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Cold Chisel
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Cold Chisel

Khe Sahn lyrics

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Cold Chisel – Khe Sahn lyrics

I left my heart to the sappers 'round Khe Sahn
And I sold my soul with my cigarettes, to the black market man
I've had the Vietnam cold turkey, from the ocean to the silver city
And it's only other vets could understand
'Bout the long forgotten dockside guarantees
How there were no V-day heroes in nineteen seventy-three
How we sailed into Sydney Harbour, I saw an old friend but I couldn't kiss her
She was lined, and I was home to the lucky land

She was like so many more from that time on
Their lives were all so empty, until they'd found their chosen one
And their legs were often open
But their minds were always closed
And their hearts were held in fast suburban chains
And the legal pads were yellow, hours long pay-packets lean
And the telex writers clattered where the gunships once had been
The carparks made me jumpy and I never stopped the dreams
Or the growing need for speed and Novocaine
So I worked across the country from end to end
I tried to find a place to settle down, where my mixed up life could mend
I held a job on an oil-rig, flyin' choppers when I could
But the nightlife nearly drove me round the bend
And I've travelled round the world from year to year
And each one found me aimless, one more year the worse for wear
And I've been back to South East Asia, but the answer sure ain't there
But I'm driftin' north to check things out again
Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
And only seven flyin' hours, till I'll be landin' in Hong Kong
And there ain't nothin' like the kisses from a jaded Chinese princess
I'm gonna hit some Hong Kong mattress all night long
Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone

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  • u
    I think even more than that the song shares the writers disgust at the way the vietnam war vets were treated upon their return to australia. Best summed up in the line "there were no v-day heroes in 1973". It talks about how societies attitude had changed to war showing a lack of appreciation to what those men had done or tried to do (regardless of what ur particular attitude to war is) and how vets had to struggle with their own war experiences without the support of society, resorting to drugs and prositution to deal with the memories and loneliness.
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  • u
    By kimberly darby:.
    To me, this song represents the trauma that the soldiers who fought in vietnam experienced. The message that the singer is trying to get across is that war is not spending a few months/years over in a different country and fighting for glory and peace it is simply a way to show how strong a country is by how many towns it can destroy, how many families can be destroyed and how many men are willing to sacrafice their lives in a world where no one can win.
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  • c
    Words of Khe Sanh were never offensive. If you listen to the lyrics, it tells the story of the Vietnam War, and life after returning to Australia Reference to Silver City, in the lyrics, was the B Wing igloo accommadation barracks at Kapooka, nsw. Reference to "Last Plane Out of Sydney is almost gone". At midnight every wednesday night, was a Qantas 707, bound for Siagon, Vietnam, via Darwin and Singapore, with replacement troops for support units in Vietnam. How do I know. I did my recruit training at Kapooka, and lived in Silver City. Flew out of Sydney midnight, 23 August 1970, bound for Nui Dat, posted to 104 Sig Sqn, on that Qantas flight, sailed into Sydney Harbour aboard hmas Sydney, November 1971.
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  • u
    @cletrac - if you mean offensive in the sense of sexual or drug explication, then it would be definitely deemed so. Just look at the last lines of the last verse: "and there ain't nothin' like the kisses from a jaded chinese princess.
    I'm gonna hit some hong kong mattress all night lo-ong". This is clearly allusion to prostitution, which was indeed a substantial part of many wars when the men went on leave.
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  • u
    To the person that posted on april 14th, geography not your strong suit? Khe sahn is in vietnam, close to the laos border. It was the scene of the battle of khe sahn between us marines and the peoples army of north vietnam. Despite it being a great song, hardly any aussies were actually there other than raaf who flew in support of the us. The song is about the vietnam war, nothing to do with jimmy going on a holiday to thailand, and was written and released not long after vietnam finished.
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