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I WAS ONLY NINETEEN

My Song Book

I WAS ONLY NINETEEN


Redgum


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[A] Mum and Dad and [C] Denny saw the [G] passing-out pa-[D]-rade at Pucka-[A]-punyal

It was a [G] long march from [A] cadets

[A] The Sixth Battalion was the [C] next to tour and it was [G] me who drew the [D] card

We did [A] Canungra and Shoal-[G]-water before we [A] left

And [E] Townsville lined the footpaths as we [D] marched down to the [A] quay

This [E] clipping from the paper shows us [D] young and strong and [A] clean

And [F#m] there's me in my [E] slouch hat, With my [D] SLR and [A] greens

God [E] help me, I was only nine-[D]-teen


[A] From Vung Tau riding [C] Chinooks, to the [G] dust at Nui [D] Dat

I'd been [A] in and out of [G] choppers now for [A] months

And we [A] made our tents a [C] home, VB and [G] pin-ups on the [D] lockers

And an [A] Asian orange [G] sunset through the [A] scrub

And [E] can you tell me doctor why I [D] still can't get to [A] sleep?

And [E] night time's just a jungle dark and a [D] barking M Six-[A]-teen?

And [F#m] what's this rash that [E] comes and goes,

Can you [D] tell me what it [A] means?

God [E] help me, I was only nine-[D]-teen


[A] A four week oper-[C]-ation, when each [G] step could be your [D] last one

On two [A] legs; it was a [G] war within your-[A]-self

But you [A] wouldn't let your [C] mates down till they [G] had you dusted [D] off

So you [A] closed your eyes and [G] thought about something [A] else

Then [E] someone yelled out "Contact!" and the [D] bloke behind me [A] swore

We [E] hooked in there for hours, then a [D] God-almighty [A] roar

[F#m] Frankie kicked a [E] mine the day that [D] mankind kicked the [A] moon

God [E] help me, he was going home in [D] June


[A] I can still see [C] Frankie, drinking [G] tinnies in the [D] Grand Hotel

On a [A] thirty six hour [G] rec leave in Vung [A] Tau

And [A] I can still hear [C] Frankie, lying [G] screaming in the [D] jungle

Till the [A] morphine came and [G] killed the bloody [A] row

And the [E] Anzac legends didn't mention [D] mud and blood and [A] tears

And the [E] stories that my father told me [D] never seemed quite [A] real

[F#m] I caught some pieces [E] in my back that I [D] didn't even [A] feel

God [E] help me, I was only nine-[D]-teen


[E] And can you tell me doctor why I [D] still can't get to [A] sleep?

And [E] why the Channel Seven chopper [D] chills me to my [A] feet?

And [F#m] what's this rash that [E] comes and goes, Can you [D] tell me what it [A] means?

God [E] help me, I was only nine-[D]-teen


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