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01 June 2008

Memorial Day 2008 (part 3): Sky Pilot fruit salad / the whole "Dulce et Decorum" quote / lyrics to Sky Pilot (1968)

Click on image for holier.


Abbas Halai said...

awesome. dulce et decorum est is one of my favourite poems. i even posted it on my blog a little while back with a couple of other favourites.

as the title of the poem says, even though war is made out to be glorious and, it can and never will be and today we find the US army has the highest number of suicides on record when they learn the bitter truth that war isn't what FOX and CNN make it out to be or the "Be all you can be" ads on television, but a bit more on the Al Jazeera side of things.

Saturday, 31 May, 2008

Vleeptron Dude said...

Suicides were a frequent thing when I was in the army during the Vietnam War. A typical way was hanging from a rafter by bootlaces. Now it turns out that of this year's suicide attempts at Veterans Hospitals, about half are from Vietnam vets.

Wasn't that way in World War 2, soldiers believed in the war enough to want to keep doing their job and live thru it. It's the sucky wars that make people want to snuff themselves.

Saturday, 31 May, 2008

Jim Olson said...

The full quote goes like this...

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, sed dulcius pro patria vivere, et dulcissimum pro patria bibere. Ergo, bibamus pro salute patriae"

"It is sweet to die for one's country, but it is sweeter to live for it, and sweetest yet to drink for it. Therefore, let us drink to the health of our country."

Sadly, there will be over 4000 young men and women who have not lived to drink for our country. It is a spot of shame that we will never erase. Our President, sadly, does not have the sense to be ashamed of this. This time in our country's history will go down as much of or more than a national embarrassment as was Viet Nam.

Saturday, 31 May, 2008

Vleeptron Dude said...

As long as I got Vleeptron's Man-on-the-Cloud on the line about this stuff ...

Could you say a few (or many) words about the role of military chaplains?

I came away from my Vietnam-era experience hating chaplain officers more than any other identifiable military bunch. As far as I was concerned, these freakazoids were perfectly comfie torturing the message of Jesus (or Moses, happy to lump the rabbi chaplains into my Hate List too) so that clearly, Jesus & Moses clearly wanted us to annihilate 3rd World strangers, which would reward us with Extra Bonus Holy Points with the Almighty.

I didn't like war well before I got drafted, but military chaplains were the primary culprits who pushed me vigorously toward Quaker Meeting after I got out. To the best of my knowledge, ain't no Quaker chaplains in the armed forces.

This doesn't reflect well on what I absorbed from the Society of Friends, but I would honestly like to run over military chaplains with my Pontiac, and then back up and run over them again just to make sure. No skid marks near those corpses.

There. I've said it. Feels great.

Sunday, 01 June, 2008


"Sky Pilot" was a Vietnam War-era hit song by the English rock group The Animals, lyrics by lead singer Eric Burdon, from their 1968 album "The Twain Shall Meet." The nickname "Sky Pilot" for military chaplains dates from World War 2.

Filched from the blog
Out on the Stoop
by Gena Haskett

Sunday, December 05, 2004
Sky Pilot - Lyrics For A Troubled Time

I mangle song lyrics like crazy - so when I get a chance to find out what I should have been singing for years it makes my heart go giddy-up. This seems appropriate although written for another war. What goes around come back to bite:

Sky Pilot by The Animals

He blesses the boys, as they stand in line
The smell of gun grease and their bayonets they shine
He's there to help them all that he can
To make them feel wanted he's a good holy man

Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot
How high can you fly?
You'll never, never, never, reach the sky

He smiles at the young soldiers, tells them it's all right
He knows of their fear in the forthcoming fight
Soon there'll be blood and many will die
Mothers and fathers back home they will cry

Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot
How high can you fly?
You'll never, never, never, reach the sky

He mumbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given, they move down the line
But he'll stay behind, and he'll meditate
But it won't stop the bleeding, or ease the hate

As the young men move out into the battle zone
He feels good, with God you're never alone
He feels so tired as he lays on his bed
Hopes the men will find courage in the words that he said

Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot
How high can you fly?
You'll never, never, never, reach the sky

In the morning they return with tears in their eyes
The stench of death lifts up to the skies
A young soldier so ill, looks at the Sky Pilot
Remembers the words 'Thou shalt not kill'.

Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot
How high can you fly?
You'll never, never, never, reach the sky

Posted by Gena at 8:07 PM

Anonymous said...

Long ago - in one of the earlier conflicts - Sky Pilot was the theme song for a group of us whose nickname was Crispy Critters. That's because we flew in helicopters made with a magnesium alloy whose fuel tanks were on the bottom of the craft.

This was in late '68 and sentiment was just turning against the war. All of us volunteered - in one fashion or another - to be in this unit. We accounted for about 50% of the kills in the 1st Cavalry Division and the Cav accounted for a good percentage of the kills for all the Army units.

So what's the point of all this rambling? I just downloaded Sky Pilot and listened to it for the first time in 25 years. It still filled me with the same fatalism that it did all those years ago.

And it sure sounds like the theme song for a new generation in an old conflict.

Know of anyway to post this song on a board that troops in Iraq can get to?

6/30/2005 7:11 PM

Anonymous said...

Just put together a Vid-Clip of Iraq used Sky Pilot thought you would want to watch it -8 minutes -
I weep , as I watch it...Each Time!

8/08/2006 7:10 PM

Gena Haskett
Long ago, before cable tv and the Internet, people use to sit out on the porch. Or the veranda. Maybe your folks talked over the back yard fence. Or you and your people sat at the diner drinking Cherry Colas. But we talked. We ranted. We laughed about anything. You always had one fool that would bring up the strangest things. This is the essense of Stoop. Sharing, talking, archiving and taking in the experience of living in this specific time and place. Me? Still in evolution mode. Not fixed just spinning around and around and around. Looking at the lights and going "Wow." I'm trying to pass for normal but I just can't cut it. I have decided to be myself instead.

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