Poetry Friday

Today’s Poetry Friday theme is Bob Dylan and his music. I was poking around, reading lyrics from some of Dylan’s songs and discovered some that really struck a chord with me. The song is “Clean-cut Kid”. It weaves the tale of Vietnam vet.  I met with my literature circle group that is reading Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam today and we were discussing Vietnam.  My kids are loving Cracker’s story, and they are learning a lot about the war in Vietnam.  This song tells the tale of so many young men who went over to Vietnam and had no idea what to expect.  Read it over and just picture the images that Dylan creates….

  Everybody wants to know why he couldn’t adjust
Adjust to what, a dream that bust?

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

They said what’s up is down, they said what isn’t is
They put ideas in his head he thought were his

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He was on the baseball team, he was in the marching band
When he was ten years old he had a watermelon stand

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He went to church on Sunday, he was a Boy Scout
For his friends he would turn his pockets inside out

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

They said, “Listen boy, you’re just a pup”
They sent him to a napalm health spa to shape up

They gave him dope to smoke, drinks and pills,
A jeep to drive, blood to spill

They said “Congratulations, you got what it takes”
They sent him back into the rat race without any brakes

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He bought the American dream but it put him in debt
The only game he could play was Russian roulette

He drank Coca-Cola, he was eating Wonder Bread,
Ate Burger Kings, he was well fed

He went to Hollywood to see Peter O’Toole
He stole a Rolls Royce and drove it in a swimming pool

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

He could’ve sold insurance, owned a restaurant or bar
Could’ve been an accountant or a tennis star

He was wearing boxing gloves, took a dive one day
Off the Golden Gate Bridge into China Bay

His mama walks the floor, his daddy weeps and moans
They gotta sleep together in a home they don’t own

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did

Well, everybody’s asking why he couldn’t adjust
All he ever wanted was somebody to trust

They took his head and turned it inside out
He never did know what it was all about

He had a steady job, he joined the choir
He never did plan to walk the high wire

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That’s what they did


Copyright © 1985 Special Rider Music

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2 Responses

  1. I love the song and I loved CRACKER! What a great combination. Thank you so much!

  2. Wish it felt further away than it does. Thanks for sharing…

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