Thursday, March 27, 2014

Eve of Destruction, the Green Berets and Galveston

Image from Pop History Dig

In the sixties, US involvement in the Vietnam War and the conscription of Americans for that war were major North American preoccupations.

In 1965, Barry McGuire came out with a song called Eve of Destruction. Written by nineteen-year-old P.F. Sloan, it is a dramatic and wide- ranging critique of contemporary society: "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin..."

In 1966, Sergeant Barry Sadler recorded his hit The Ballad of the Green Berets. It expresses the romantic, tragic, and proud ideals of a young soldier still untried by war. Sadler was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina at the time.

Jimmy Webb wrote Galveston. Glen Campbell popularized the song, which poignantly expresses the feelings of a young soldier as he remembers the beach back home, and the girl he left behind:

"Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying before I dry the tears she's crying, before I watch the sea birds flying in the sun, at Galveston."

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