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Vietnam on Record: An Incomplete Discography, compiled by Hugo Keesing and Wouter Keesing with C.L. Yarbrough
What constitutes a Vietnam War song? To be included in the Discography it must
mention Vietnam, or if released between 1962 and 1975—the so-called war years—its
lyrics must deal with soldiers, fighting, patriotism and related issues. Songs that were
popular with soldiers but had no direct link to the war generally are not included.
Inclusion criteria for post-war songs—1975 to the present—are somewhat
different. While mention of the Vietnam War continues to find its way into song lyrics
there are also new categories that qualify. By far the largest of these is songs by Vietnam
veterans. Whether they are retrospective or deal with current issues including Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the effects of Agent Orange or homelessness, they are
considered war songs. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (aka The Wall) is the subject of
another large group of songs
While the vast majority of songs have English lyrics, the Discography has also
begun to add Vietnam War songs that were recorded in Dutch, French, German, Italian,
Spanish and other languages. Appropriately titled instrumentals are also listed
When the first [Incomplete] Discography was published in 1993 it had about 550
entries. Four years later that number had grown to over 800. C.L. Yarbrough became a
co-researcher in 2002 and his internet searches helped the listing pass 2100 songs in early
2008. Frank Merrill’s collection of 55,000+ uncharted singles added approximately 1200
new Vietnam titles in 2009. By the end of 2010 the Discography listed over 4100
entries—more than 3000 unique titles—and is still growing.
It will quickly become evident that the Discography still has many
gaps-missing labels and record numbers, missing dates, etc. Any reader with
additions or corrections is strongly encouraged to contact Hugo Keesing at
firstname.lastname@example.org Your inputs will gladly be accepted.
Other significant discographies of Vietnam War recordings, including at a
minimum several hundred titles, have been prepared by Lee Andresen (Battle Notes:
Music of the Vietnam War, Savage Press, 2003), John McAskill (“Vietnam War Song
Recordings”; http://lasalle.edu/library/speccoll/vietnam.php) and James Perrone (Songs of
the Vietnam Conflict, Greenwood Press, 2001). Their contents largely has been accepted
and incorporated in this document.