Colin F. Jones

BRIEF ENCOUNTER

One day on operations close to the Bien Hoa Base,
They reckoned that we’d earned the right, to do a recce of the place,
So the seventy two square miles of stores and piles of weapons there,
Were open for surveillance we were allowed to go everywhere
Soon we met some ‘septic tanks’ who liked our bonzer hats,
But most of all the beers we shared made them as crook as us.
Off we went; the canteens there restricted where you sat,
Down to a sandbagged dugout place to drink and chew the fat.
The night rolled on and time it passed so fast we all forgot,
‘Cause when Aussies get to know the Yanks the difference ain’t a lot!
We drank on through the tepid night while the MP’s searched us out,
When they found us drunk as Lords they joined in and had a shout.
Then marched us off to the trucks to take us back to base,
And of our friends the ‘septic tanks’ there wasn’t any trace
It was rare for us to find our way, among our American mates,
‘Cause we were banned from all their sites to share in their debates,
We fought the war side by side but were never allowed to mix,
‘Cause all the brass that ran the show were just a bunch of pricks.
So now we sit in retrospect of the fun we might have shared,
If only those, the powers that be, had for a moment cared.

Author’s Note: We Australians pronounced Bien Hoa as “ben whar”