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Music Video

Vietnam Song


by Country Joe And The Fish

 
"Vietnam Song" by Country Joe and the Fish serves as a poignant critique of the Vietnam War, blending satire with a strong anti-war message. Through its catchy, sing-along melody and darkly humorous lyrics, the song captures the absurdity and tragedy of war. The opening lines mock the recruitment efforts during the Vietnam War, portraying enlistment as both a patriotic duty and an adventure. This juxtaposition of "fun" with warfare highlights the naivety and propaganda used to encourage young men to fight in a conflict many did not understand. The chorus, with its counting "one, two, three, what are we fighting for?" underscores the confusion and lack of purpose felt by many soldiers and citizens. The refrain "Don't ask me, I don't give a damn, next stop is Vietnam" reflects widespread apathy and disillusionment with the war's objectives. The mention of "Wall Street" and the "tools of its trade" critiques the military-industrial complex and the financial benefits reaped by corporations from the war, suggesting a profit motive behind the conflict. This is a stark commentary on how economic interests can drive warfare, often at the expense of human lives. The lines urging generals to "get those reds" and the assertion that "the only good commie is the one that's dead" satirize the anti-communist rhetoric that fueled much of the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict. It criticizes the dehumanization of the enemy and the simplistic notion that peace can be achieved through total annihilation. The song also addresses the human cost of war, particularly in its appeal to parents to "pack your boys off to Vietnam." The chilling prediction that they can be "the first ones in your block to have your boy come home in a box" highlights the ultimate sacrifice made by soldiers, often for unclear or unjust reasons. "Vietnam Song" is not just a protest song; it's a powerful social commentary on the Vietnam War era. It captures the disillusionment, the protest spirit, and the tragic loss of life, using irony and satire to question the motives behind the war and its execution. Through its enduring popularity, the song remains a significant part of the anti-war movement, echoing the sentiment that sometimes, the reasons given for war do not justify the tremendous costs.

Vietnam Song Song Lyrics

Vietnam Song by Country Joe And The Fish


Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Come on Wall Street, don't be slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade,
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Now you can go out and get those reds
'Cause the only good commie is the one that's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, and don't hesitate
To send your sons off before it's too late.
And you can be the first ones in your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.



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