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Ballad of Cords

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Ballad of Cords

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Ballad of Cords

You've heard about our warriors,
In uniforms of green.
There's damned hear half a million,
Of our troops who've made the scene.

There's the Big Red One and the First Air Cav
And all those other hordes.
But you've seldom heard a single word,
About the creature known as CORDS.

Now CORDS, the world's ninth wonder
Was born in merry May,
with a mighty roar of thunder,
On a sultry Saigon day.

And CORDS was nursed on nuoc mam,
And teethed on TNT,
'Cause this poor bastard's parents,
Were called OCO and MACV.

Komer and westmoreland,
Loved that rascal CORDS,
And knew they had to teach him to weld
Plowshares into swords.

Now both CORDS' noble parents,
Had fought for minds and hearts,
But CORDS set out to fight the war,
With view graph slides and charts.

Yes OCO had its RD teams,
And MACV the brigade,
But CORDS rushed into battle,
With its briefers on parade.

Uncle McNamara,
Comes out from time to time,
To inspect the growing baby,
In the torrid tropic clime.

He listens to the briefings,
And reviews the cadre groups,
And if RD is lagging,
He just sends more combat troops.

The troops provide security,
So CORDS can pacify,
And require Siagon's bureaucracy,
To expand and multiply.

We once had several agencies,
To seek our common goals,
They had a common mission,
Although each had different roles.

Then we unified the agencies,
For RD was moving slow,
And civilians in the field marched forth
'Neath the flag of OCO.

But OCO died in labor,
When CORDS was born in May,
And CORDS is blessed with the MACV crest
Until their dying day.
Note: CORDS stood for Civil Operations and Revolutionary
     Development Support
From The Longest Day, Bowen and Fish
tune: Either Wabash Cannonball or Puff, the Magic Dragon
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III