PERFORMER: PETER CASE
SONGWRITER: PETER CASE / JOHN PRINE
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1992
SONG TITLE: THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS
PERFORMER: SGT. BARRY SADLER
SONGWRITER: SADLER / MOORE
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1966
COMMENTS: "The Wonderful 99" I must admit is here primarily because of its lyrics. They tell the story of a group of weekend warriors who set out on a literal weekend-long war, roughing it at a Motel 6 while watching Top Gun on video in order to learn how to "grimace like Tom Cruise."
The lyrics are a perfect cut clean to the heart of the spoiled modern soldier facing no real hardship, suffering little real danger and the pre-fab patriotism supporting him. The most interesting thing about this is the contrasts and ambiguity of the message. It is all presented as a parody - "funny." Yet, the point is ultimately a stinging indictment of the national character - not funny at all. You might say the humor is "edgy."
The lyrics are the point, but the music makes it work. Musically, the song invokes for parody every kind of patriotic song, particularly "Ballad of the
Green Berets." It has a sick kind of martial drums, and dramatic strings and precisely off key whistling that critique the musical form from wence it was drawn. The carefully pre-fabricated flavor of the accompaniment was as much a critique of "God Bless the USA" as the content of the lyric.
Being a Libra, though, I have to see at least two sides to any story and give fair consideration to other outlooks. I agree more with the personal philosophies expressed by Mr. Case, but "Ballad of the Green Berets" is also a powerful piece of music giving a very emotionally real expression to the feelings of many. If I expect understanding and outreach from others, I must be willing to reach out. If so, here is my longest reach in this book.
Sadler really made a good presentation here of the classic military "Semper Fi" proud protector outlook. The quiet resolve of the understated martial drum rolls, the trumpet paying respects to the honorable sacrifices of many men, the quiet dignity of the rising melodic recitation - yeah, he really gets right into it. Sometimes, I can almost feel it myself. Pretty good for someone like me who often loathes the military far more than Bill Clinton ever did. It's not enough to make me vote for military budget increases, but I do feel their pain.
To Al's Culpepper Log [updated frequently]
morethings master photo gallery index MP3 sammy davis little richard photos buddy holly pictures fats domino images chuck berry pictures 05/ 06/ 07/ 08/ 09/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 01/ 02/ 03/ 04/ 05/ 06/ 07/ 08/ 09/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 01/ 03/ 04/ 05/ 06/ 07/ 08/ 09/ 10/ 11/ 12 01/ 02/ 03/ 04/ 05/ 06/ 07/ 08/ 09/ 10/ 11/ 02/ 03/ 04/ 05/ 06/ 07/ la manchurian candidate pictures 24 lucille ball images james blunt photos clint eastwood pictures lena horne images team america pictures robert mitchum photos bruce springsteen pictures mariah carey pictures ann coulter photos sissy spacek pictures tanya tucker images loretta lynn pictures beatles pictures white stripes pictures andy griffith pictures kill bill pictures parliament funkadelic p-funk pictures beverly hillbillies pictures al barger frank zappa pictures jerry lee lewis pictures richard pryor photos june carter johnny cash pictures vic mackey shield pictures macy gray pictures james cagney images elvis presley pictures gwen stefani images dolly parton pictures devil whores pictures tom petty photos tori amos pictures joaquin phoenix images Quills movie images peter lorre images reese witherspoon pictures flaming lips images rolling stones photos fiona apple images dr strangelove pictures elvis costello images ray charles photos marx brothers pictures prince rogers nelson pictures blazing saddles images sinead o'connor images eddie murphy photos all in the family pictures south park pictures homer simpson images bob dylan pictures elizabeth taylor photos drawn together images saturday night live pictures hee haw pictures james brown images pete townshend photos tina turner pictures dixie chicks photos robert anton wilson images guns n roses pictures paula abdul pictures jodie foster photos borat eminem frank sinatra photos van halen images satan