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#509431 - 06/03/07 06:45 PM AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
I guess this is my belated tribute to all the guys on this board who served in any war...but mostly those of you who were in Nam since so few people thanked you then for your service. This song has touched my heart since the first time I heard it. I finally found the cd and decided to post the lyrics. I can't listen to it without choking up. CloseMike's recent lyric reminded me to go look for this. I don't know if the music is posted anywhere...but despite the fact that this is one of those 5 minute songs...I bet there is no one who can shut it off once they start listening. Plus there are so many musical changes, it doesn't get boring. I don't know if the music is available anywhere and have not checked to see if you can buy the cd online. But from my heart...this is for Alan David, Tampa Stan, Dawg and all the others who served back then...or now.

Please note...I located Timothy P's CDBaby site...so the link to listen is included below.

Bless you...

After The War
© Timothy P. Irvin and Jon Ims
From the cd VETERAN by Timothy P. Irvin

"You are to be commended for such an appropriate salute to those of us who went to Vietnam and who will never forget our comrades."
General Colin L. Powell
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

My name is Billy Johnson, Indiana's my state
I turned twenty-one back in '68
Drafted into the Army, sent to Fort Leonard Wood
When I left my hometown, I prayed it wasn't for good

His name was Hector Gonzales from San Jose'
We got stuck with KP the very first day
After peelin' potatoes for hours on end
Hector and I were the closest of friends

When they put us on a troop jet and flew us to Nam
Some guy stood up in the back and read the 23rd Psalm
We talked about walkin' through that valley of death
I said, "Hector, I'm scared." He said, "Just take a deep breath"

When we got off the plane and our assignments came in
I got sent to Pleiku, he got sent to Long Binh
He hugged me goodbye, and turned around at the door
He said, "Don't forget to look me up, after the war."

About three months later, he wrote me a letter
Sayin' some days are rough, some days are better.
And a kid named Gallardo we knew from basic training
Was missing in action up north
By the way, I meant what I said before
Don't forget to look me up after the war

I was out on patrol in the spring of '69
Stepped on a trip wire, took some schrapnel from a mine
Spent the rest of my tour in a hospital bed
With a pin in my leg and a plate in my head

On the plane ride home I thought of all I'd been through
I'd lived nine lives and I was just 22
I thought about Hector and what I'd promised before
And I planned to look him up right after the war

Twenty-one years later in Washington, DC
I was there on vacation with my family
I went out to the park to see that Wall
And face up to a past I didn't want to recall

First I looked for that guy that Hector wrote me about
But he wasn't on the list...I guess he lucked out
Then my eye caught a name at the top of the page
Corporal Hector Gonzales, twenty-one years of age
My throat got tight, my mouth went dry
I looked up at that Wall and I started to cry
And the memories hit me like incoming fire
From a time when we were so young
And Hector waved good-bye from the door
And said, "Don't forget to look me up after the war."

I lay awake some nights, I can still hear the guns
I can still hear the screams, I can still taste the blood
And I can still see Hector waving good-bye from the door
Sayin' "Don't forget to look me up after the war."

#509433 - 06/03/07 06:53 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bobbie Gallup (D)]  
Joined: Dec 2005
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Joice Marie Offline
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Joice Marie  Offline
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Cornish Flat, NH, USA
Hi Bobbie

Definitely a penetrating write. Thanks for sharing this with us. smile jm

perfection is unattainable, excellence is totally within reach

#509437 - 06/03/07 07:01 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bobbie Gallup (D)]  
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,690
Richard G Blum (D) Offline
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Richard G Blum (D)  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,690
Bronx, NY, United States
Hi Bobbie

Very Touching song, could of used a bridge to cover the 21 year gap.

I meant to look him up
but life got in the way
A wife and three kids
pleny of bills to pay

well a little late for that hey...

can't tell you how many shell shocked vets I meet on the street corners of NYC, to a one, they're always talking baseball, (those that can enunciate) though forgotten by America, the very same America has never left their hearts...

#509505 - 06/04/07 12:01 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Richard G Blum (D)]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,199
Bill Osofsky Offline
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Bill Osofsky  Offline
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A little different from She's In Love With The Boy, huh?

#509511 - 06/04/07 12:27 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bill Osofsky]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,639
Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,639
Pleasant Hill, Oregon
I would love to hear this- it is evident from the easy cadence of this that it is a song.
I like these lines in particular:

When they put us on a troop jet and flew us to Nam
Some guy stood up in the back and read the 23rd Psalm
We talked about walkin' through that valley of death
I said, "Hector, I'm scared." He said, "Just take a deep breath"

I remember stepping off the plane in DaNang and wondering just exactly where the bullets would come from. People think of Viet Nam as close jungle fighting but much of the land by the DMZ is wide open spaces.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#509519 - 06/04/07 01:14 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Joice Marie]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
Hi Joice Marie,

Like many of the older folks on here..I lived through the Nam era...and saw firsthand what it did to the guys who survived it. It was a very troubled..and troubling time in our nation's history. I don't want those guys to think everyone forgot them.

Thank you for taking time to read this.


#509521 - 06/04/07 01:23 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Richard G Blum (D)]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Nashville, TN, USA
Howdy Ritt,

You must see more of the aftermath of that war than anyone else on here. It was the basic premise of my earlier cowrite with Kim-Char, JOHN DAVID'S CURTAIN. Sometimes it feels like those guys who suffered from that war just became invisible victims when they came back.

I thought a lot about your idea of adding something to this to bridge that gap...but the more I think about it...the more I think it is more powerful to NOT say that in words because anyone who hears this is going to make that leap of faith regarding why he never got around to looking Hector up. Besides the song makes a musical change there that serves that purpose IMO. For me, this song is one of those structurally perplexing ones where I don't yet have a clue what is a verse, bridge, chorus etc...and it never seems to make one iota of difference. Musically and lyrically it just seems to work because the story is so compelling I forget all about trying to figure the technicalities out. So for all the rulemakers out there...there is a time for bending and a time for breaking.

I have never actually met Timothy P...but I suspect someday I will because his publisher is a good friend of mine here in Nashville but we have known each other since we were both in Colorado. This is the same guy who wrote the song about Mike, the headless chicken!

Thanks for taking time to read and reflect on this one.


#509533 - 06/04/07 02:44 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bobbie Gallup (D)]  
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Posts: 3,680
John W. Selleck Offline
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John W. Selleck  Offline
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Hi Bobbie,

Thank you, for we who made it back, and those who didn't.

Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost

#509543 - 06/04/07 03:33 AM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bobbie Gallup (D)]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Hi Bobbie,

Thanks for posting this very moving piece. The main writer was definitely there.

Some elements like the ending might seem predictable or contrived if this was fiction...but going in, knowing it's real, I have to read in the same spirit one "catches up" with an old friend...

He's put just the right amount of detail so one gets a feeling for his friendship with Hector...

So many stories...lives...end at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall...John Prine's voice get's real emotional, in a spoken intoduction to (his song about a 'Nam Vet) "Sam Stone" when he recalled his first visit to the Vet's Memorial. He found his friends' names on the wall, then noticed his own strong reflection gazing back at him in the shiny black marble.

Though I missed Vietnam by half a dozen years, I find myself fascinated by it----but think I'll leave it's storytelling to writers like Joe Haldeman ("The Forever War"), Oliver Stone ("Platoon") and certainly Timothy P. Irvin, who were there and capture the essence of what Vietnam truly was.


Last edited by closemike; 06/04/07 03:42 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#509643 - 06/04/07 03:50 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bill Osofsky]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
You know...of all the incredible songwriters in Nashville...I have to admit I have never heard Jon perform. I have heard so much about him from other folks but somehow have managed to miss his rounds. You are right, Bill..this is a far cry from She's In Love With The Boy...though I have always enjoyed Trisha's rendition of that song. From what I understand Jon is an excellent songwriting instructor. If I ever do make connection with him..I just might ask him to participate in Pineyfest as a presenter. Jon used to live in Colorado also so I suspect that my friend June knows him also.

Thank you for checking this out.


#509645 - 06/04/07 04:03 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Samuel Harris]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
Hi Sam,

I found out that Timothy has his songs on CDBaby so I edited in a link so folks can go listen to this song...or at least part of it. It is now available there for $10...WELL worth the price. The cd is not all about Veterans...as a matter of fact, this is the ONLY song on the cd that is. It is a wonderful conglomeration of song styles from blues to bluegrass to this powerful anthem. I do hope you will go have a listen.

My boyfriend, Mark Gale, was in DaNang, Pleiku and some of those other places. I don't remember the name of his unit. It was so hard to know what to do to let him know he had someone at home praying for his safe return. I wrote him long letters every day. He said those letters were what kept him going. Sometimes he said he would get a whole packet of 5-10 letters at once.

Thank you for your service to those of us who remained safely at home here in the US.


#509729 - 06/04/07 08:59 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: John W. Selleck]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
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Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
Hi John,

Please know that your service still means a great deal to a lot of people...including myself. Thank you so much. I'll buy you a beer when you get here!


They'll tell you success in the music biz is all about who you know...but the truth is...it's about who knows you.

Gallup 'n Dawg Music
#509759 - 06/04/07 09:58 PM Re: AFTER THE WAR...a lyric I did NOT write [Re: Bobbie Gallup (D)]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
Tampa, Florida since 1973
HiDee NashvilLady!

Pretty good lyric...especially since I, too, went to Ft Leonard Wood AND ended up in Pleiku!

A fellow Berea High School Senior, Bill Wade, ended up on The Wall..Was a Marine, his Unit shipped out Alphabetically, he pulled off One More Patrol..got nailled.

I hitched to The Pentagon to get Orders Changed to Europe so I'd not finish my last Yr & a Half Hitch in USA as a Nam Vet. Lived in Europe 5 yrs before returning..when the War had Ended.

Doubt I'll EVER visit The Wall. I learned Clockmaking in Europe..made LOTS of Loot, shipped back 14,000 lbs of Antiques when I finished up in Europe. Living Well IS the Best Revenge..& I've never forgotten that This Country tried its best to get me Killed Off back in the late '60's.

Still Love It..but, yeah, I'm Quite Capable of Leaving It as well. It's a Great Country..but is SO busy making the Same Mistakes all over again in Iraq. My Heart goes out to all the Folks who're serving Over There.

DID call up ol' Buddy...Martin Meigs..after the War...he'd settled & married in Hoops, Idaho. Still enjoyed his Pot..still a mellow hardworkin' kinda Guy after the war. Me, I headed for the Big City in FL after finishin' up a Civilian Job at SHAPE, Belgium. Been over 30 years..guess I oughta see how Marty's doin' These Days, eh? ;-)>

Thanks for the Excuse! Good 'nuff Lyric..tho I'm kinda tired of re-evaluatin' What That War Meant to Me...heh!


Last edited by "TampaStan" Good; 06/04/07 10:02 PM.

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