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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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Lest we forget ... 19 by Paul Hardcastle
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly
I have been taking a trip down memory lane via songs that I knew and loved during the 80s and 90s. I thought it was worth running this story because I am of the firm belief that this is exactly what we are doing to our British troops currently serving out in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Photo credit: http://www.musicstack.com/records-cds/paul+hardcastle


In this June 18, 1965 file photo, an unidentified U.S. Army soldier wears a hand lettered “War Is Hell” slogan on his helmet, in Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
Photo credit: http://www.inspirefirst.com/2011/06/14/vietnam-war-ended-april-30-1975/

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

"19" is a song by British musician Paul Hardcastle released as the first single from his self-titled third studio album Paul Hardcastle (1985).

The song has a strong anti-war message, focusing on America's involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served. The track was notable for early use of sampled and processed speech, in particular a stutter effect used on the words "n-n-n-n-nineteen" and "d-d-d-d-destruction". It also includes various non-speech samples such as crowd noise and a military bugle call.

"19" features sampled narration (by Peter Thomas), interview dialogue ("I wasn't really sure what was going on") and news reports from Vietnam Requiem, an ABC television documentary about the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by veterans.

Nineteen topped the pop charts in the UK for five weeks and reached the top twenty in the US, where it also topped the dance chart. For a while, it was the top selling single in thirteen countries (helped by the fact that versions of the song were recorded in French, Spanish, German and Japanese), and it received the Ivor Novello award for Bestselling Single Of 1985.

The title "19" comes from the documentary's claim that the average age of an American combat soldier in the war was 19, as compared to the claim of World War II's 26. This claim has since been disputed. Undisputed statistics do not exist, although Southeast Asia Combat Area Casualties Current File (CACCF), the source for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, shows a large number of deaths (38%) were ages 19 or 20. According to the same source, 23 is the average age at time of death (or declaration of death). The song also comments that while the tour of duty was longer during WWII, soldiers in Vietnam were subject to hostile enemy fire almost every day.


The strain of battle for Dong Xoai is shown on the face of U.S. Army Sgt. Philip Fink, an advisor to the 52nd Vietnamese Ranger battalion, shown June 12, 1965. The unit bore the brunt of recapturing the jungle outpost from the Viet Cong. (AP Photo/Steve Stibbens) - source: blogs.denverpost.com
Photo credit: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/13476480@N07/5157526794/

The full lyrics of 19 are reproduced below:

19 by Paul Hardcastle

They fought the longest war in American history (x2)

In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war,
but it wasn't.
It was different in many ways, and so were those that did the fighting.
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26 ...
In Vietnam he was 19.
In inininininin Vietnam he was 19.

(TV announcer's voice)
The shooting and fighting of the past two weeks continued today
25 miles west of Saigon
I really wasn't sure what was going on (Vet's Voice)

Nininini Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19
19,19,19,19

In Vietnam the combat soldier typically served a twelve month tour of duty but
was exposed to hostile fire almost everyday
Ninininininininininin 19 nininininninin 19

Hundreds of Thousands of men who saw heavy combat in Vietnam were arrested
since discharge
Their arrest rate is almost twice that of non-veterans of the same age.
There are no accurate figures of how many of these men have been incarcerated.
But, a Veterans Administration study concludes that the greater Vets
exposure to combat could more likely affect his chances of being arrested or
convicted.

This is one legacy of the Vietnam War

(Singing Girls)
All those who remember the war
They won't forget what they've seen ...
Destruction of men in their prime
whose average was 19
Dedededededede-Destruction
Dedededededede-Destruction
War, War
Dededede-Destruction, wa-wa-War, wa-War, War
Dedededededede-Destruction
War, War

After World War II the Men came home together on troop ships, but the Vietnam
Vet often arrived home within 48 hours of jungle combat
Perhaps the most dramatic difference between World War II and Vietnam was
coming home ... none of them received a hero's welcome
None of them received a heroes welcome, none of them, none of them
Nenene Nenene None of them, none of them, none of them (etc...)
None of them received a hero's welcome
None of them received a hero's welcome

According to a Veteran's Administration study
Half of the Vietnam combat veterans suffered from what Psychiatrists call
Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder
Many vets complain of alienation, rage, or guilt
Some succumb to suicidal thoughts
Eight to Ten years after coming home almost eight-hundred-thousand men are
still fighting the Vietnam War

(Singing Girls)
Dedededededede-Destruction

Nininininininininin Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19
19,19,19,19
Nininininininininin Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19
19,19,19,19

(Soldiers Voice)
When we came back it was different.. Everybody wants to know "How'd it
happened to those guys over there
There's gotta be something wrong somewhere
We did what we had to do
There's gotta be something wrong somewhere
People wanted us to be ashamed of what it made us
Dad had no idea what he went to fight and he is now
All we want to do is come home
All we want to do is come home
What did we do it for
All we want to do is come home
Was it worth it?

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I remember this very well. In fact it comes to mind every time I hear the word '19'. I was 26 when the song came out. These days, with a son of my own who will be nineteen on his next birthday, it makes me shudder.

"I remember this very well". Ditto.

I don't have a son turning 19 next birthday (as you know I don't have any children full stop!). It nonetheless makes me shudder too.

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