I was the only Brit diplomat left At the fall of Saigon, April 75 Thought it prudent to make a sharpish getaway And escape whilst still alive Just outside of the US Embassy Amidst the panicking throng A pretty young local girl approached me Asked if she could tag along She said, ‘Kind Sir, I will marry you And be your hearts delight If you can take me off to Blighty For I’m in a state of great fright’ ‘Crikey’ was my first thought ‘You’re so young and I’m so very old And I score you 10 out of 10 my girl If I may be so bold’ Yet ever the English gentleman I felt it best if I did explain ‘Miss let me be quite honest For I’ve no wish to cause you any pain You see once I tell my story One that brings with it little cheer You maybe will think to change your mind About me being your passport out of here I suffer from many afflictions Perhaps more than I’m able to count First my back is in a state of ruin So when making love it is you who will have to ‘mount’ And furthermore there’s my halitosis It’s put off many a gal And then my arthritic hands Will do little for your wifely morale Also I cannot raise one Devoid of my vacuum pump What with that and my wretched gout Most girls think I am a chump Additionally I am prone to wind And of course you’ll have to put up with the pong I belch, dribble and have a tic Maybe you should just stay here in Saigon’ Having heard my woeful tale She adjusted her delightful sarong Thought about what she should do Then uttered, ‘I’ll take my chances with the Viet Cong’ I often wonder what became of her That stunning Vietnamese beauty Still I’m not complaining As her younger sister herself is a cutie Who takes care of my every need So no more am I so very alone She collared me as her sibling left Saying ‘Stuff her, get me out and back to your English home’
On a more serious take, a matter of respect for those who died…on either side, whatever the whys and wherefores, this is a ‘sad’…a simple word, yet accurate methinks…song that says it all;
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38 thoughts on “ROMANCE IN A TIME OF WAR”
Wonderful poem. Being a long time Billy Joel fan, I bought Nylon Curtain when it became available in 1983. We had a friend over for dinner who was a Vietnam Vet. I asked him if he had heard Goodnight Saigon. He hadn’t. I put it on, and my friend freaked out when he heard the Huey helicopters in the beginning of the song. He had a really strong reaction to the choppers, but he ended up loving the song.
Thanks, Sir. Billy Joel has to be the master of lyrics; lyrics that tell complete stories…Goodnight Saigon a classic example. The guy is a genius and underrated by some. I’ve followed his work for years. Thanks again. Regards, Mike
I hadn’t heard “Goodnight, Saigon” before. The video is very moving. Coincidentally, I am currently reading a novel about the wind down of the Vietnam War, told from the Vietnamese perspective.
Thank you, Liz. There’s a couple of lines in the lyrics of this wonderful number that just about defines battles. It reads, ‘…And who was wrong? And who was right? It didn’t matter in the thick of the fight…’ perhaps that says all regarding the stupidity of war. The book you’re ready sounds fascinating. I’d like to read that one. As for my silly ‘almost’ poem, it was fun the write. All the best, Mike
You’re welcome, Mike. The book is The Siege of An Lộc by Nguyen Trong Hien. I’ve also read his book Village Teacher, set in Vietnam at the end of the 19th century.
Thanks for that. I’m on the case. Much appreciated, Mike
You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy the books.
An absolute riot of a poem! Love it.
Cheers, Chris. A tad of insanity helps the day. All the best, Mike
I find it’s the only way to get through. My best to you too.
You nailed it with the ending. Well done, Mike.
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks, Pete. You and yours have a fine weekend. Regards, Mike
I think I’m going to have to send you a bill for cleaning my computer screen, Sir… because I laughed so hard, I spit my drink! LOL! This is AMAZING! You always bring a smile to me face in in me heart. THANK YOU! ❤ xo
‘Tis a funny old world, young Rachel. Glad you liked it. All the best, Mike
Oh Mike, you’re too much!!!
Thank you, Sharon. The wonderful thing about writing is that I can be anyone I want to be…but I don’t think I’ll be the afflicted Englishman in this tale again. To many pills to take, methinks. All the best, Mike aka The Old Fool
You are welcome Mike! Too many pills is not a good thing!!! Kindest regards.
So funny and original!!
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
GRITTY BUT A WELL-SPOKEN DELIGHT
THINGS WERE TOUGH THEN, HUH-?
I’m English but, all those years gone by, I got to know a number of chaps and a few girls who were over here draft evading as they couldn’t see the sense of fighting in Vietnam. To them, unlike WW2, it was pointless. Were they right or wrong? I never did work that out, yet to this day the US soldiers over there fighting must be respected of ever. All the best, Mike
YES—WE OWE OUR SOLDIERS AT LEAST THAT MUCH!
I enjoyed the tale Mike. I heard many stories when I joined the Army in 1976. The end of Vietnam. Many would do anything to escape. Thank you for sharing the story and the video.
That was one hell of a war, seemimgly forgotten by so many. A shame, for sure. All the best, Mike
I agree Mike. The Vietnam war. We escaped quickly. People, who supported the USA. Are no-more. A great read.
Thank you Mike, greetings from Italy
Cheers from UK
A great read … love this ♥️
My thanks, Mike
Nice poem…..keep the ink flowing 👍
Cheers. All the best, Mike
Thanks Mike! Saludos/regards
That is a funny bit of rhyme.
However, it was an awful time
and the humour seen only here now.
Well done, TOF!
PS… TOF, What am I subscribing to in the next post? I never saw this prompt before.
Never mind the question!
Good point, young Resa. This ‘subscribing’ thing irks me. I am useless when it comes to ‘doing things’ on a computer, hence it’s nothing I’ve done. I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole with a lonely skull on the end. Somehow the invisible monsters are playing games with my blog. They don’t even call it WP anymore on my rarely used outside of the kitchen, mobile phone. The name they’ve given it is ‘Jetpack’ and I think that might be the curse. Why can’t things be simple? That said, sorry they bothered you. Regards, TOF
I’m in. I subscribed.
WP is famous for fixing things that are not broken
Be well, TOF!