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21st Birthday

Tex Morton
Language: English


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Tex Morton, a country artist born Robert William Lane on 30 August 1916 in Nelson, New Zealand. He died 23 July 1983 in Sydney, NSW, Australia. He released several records under the nickname The Yodelling Boundary Rider.

Tex Morton


The song "21st Birthday" dealt with the Vietnam War, looking at the home front perspective, of the parents of a soldier killed in action (K.I.A.). The song was released in 1967 on single: 21st Birthday (Columbia (EMI) # DO-4785).

The song told of the soldier's friends arriving at his parents house to celebrate his 21st birthday, unaware of what had happened. A closer look at the shelf with letters and "you'll see a draft card... the nice letter and the medal they sent". The father concluded that: "our boy full of love has died now of hate" - which perhaps leans towards the anti-war side of the debate.

Vietnam War Song Project
You'd thought you'd surprise him
You'd been out of town
You brought some old school friends
You just dropped around
You remembered his birthday
Oh yes you have the date right
Come in you're all welcome on this happy night
His 21st birthday
These are his friends
And even the kid who would not make amends
So come my old sweetheart dry up your tears
We've waited for this day for 21 tears

Yes this is the day now for laughter and joy
This is the day when he's no longer a boy
This is the day when you've done all you can
This is the day when you boy is a man

Yes those are the cards there at the end of the room
A couple from sweethearts, I like the perfume
Sending gay greetings
But look close you'll see a draft card
And some that express sympathy
Oh yes that's his picture, somewhere he went
There's the nice letter and the medal they sent
Oh I'm proud of the metal, nice shiny toy
But god up in heaven, could you not spare my boy
So here's to his memory, here's to our son
Here's to the soldiers not yet 21
Oh not one is weeping, but how can I say I'm not bitter on this cursed day

When I grow up mom, I'm gonna to buy you a car
Take you on journeys near and the far
I'll always protect you and keep you from harm
I'll make lots of money, buy daddy a farm

The last time I saw him smiling and tanned
He put down his mother and took up my hand
I'll try to be brave dad, and be a good son
They say the best soldiers are not 21
He borrowed my razor then
Just like a man he said 'if I must go I'll do all I can'...
It's got to be done, we'll have a swell party when I'm 21

For 21 years we have the weight of this day
But he won't be with us, he sleeps far away
They say he died well, whatever that means
For I'm just a grown man, not a boy in his teens

Empty long years now, no use to wait
For our boy full of love has died now of hate
Oh we have the nice letter, he died not in vain
A medal, and a picture, and our hearts full of pain

2021/11/13 - 22:41



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