1960's Protest Music bALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS

1.) Who is the artist? Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler

2.) What is the name of the song? Ballad of the Green Berets

3.) When was it recorded/released? Recorded January of 1966, it became a hit song a few months later and topped as No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks; from March to April

4.) What other famous songs did Barry Sadler sing? Barry Sadler had wrote and performed many songs, but the only one that came close to being as popular as "Ballad of the Green Berets" was "The 'A' Team," which reached No. 28 on the charts.


5.) What do you think the words of the song mean? The song as a whole talks a lot about the Green Berets and the many things they go through. Whether it's fighting, training, or survival, they have the hardest jobs. They are so courageous they are willing to die for their country. The song repeats a lot about how they are America's best and how very few manage to make the rank of Green Beret, but it also talks about the death of a Green Beret and about how it affects their family at home.

6.) How to they relate and reflect the time period? The song lyrics reflect a lot about the Vietnam War and how wives and children were losing loved ones when they could not do anything about it. What the song does not talk about is how the 97 people that did not make the rank of Green Beret were send out to do the lesser, more dangerous jobs, even though they are less trained.

7.) What was going on when this song was popular? When this song was popular the Vietnam War was raging on, but what made this song so popular was the many anti-war protests going on around the world. Around the time the song reached No. 1 there was over 200,000 anti-Vietnam War protesters around the world.

8.) What was the overall inspiration and message of the lyrics of the song? Barry Sadler's overall inspiration for writing this song was mainly his own personal experiences. Before becoming a musician, Sadler was part of the Green Berets, and nearly died in combat when he fell into a Viet Chong trap. The message he meant to convey in this song was both a rallying cry for the soldiers fighting, and also a reminder to the people of America, who were neglecting veterans, that many more people were being affected than just the soldiers.

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