Gary Jacobson

JOHNSON COUNTY

I’m just a poor boy from Johnson County
A bluegrass bred in the soul son of Kentucky
Born with life on the line red white and blue legacy
Bred with touchstone courage envisioning sweet liberty.

So when somebody sang the somebody done somebody wrong song
Johnson County boys answered with patriotism strong
For sweet freedom I walked the line
Fought to preserve a nation from that communist bind.

When somebody abuses the rights of others
Sons of Kentucky join hands with legions of brothers
To fight for mankind’s sacred right
Unshackling chains of oppression with Kentucky might.

Men of Johnson County answered Uncle Sam’s call
Heard his pleading to save a nation from bitter gall.
For Johnson county men bear brave fiber of patriots
Stand ready and able to wield truth’s sword zealots.

Sent so far away to fight… perhaps to die
Oh for me, with southern sensibility, do not cry
But steel up your brave Kentucky courage
For one gone to spit in the face of war’s carnage.

So I hump a klick or two in Nam’s park
Dangerous each dawning day unto dark
Jousting mid jungled snares with evil incarnate
Wrestling with forces to this poor boy abominate.

I’ve traveled far away from my old Kentucky home
To a land truly fearsome, across briny foam
But men of Johnson County abide true to country
True to themselves, honoring cherished family.

Though loathsome horrors have these young eyes in war seen
Moldering cruelly in jungled shadows tangled green
My brother’s blood on my hands, blown to kingdom come
Humping in luscious killing tares, heartsick and lonesome.

Oh, winds of war o’er my heart tempestuously blow
Blades of blue grass in the chaos sow
Shaking mind, body and spirit bloody and torn
Mid Nam’s tangled snarls of all civility shorn.

Yet Washington fat cats in callous arrogance say
Rome wasn’t built in a day
By this to justify this decade long war
Taking us to die so far from American shore.

Nam’s great absurdity
Nagging at this innate Johnson County sensibility
Grates growing feelings in my wearied soul irksome
For breathes the fact, our fight here’s misbecome…

For in grueling months I’ve seen no plan this war to win
Kain-tuck blood in Nam’s killing fields forlornly thin
Seeing brothers of the sod one-by-one fall
Pay final homage to war god’s all.

I cry for humanity dissipating at the end of my gun
Staring as the lights go out, all sanity to shun
Watching a bloody pink mass leaking life before my eyes
Claiming the proclaimed victor’s gory prize…

Before long, this combat veteran hears no greater call
Knowing in life and death, some die hopelessly in war’s pall.
Now, this veteran of war fights only to survive,
Hoping to one more day in this whirlwind dervish stay alive.

Now, my sole purpose to watch a brother’s back
To guard against men who wantonly kill in brazen attack
Survive to make it back to “the world,”
Back to gentle bluegrass fields in Kentucky dreams unfurled.

Oh, blue moon of Kentucky keep on shinin’
Shine bright on my old Kentucky home for which I’m pinin’
Shine on Kentucky boys steadfast as your hills of granite
Sent to fight in this southeast Asian armpit…

Oh carry me back to my beloved Johnson county
Honor my final wish to abide in serene harmony.
Lay my war torn body ‘neath Kentucky bluegrass sod
Held in the arms now of brothers… and God.

Oh I pray mankind will one day war’s lessons learn
True fruits from past battles earn…
Turn from heat of battle to peaceful seeds sow
Sweeter peace harvest from the heart of battle grow.