Lyrics - Rick's Song


Ron Wallace

Verse 1:

He was Seventeen in 1967
And things were gettin' hot way overseas
By graduation he'd made his decision
Told Mama she'd have one less mouth to feed
So he joined the Army with Daddy's permission
Just shy of eighteen and the Draft
He figured why wait around inviting trouble
'Cause that's about the time oldest sons and fathers clash
And they already had...

Chorus 1:

So over hill, over dale
We watched until we lost that Braniff's tail *
And those caissons they roll along
Goodbye childhood Hello Vietnam

Verse 2:

Well it was '68 up in the Central Highlands
Chopper blades cutting' through that muggy air
Hot LZ his '60 spittin' fire
Still not old enough to buy a beer
Back at home Mom waited and she worried
And in '69 I swear she prayed more than she slept
Every night she'd have her supper by the TV
And hang on every word Ole Cronkite said

Chorus 2:

Over hill, over dale
We watched until we saw that Braniff's tail *
But those caissons they roll along
Goodbye childhood Goodbye Vietnam

Verse 3:

Well, he made it home safe and in one piece
A few pounds lighter, a far away look in his eyes
But he never talked about the things he saw there
What scars he carried he kept buried deep inside
Then Daddy would say, "Hell that wasn't no real war."
And my Brother would just stand up and walk away
After all those years that rift they had between them
One took to heart and one took to his grave
And that's a shame


You see daddy was a Veterans of World War II
And part of what's called "The Greatest Generation"
And he just could never understand
The war that divided a nation
But I sure wish he had tried
'Cause too many good young men didn't make it home alive
And the ones who did had to hang their heads in shame
No thank you's, no ticker tape parade
A real war? Man dad I don't agree with that at all
'Cause I've seen 58,000 names carved on that black stone wall
And when I think about that I pray
That nobody will ever have to go off and fight in another war
somewhere far away
'Cause war... it's just wrong
And maybe that's really the lesson here...
In Rick's Song"


* "We watched until we saw that Braniff's tail" meaning we watched until the plane bringing him home was in sight. Braniff Airlines slogan was the "Proud bird with the Golden tail.” They were contracted by the government to carry troops overseas.