Channel 7 chopper- channel 7 is on of the 3 main commercial stations in Australia although it goes now go under different names(eg "Win") in rural areas.