History in a song. . .

It’s been so long since I’ve updated History in a Song but a local radio DJ took the time on November 8, 2013 to remind all listeners about what happened on that date back in 1965. Thanks to the country music duo Big & Rich, we have 8th of November:

Said goodbye to his mamma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
He was nineteen and green with a new M-16
Just doing what he had to do.

He was dropped in the jungle
Where the choppers would rumble
With the smell of napalm in the air.
And the sergeant said, “Look up ahead”

Like a dark, evil cloud
1,200 came down
on him and 29 more.
They fought for their lives
But most of them died
In the 173rd Airborne.

(Chorus)
On the 8th of November,
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November.

Now he’s fifty-eight
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 his 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
And swallows it down with his tears.

(Chorus)
On the 8th of November,
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November.

Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965.

(Chorus)
On the 8th of November,
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standing that day.

(Chorus)
On the 8th of November,
The angels were crying
As they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down
And the Hell all around,
There were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November.

The 8th of November
The 8th of November

He said goodbye to his mamma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
He was nineteen and green with a new M-16
Just doing what he had to do.

———————————————————-

Huge Thank You to my friend Elizabeth for

1). Checking out History in a Song and 2). suggesting Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag.

I red-heart Johnny Cash so this was another one of those ‘duh’ moments where I realized her suggestion was perfect!

Ragged Old Flag

ARTIST: Johnny Cash

TITLE: Ragged Old Flag

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin’ there.
I said, “Your old court house is kinda run down,
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town”.
I said, “Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hangin’ on it”.
He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down,
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town”
I said, “I think it is”
He said “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
Writing “Say Can You See
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
Tugging at it’s seams.
And It almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag

“On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
By her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit wavin’ back here at home
In her own good land here She’s been abused,
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied an’ refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearin’ thin,
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in.
Cause she’s been through the fire before
And i believe she can take a whole lot more.

“So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag”

—————————————————————–

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to HISTORY  in a SONG and when I remembered this song it was one of those “duh!” moments. How could I have forgotten about this song. . .it has so many history topics/people/places all in one song!

We Didn’t Start the Fire

ARTIST: Billy Joel
TITLE: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

{Refrain}
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokoffiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, “Peyton Place,” trouble in the Suez

{Refrain}

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge on the River Kwai”
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, “Ben Hur,” space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, “Psycho,” Belgians in the Congo

{Refrain}

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
“Lawrence of Arabia,” British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say

{Refrain}

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moon shot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune,” Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone, will it still burn on and on and on and on

————————————————————————————————————-

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

On November 10, 1975, the ore-hauling ship Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew of 29 vanished during a storm in Lake Superior. Composer and singer Gordon Lightfight commemorated the tragedy via the hit “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (from his 1976 album “Summertime Dream”).

If you’ve been to Lake Superior it’s almost like being at the ocean. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald link will take you to a video on YouTube and the last half of the video takes you underwater where the wreckage rests today.

This link will take you to the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald website.

Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald lyrics

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That big ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship’s bell rang
Could it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T’was the witch of November come stealin’.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin’.
When afternoon came it was freezin’ rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’.
Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it’s been good t’know ya
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/g/gordon-lightfoot-lyrics/wreck-of-the-edmund-fitzgerald-lyrics.html ]

The captain wired in he had water comin’ in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay
If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors’ Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call ‘Gitche Gumee’.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!

——————————————————————————————–

 ‘Whiskey Willie’

I love Bluegrass music and after listening to ‘Whiskey Willie’ on my iPod this weekend, I realized “Ah ha! Another entry for History in a Song!”    🙂

This song talks about Whiskey Willie selling his brew to soldiers during the Civil War. I’ve included the lyrics below and you can listen to a snippit of the track here.

WHISKEY WILLIE (Charlie Sizemore)
By: Tom T. Hall (BMI)
Dixie Hall (BMI)


VERSE 1: HE MADE WHISKEY BY THE BARREL
BY THE GALLON AND BY THE JAR
AND HE SOLD IT TO THE SOLDIERS
IN THAT AWFUL CIVIL WAR
TO THE REBELS TO THE YANKEES
HE SOLD WHISKEY NORTH AND SOUTH
FROM WASHINGTON DOWN TO RICHMOND
AND HE SAID HE DIDN’T KNOW
WHAT THAT OLE WAR WAS ALL ABOUT

CHORUS: WHISKEY WILLIE BRING YOUR WAGON
COME AND FILL UP MY DEMIJOHN ( —-> It is a glass or plastic vessel used in fermenting beverages such as wine, mead, and beer)
WHISKEY WILLIE BRING YOUR WAGON
AND WE’LL KEEP RIGHT ON A FIGHTING
‘TIL THE BATTLE HAS BEEN WON

VERSE 2: BOBBY LEE WAS NOT A DRINKER
JACKSON SCORNED THE DEVIL’S BREW
GRANT SAID WILLIE BRING US WHISKEY
AND WE’LL PAY THE DEVIL’S DUE
TO THE UNION TO THE FREE STATES
WILLIE SOLD HIS WHISKEY SHINE
WHEN THE SOLDIERS SAW HIM COMING
THEY WOULD WAVE AND THEY WOULD HOLLER
AND HE’D DRIVE RIGHT THROUGH THE LINES

VERSE 3: WHISKEY WILLIE HAD A WOMAN
NEVER WAS THERE ONE MORE TRUE
SHE COULD DRIVE HIS TEAM AND WAGON
HELP HIM SELL THE WHISKEY TOO
WAS A FINE COOK MAKING SOUR MASH
THAT’S WHAT MOUNTAIN WOMEN’S FOR
EVERY TIME SHE LEFT THE CABIN
WILLIE SAID YOU KEEP YOUR PANTS ON
AND REMEMBER THIS IS WAR

VERSE 4: WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARED AND THEY MADE PEACE
RECONSTRUCTION WAS ITS NAME
ALL THE YANKEES CELEBRATED
AND THE REBELS LIVED IN SHAME
WHISKEY WILLIE NEVER DID KNOW
WHY THEY HAD THAT AWFUL SPAT
BUT HE KEPT ON SELLING WHISKEY
SAYS YOU GOTTA STAY HALF DRUNK
TO KEEP ON KILLING FOLKS LIKE THAT

————————————————————————————-

‘Louisiana 1927’

I wanted to find another historical event interpreted through music and I found ‘Louisiana 1927’ written by Randy Newman.

This song addresses the Mississippi River flood of 1927.

Lyrics: What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through cleard down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

CHORUS
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tyrin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, “Little fat man isn’t it a shame what the river has
done
To this poor crackers land.”

CHORUS

Short silent film produced by the Signal Corps of the Mississippi flood of 1927.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

‘Me & Paul Revere’

Michele Norris talks with Steve Martin about his Fourth of July song, “Me & Paul Revere,” sung from the point of view of the horse. He will perform it live on “A Capitol Fourth” — and for Michele.

One thought on “History in a song. . .

  1. Pingback: 8th of November 1965 | Hungry4History

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