Waiouru's A Wonderful Place / Saigon Warrior

Lingua: Inglese

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A song called "Saigon Warrior" sung to the tune of "Sweet Betsy From Pike" is a variant of a World War 2 composition which could be used to complain about base camps, training establishments, or headquarters anywhere in the world.
For instance, a version sung in the New Zealand Army during World War 2 (and still in circulation in 1986) was entitled "Waiouru's a Wonderful Place." Waiouru was a much disliked training camp in a mountainous and lonely part of the country.

from Songs of the Vietnam war: an occupational folklore tradition
Oh they say that Waiouru's a wonderful place,
But the organization's a fucking disgrace,
There are Bombardiers, Sergeants, and Staff Sergeants too,
With their hands in their pockets and fuck-all to do;
And out in the bull ring (*) they sing and they shout,
They scream about things they know fuck-all about,
And for all that I've learned there I might as well be
Shoveling up shit from the Isle of Capri. (**)

(*) British Army slang: parade ground.

(**) "The Isle of Capri" was a popular song in the late 1930's.

18/8/2005 - 23:15

Lingua: Inglese


The "Saigon Warrior" variant of this song collected in Vietnam by Broudy has Captains and Majors and Light Colonels too instead of Bombardiers etc. It is also organized in four-line stanzas with each one followed by a two-line chorus:

It satirizes "Saigon Commandos" who have lunch at the Cercle Sportif (a fashionable club in Saigon) and wear a Bronze Star which they got for writing reports about the war. Then it concludes prophetically.

Broudy states that the text was transcribed from a tape-recorded performance by Maggie, an Australian woman. This suggests that it may either have been part of some Australian-inspired entertainment, or it may have originated with the ANZAC forces in Vietnam. Dinky dau is a corruption of the Vietnamese die cai dau, literally sick the head, hence, meaning crazy. This makes no sense unless it is related to a traditional Australian folk ballad, current in World War 1 and 2, entitled "The Lousy Lance-Corporal" which makes repetitive use of the expression "dinky die" as a chorus. This is a slang term meaning truly, emphatically, indisputably.
Singing dinky dau, dinky dau, dinky dau doo,
With their hands in their pockets and nothing to do.
When this war is over and you all go home
You'll meet Saigon warriors wherever you roam
You'll know them by sight and they're not in your class
They don't have diarrhoea, just a big chairborne ass!

18/8/2005 - 23:19

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