Big & Rich
(Kenny Alphin and John Rich)

Big & Rich: Kenny Alphin and John Rich

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: Awarded: July 5, 2006
Awarded: Awarded: July 5, 2006
Big & Rich formed in Nashville around 1998, when ex-Lonestar vocalist John Rich began collaborating with songwriter Big Kenny (real name: Kenny Alphin who’d once led an outfit called luvjOi).

On November 8, 1965, the 173d Airborne Brigade during Operation Hump in War Zone D in Vietnam, were ambushed by over 1200 Viet Cong. 48 American soldiers lost their lives that day. This documentary/music video (which is included as a YouTube Presentation below), is introduced by Chris Christopherson and tells the story.

8th OF NOVEMBER

He said goodbye to his momma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue
He was 19 in green with a new M-16
Just doin’ what he had to do.

He was dropped in the jungle
Where the choppers would rumble
With the smell of napalm in the air
Then the sergeant said, “Look up ahead”

And like a dark, evil cloud
1,200 came down
on him and 29 more
They fought for their lives
But most of them died
In the 173rd Airborne

Chorus:

On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin’
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin’ down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin’ that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

Now he’s 58
And his ponytails grey
But the battle still plays in his head
He limps when he walks,
But he’s strong when he talks
About the shrapnel they left in leg

He puts on a grey suit
Over his airborne tattoo
He ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen,
As he orders a tall one
And swallows it down with his tears

Chorus:

On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin’
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin’ down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin’ that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965

Chorus:

On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin’
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin’ down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin’ that day

Chorus:

On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin’
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin’ down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin’ that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

The 8th of November
The 8th of November

He said goodbye to his momma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue
He was 19 in green with a new M-16
Just doin’ what he had to do.