Today we celebrate the 67th anniversary of VE day. Tomorrow I travel to the U.S. capital, and then take a taxi to National Harbor, Maryland, for a conference I must attend for work. Thus, I am feeling a little patriotic as this Tuesday work day comes to a close, and before I wrap up my stay in the office and bid you all adieu until next week (I may or may not have a chance to post until then), I want to leave you all with a little pride. What better way to celebrate a war victory than with “Ballad of the Green Berets.”
Songs often viewed as proud American classics tend to be jingoistic. “Ballad of the Green Berets,” in typical army fashion (as it is sung by a true staff sergeant who was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in Vietnam) is straight forward. Like a command, it tells the story of the brave men of the Green Berets, a U.S. special operations force.
The lyrics to this #1 hit that stayed at that spot for five weeks in 1966 were written by Robin Moore (he wrote “The French Connection” which mostly everyone knows as the movie). The lyrics were written in honor of Green Beret James Gabriel, Jr, the first native Hawaiian to be killed in Vietnam.