Gung Ho

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 pm, April 5th, 2010 - 3 comments
Categories: music, youtube - Tags:


On a field of red one gold star
Raised above his head
Raised above his head
He was not like any other
He was just like any other
And the song they bled
Was a hymn to him

Awake my little one
The seed of revolution
Sewn in the sleeve
Of cloth humbly worn
Where others are adorned

Above the northern plain
The great birds fly
With great wings
Over the paddy fields
And the people kneel
And the men they toil
Yet not for their own
And the children are hungry
And the wheel groans

There before a grass hut
A young boy stood
His mother lay dead
His sisters cried for bread
And within his young heart
The seed of revolution sewn
In cloth humbly worn
While others are adorned

And he grew into a man
Not like any other
Just like any other
One small man
A beard the color of rice
A face the color of tea
Who shared the misery
Of other men in chains
With shackles on his feet
Escaped the guillotine

Who fought against
Colonialism imperialism
Who remained awake
While others slept
Who penned like Jefferson
Let independence ring
And the cart of justice turns
Slow and bitterly
And the people were crying
Plant that seed that seed
And they crawled on their bellies
Beneath the giant beast
And filled the carts with bodies
Where once had been their crops

And the great birds swarm
Spread their wings overhead
And his mother dead
And the typhoons and the rain
The jungles in flames
And the orange sun
None could be more beautiful
Than Vietnam
Nothing was more beautiful
Than Vietnam

And his heart stopped beating
And the wheel kept turning
And the words he bled
Were a hymn to them
I have served the whole people
I have served my whole country
And as I leave this world
May you suffer union
And my great affection
Limitless as sky
Filled with golden stars

The question is raised
Raised above his head
Was he of his word
Was he a good man
For his image fills the southern heart
With none but bitterness

And the people keep crying
And the men keep dying
And it’s so beautiful
So beautiful
Give me one more turn
Give me one more turn
One more turn of the wheel

One more revolution
One more turn of the wheel

3 comments on “Gung Ho”

  1. RedLogix 1

    This is why art trumps logic everytime. It’s why our heart, and the direction we choose to turn it in, is the ultimate and final arbiter of who we are and what we are worth.

    And courtesy wikipedia:

    The term was picked up by United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson from his New Zealand friend, Rewi Alley, one of the founders of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: “I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together-Work in Harmony….

    Who’d a thunk it?

  2. Greg Presland 2

    I am currently in Vietnam. I browsed to the Standard to see what was happening in NZ and saw this. How appropriate!

    Vietnam is in remarkably fine shape. The people are magnificent, still poor but proud and resourceful. They will survive and they are very forgiving. Americans I have seen here have been treated with courtesy.

    Over the centuries the Vietnamese have seen off invasions from the Chinese, the French and the Americans, All they wanted was their country free of occupiers. They also stopped the murderous actions of Pol Pot and freed Cambodia from its misery.

    The communist party still has a large role to play but the country is very young and most people have cellphones and an internet feed of one sort or another. They are very knowledgeable and most of them speak far more English than I speak Vietnamese.

    They have a market economy but one tempered with a strong sense of community and national pride. They are very cooperative but at the same time are very canny.

    For a country that 15 years age faced the prospect of failure Vietnam is doing very well. America should take notice.

  3. prism 3

    “They have a market economy but one tempered with a strong sense of community and national pride. They are very cooperative but at the same time are very canny.

    What a good description Greg. Very resilient people. I wonder if NZ can match that summary, the total of it. We could match some but not all I think. What do others think? I often feel that we are sinking in all ways, and without enough nous, ideas or determination to do anything except moan about crime, dole bludgers etc. It’s always them….

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