Barb and I decided that, if we were going to spend that much time in the bunker,
we should, at least, have a song to sing. It went over pretty well at the firebases, too.
Can't you hear those sirens, don't you see those flares,
Ol' Charlie's playing games again.
Grab your poncho liner and cigarettes and bring a friend.
I applied for Vietnam, a weak moment understand.
Came over here to build morale in this never - never land.
They briefed us on the monsoon rains and the Mekong Delta dust,
But they didn't mention one damn word about the mortars fired at us.
Standing in the shower stall, the water's trickling slow.
The dogs are staring at your bod and the bugs put on a show.
You're all soaped up and getting clean, you're scrubbing down your back,
Then the siren blasts, the MP yells, it's another damned attack.
To be awakened in the dark of night is really quite a strain.
Those funny sounds like thunder from an early morning rain.
The sudden realization and both feet hit the floor.
I`m headin' up and I'm movin' out, but I can't unlock the door.
emily, donut dollie and
Barbara, Special Services
in Dong Tam, Vietnam
In 1992, Austin City Limits did a Veteran's Day special hosted by Kris Kristofferson and,
because I was apparently the only woman they could find who wrote a song in Nam, I
got volunteered by Lydia Fish to be on it. They asked us to bring pictures to be
superimposed over the singing and I asked if I could bring a picture of Barb, with whom
I wrote the song, in hopes of finding her after all those years. They agreed and about a
month later I heard from her.
From Barb's perspective, this is what happened. She had grown up in Texas but
was then living in Los Angeles. A friend saw the show in Texas, called her in
LA and told her to watch the show because someone was looking for her. She
later told me that she felt like a milk carton baby and almost fell off the couch
when her picture flashed on the TV.
Imagine, 23 years after we wrote that silly song about the inconvenience of mortar
attacks, it became the catalyst for finding each other again.
Lydia Fish's website:
(Group Picture of Austin City Limits show - Link at bottom of page)
Another Lydia Fish website:
The Vietnam Veterans Oral History and Folklore Project