Margi Harrell on piano: Give Thanks + jungle sounds
by Gary Jacobson © November 2006
Iím trying to fathom what thankful presentments fill my soul.
You know, it could be a whole hell of a lot worse.
I could be pushiní up posies Ďstead a here spoutiní verse.
So I guess most of all, Iím thankful I ainít yet dead
Laced with bullet holes oozing red
Here in Vietnam, ten thousand miles from home
Sent forth the rotting jungle to roam.
War has reduced my passionate patriotism to stone
Still so abandoned ... still so alone
Still bearing pains born in this land of egregious hurt
To survive it this grunt just keeps on poundiní dirt
So pardon me for wishín for family, hearth and home
ĎStead of walkiní this park from dawn till dark
Just a might cumbersome...
Just a might adventuresome...
This blithesome war chuck full oí shock and awesome.
I guess Iíd like to say Iím truly thankful
Heaps more thankful than regretful
Sent where C-ham and chokers take an awful toll
Leaving spirits kinda sick ... kinda droll.
Iíd give my left, uh, you know ... manhood, Nam to quicken
Even a bucket oí golden brown Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Uíum, Iíd like some tasty bird finger lickín good
Especially at Thanksgiving ... you better know I would.
Remembering feeling good and overfed
Thanksgiving feasts with heaping turkey back in the world
The parties, the girls, the cruising, the girls unfurled
My car, the girls, my mother and apple pie, the girls, my family.
Thatís why Iím here, just an armed turkey
Mired in Namís fickle state of perplexity
Surviving eternal ďmove Ďem outsĒ with a gruntís dexterity.
Iím most thankful for rare nights of relative calm
I laugh and joke with brothers, to weary minds a peaceful balm
When thereís no bloodshed, no firefight...
No Charlieís cominí through the wire tonight
Just the routine clamor of interdictive artillery overhead
Reassuring I can snuggle into Namís warm ground, my bed
Though in my foxhole repressive fears abound
Senses acutely attuned to every little sound
Tight so nothing escapes you, in or out-bound.
You see, Iím fighting here for freedomís bright ray
And they canít take that away
Though warís full of conundrums, in this dirty little fray
Where I clearly see manís hypocrisy and greed
Vile corruption in hatredís evil seed
For which my brothers for the good fight bleed
So Iím here for them, my brothers, my fellow man
Laboring alongside surviving in the heart of Vietnam.
Deep dank dark depths of hell in the devilís compound
True brotherhood forged in this gory battleground
Where men to duty bound, astonish and astound,
Men honor bound, warís complexities bewilder and confound
In Vietnam, where I lost the boy, but found the man
Mid contentious toil and strife
Roiling, boiling hatreds brewing his carnal life.
Iím thankful to know Iím living
To pay sorrowful homage to the dead and dying
I survived this warís inhumanity unfurled
Surviving back to this knock down ornery world,
From warís pack of lies to rise to kiss the skies
Grateful to live through what Iíve seen
That from wars bestial carousel careen
Living with ghosts of brothers and enemies unseen.
Though by the Nam heart-stricken
This Ďol home-boy can take a lickinĎn keep on tickiní
Held in the service of our country
That sent me so far to march with hellís infantry
Carrying in every deed His ever righteous sword
In the service of our Lord...
Gone for the world to save
Risen from a most foul grave.
Iím grateful for my PTSD
Given with a worlds sweet pain to comfort me
Guiding me back to warís malignant melee
Once again down in the valley of the shadow reverie
Forever riding bestial iron horses of the infantry
Warís ogres dancing betimes with me
Do-si-doing in and out of the maw of death
Welcome back ... grateful to take a peaceful breath...
So chow down on your turkey with humble thanks giving
Grunt, be ever grateful for your living
Grasp your family to your bosom dearly
Know there are men out there, who this night do not rest easy
Who yet hear brave voices whispering in hot war winds breezy
Daily contending with wrong and right
Men, women, this very Thanksgiving night
Valiantly pursuing for the land they love, the eternal fight.
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