http://namtour.com/nuthin.html “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” A phrase oft repeated in Vietnam, worn paper thin By soldiers used an awful lot When it’s gettin’ bricky hot... Under pressure with lives on the line Melancholy existence on a definite decline. “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’, they say” Turning stone-faced from fears to walk away As though something's stolen part of their soul Left no way sorrow's grief to console Led too far astray in hell's battles darkning gray Forever boyhood humanity to betray... Staggering memories stored way down deep on the pile Hidden from the light of day...for awhile! "But It Don’t Mean Nuthin’" It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ He says, when things happen that mean plenty To tough combat grunt gentry As things in war too often do... Boiling over in Nam's killing zone damps and dew Not able to face it Not now... Too painful to think about it Not now... So forget about it... Bag it Take this shit and shove it Nuthin’ I do or say makes any difference anyway So put it on the back burner till another day Pretend it didn't happen Cause “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ Means he couldn’t handle it that day So he walked away Fraught with a lonely stare of dismay Repressed it...denied it Sick of it...belied it Pushed it down somewhere in the back of reality Crammed down a crack of the last vestige of sanity Lost in the context of where he was going In order to go on doing what he was doing Heartsick from unbearably painful sights Took that next step away from unthinkable afterthoughts. It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ He says, when the world seems so unfair In a world of unimaginable danger a very soul will unbare Ordered to walk point again Durn... And it wasn’t even his turn A shock Load and lock Go forth, yours but this violence to pursue Go forth, as fears in the shadows ensue Ordered to hump into the heart of the gloom Dead weight on your shoulders of impending doom In an alien, unknown war virtually alone Without a love of his own. It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ Cause nobody cares if you don’t want to Never quite ready are you For dedicated men constantly trying to kill you Preoccupied with your dying In wait for you lying... Here, there, along jungled treeline Prone behind that entangled vine Just off the trail in a ditch's rocky incline Go, dive deeply into this living nightmare impacted By some politician back home patriotically advocated Cause “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” A kid begging for candy has a grenade strapped to his back... It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ When you kill your first man... “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” Forever haunted by the last look in his eye... “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” Receiving a “Dear John” from your girl, diamond ring inside... It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ Tormented by water, leaches, footrot up to my thigh It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ You didn’t want to live forever, did you? Cause "It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” No one back home can ever understand Not even begin to comprehend Feeling hot, sticky blood On your hand Blood of your enemy Paying dear for his tyranny Or is it your own blood...maybe your buddy? “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” You cry out in a primal scream of despair... Welling inside voice a swear “Where, dammit, where In this fetid land is hope?" Principled men, good men, find it so hard to cope... But when in still silence comes momentary lull in the fray Nestles a tear in the tough guy’s eye that day... “But It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ When your best buddy... On the narrow banks of rice paddy muddy Your brother in arms Steps on a land-mine in this world of harms And as they do every blasted time in this festering hole That mine blew a hole in his soul... He lost his leg... Hear him screaming for his mother beg... Bloody and torn... Lost and forlorn... Hear him as like a baby he cries Hear his last gurgling cry before he dies Hold him as he lost his life... Who’ll tell his wife “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” Calmly wash the blood off your hands Now lonelier in these alien lands Yours but to bite the bullet...and go on Now your brother’s bloodied and gone To a far-off soldier’s hell for Nam's sins to atone Leaving you to pick up the pieces... Fighting hard to keep from going to pieces... “An It Don’t Mean Nuthin’ you say” As you slump to the ground to pray... End of subject... You say, with lowly feelings abject “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” Repeating a phrase growing increasingly thin. You feel the horrors eating at you so bad Yet, know you can’t afford feeling so sad You've still got to keep your head about you Raise beleaguered eyes to go on and do For when being alert “is” life or death important... You cannot relent. Put away thoughts welling from soul depths cruddy Wearing you down like a liquor besotted toddy Can't afford thinking of your buddy With the far away eyes There's no time for grieving those mindless sighs Just put him into that body bag filled with his agonies “Cause It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” There's no time to cure an unbelieving stare Malevolently looking to the forests to dare Carry him to the medevac dustoff... You'll go insane unless the memory you blowoff... With every fiber of your deep down being loving him Wishing there was something more you could do for him Feeling guilty... In the war’s greatest travesty... Trying not to cry why wasn’t it you had to die... “God...it Don’t Mean Nuthin’” “Say it don’t Mean Nuthin’” And just turn and walk away When you just can’t handle it till some other day Some far off day... Only another vet can understand Only another vet can comprehend One who’s walked the rim of the last mile One who says he never again will smile Spending time still searching "the park" From dawn till dark Bravado belying the fateful tear Hiding deep down inside his fear Death's specter still hovering gruesome near Into the valley of the shadow I shall not fear Cause "It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” You didn’t want to be the one from the medevac To turn your back Face the creeping forest motley black... Just turn and walk away Back into the heat of deadly fray Back where people try to kill you You don’t plan to live forever, do you? You know it’s now your turn to bleed Plant in Vietnam your precious seed... “But It Don’t Mean Nuthin’.” Now when you hear vets say, “It Don’t Mean Nuthin’” Just know...it means everything!