15 thoughts on “Red Gum – I was only 19

  1. I remember the very first time I heard this song … I’d been a fan of Redgum and this song I thought was just superb (‘The Herd’ do a terrific cover of this track)
    I have one pedantic quibble with the song that quietly annoys me every time I listen to it … the line “Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon … he was going home in June…” The science-nerd resplendent in my genes knew that the moon landing was in July ‘after June … derrr!’ and I thought the line sloppy and it ruined it for me … he could’ve written “he was going home real soon” and I would never have known …
    it’s an indicator of my personality I guess that I cannot ignore it … oh well 😉

    • Hey Geoffrey 🙂 I did some googling to see what I could find out about the words and apparently many of the words are direct quotes from veterans, and the bit about the moon is too – that’s why they wouldn’t change them – and someone reckons that referring to June means that the bloke had 11 months left on his tour of duty (so the next year) – but I can see how that might annoy you (thanks for making me aware of that – hahaha – I won’t hear the song in quite the same way now).

  2. It did seem somewhat inevitable that your family would share the “lurgy” with you…by the way thanks for the new word(lurgy)…not one often used in SoCal…hope you get well soon.

  3. You got the lurgy??? Oh no. Hope it doesn’t linger for too long.
    “I was only 19” is a sad song. Makes me think about the nature of war and so on. I always find it quite moving.
    Hope you feel better soon xx

    • Thanks Selma – can’t seem to shake the sore throat (and the nearest doctor is an hour’s drive away – argh) – I’ve been gargling and spraying and tabletting but still have the bloody thing. It is a very sad song – I really feel for the diggers who are so destroyed by what they have seen.

    • Thanks bb 🙂 (maybe I need to gargle with some expensive gin or vodka – that will kill the germs I am sure – and you can swallow as well, unlike the horrible iodine gargle in my bathroom – haha)

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