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Frank, Dennis, and Me

copyright Jim Hinde, words and music

I was eighteen and change when the telephone rang
calling me to report to the sea
the Vietnam War raged on every front page in the country
I sailed to the war of a faraway shore
with boys no wiser than I
too young to vote and hoping too young to die

serving time for the crime of being born American male
where sons become Brothers in Arms or brothers in jail
perhaps it was love, or self prescribed drugs
or the limbo of lost out at sea
sailing that line beyond reason and rhyme
Frank, Dennis, and me

I recall the resorts and all the opium ports
but truth shines later in life
the plight of the pawn it pales in the light of the king
how convenient is a God who would spare not the rod
and send his only child to die
in the hands of a power intent on only saving a lie

I turned twenty-one years old coming home from the South China Sea
slapping paint on the rust of the sinking American Dream
and did the home fires burn upon the heroes return
was the red carpet rolled to the sea
where was the parade when democracy was saved
by Frank, Dennis, and me

now I see in my son, were he to march to the gun
how his soul would wither and die
I know how that goes, far too long it’s been happening to mine.
may the damage done me by the powers that be
never be done unto mine
and may the criminals and foes be exposed by history and time

for Dennis and I swore that the Viet Nam War will have ended
at the moment when honor prevails and with justice demanded
while the names in the Wall on the Washington Mall
await the dead to return from the sea
those veterans still dying, a day at a time
with Frank, Dennis, and me

words and music by Jim Hinde