Luang Prabang | A Ball-Less Wonder and a Patriot

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It’s very likely we’d have wanted to punch this mouth-breather in the face if we’d ever met him in person, but…we like this song. Yes, it’s some hippie anti-war stuff but we like the beat, and interestingly many of our veteran friends like it too.

That may or may not be ironic. We’d have to ask our Grammer Nazi to know for sure, but he’s somewhere in Houston ogling hot Latinas while taste-testing osteoporosis medicines.

In any case, this is Luang Prabang by Dave Van Ronk.

DaveVanRonk-Luang-Prabang

More on the artist here. Lyrics below. Image of Van Ronk from NPR.org.

Sunday Singalong: Luang Prabang

When I came back from Luang Prabang

I didn’t have a thing where my balls used to hang

But I got a wooden medal and a fine harangue

Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

And now the boys all envy me

I fought for Christian democracy

With nothing but air where my balls used to be

Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

One and twenty cannons thundered

Into the bloody wild blue yonder

For a patriotic balless wonder

Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

In Luang Prabang there is a spot

Where the corpses of your brothers rot

And every corpse is a patriot

And every corpse is a hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

Mourn your dead, land of the free

If you wanna be a hero, follow me

Vietnam War

Let the music take you over.

Singing with David Hasselhoff on Breach-Bang-Clear
Sing along with us some more.


“Here’s the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else.”  Bob Dylan

“Music is for every single person that walks the planet.” Robert Plant

“All of these situations involve aspects of a ritual where soldiers come together and participate, either by listening or singing/yelling along with the lyrics, in organized, pre-combat actions. Many times these actions are repeated before each mission or patrol. In this way, metal and rap are means of creating aspects of social ordering. The soldiers psychologically prepare themselves for the possibility of combat through the shared experience of music…Music is a means of establishing the identity of the group and supports the feeling of togetherness through a ritualized musical experience.” The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare.

“Music has been an integral part of warfare and the soldier’s life since the dawn of history. Even the instruments on which it is played have themselves acquired great symbolic power — a regiment’s drums are second only to its colors as an emblem of honor and tradition. In the 18th century, the act of enlisting was described as ‘following the drum…” William Trotter

Read Trotter’s Music of War here.


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One thought on “Luang Prabang | A Ball-Less Wonder and a Patriot

  • January 9, 2019 at 4:30 pm
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    Um, Dave Van Ronk is dead. The Big C got him in 2002. Where he went in the afterlife and where you eventually go will determine whether you get to punch him in the face. 😉

    FWIW, most “war songs” and “war movies” are anti-war. Hell, even The Lord of The Rings was anti-war. Look up J.R.R. Tolkien’s military service history to understand why. I don’t mind. I love the military, I loved the adrenaline rush, but all in all … war sucks.

    It is a lovely song, though, isn’t it? Perfect for the gym and the range.

    Reply

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