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Man That I Am 051712 A

James Michael Taylor

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Train pulls out the station and the shades are all drawn
Cold steel bites my ankles and I am on my way home
I would jump out of that window. Risk a bullet in my back
But I’m shackled to a bunk post and there’s not enough slack
San Francisco, Battle Mountain, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne
Dm A
Whodda thot this would be the man that I am

Me and my two buddies got a car by our self
For such sorry convictions we’re in pretty good health
We got a sergeant at each exit just itching for the chance
To put some buckshot in our britches, blow our belts and drop our pants
From Cheyenne down to Denver, Kansas City and then
That bus trip up to Leavenworth, and a hanging tree limb

C C bassB
Whodda thot this would be the man that I am
Bb A
When Mom and Dad sent me off to Viet Nam
D G A Dm
Viet Nam, Viet Nam. God damn, Viet Nam

Viet Nam is called a quagmire, unlawful and more
But the people there just call it the American war
When you saw the things I saw and you did the things I did
Don’t expect a quick acquittal for an American kid

They took my safety razor and my stainless steel spoon
Pullin’ into Kansas City tomorrow at noon
Oh, the guards are getting restless. Doing drills out in the hall
They’ve been reading the papers. Just being careful, that’s all.
A trip across this country is a beautiful thing
But when you’re going nowhere, it’s a god damned shame
Whodda thought that this would be the man that I am
Mom and Dad will wish I’d died in Viet Nam…

(C) 2012 Royal T Music

(C) 2012 Royal T Music

Guest said

This is amazing. I love this song. I was born in 1961 and was aware of the war as a child. It was a big world lesson for a little mind that if you were a young guy you would be forced to fight and die in a country on the other side of the world, and I saw this on the same tv I saw the GI Joe doll ads aimed at little boys. Later as a teen I had the vision of the guys on stage thrashing out the rock & roll and punk, the living spirits of the dead boys, armed with guitars and drums and skill and rage. Thanks for writing this song. It has a fine groove.

Guest said

Sad content

stoman's avatar
stoman said

And again you sound like Harry Chapin. And your songs are no less versatile. You are very prolific. Regards, Steffen

Guest said

Brilliant lyric JM! Very down to earth yet helpless. "American kid" "Kid" that's the operative word! Good one!

Johnny Stone's avatar
Johnny Stone said

Great song mate excellent vocals

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thetworegs said


terrysongs's avatar
terrysongs said

compelling and driving music, griping lyrics.

Guest said

Mercy! Tells a story that needs to be told today. Powerful!

Greg Connor's avatar
Greg Connor said

Disturbing . . . I suspect that was your objective.

Malcolm Worthy's avatar
Malcolm Worthy said

great song all round - powerful lyric and great vocals.

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