A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 16, 2017

Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

In our previous post to feature this artist, it was mentioned how Patrick Sky’s political point of view had become more radical toward the end of the 1960s as the American involvement in Vietnam escalated. Naturally, the more radical Sky’s views became, the more radical his lyrics became. When Sky finished recording tracks in March 1971 for his forthcoming album, Songs That Made America Famous, the radical lyrics within lead to rejection from several record labels who refused to pick up the album for distribution. Eventually, in 1973, Sky decided to release the album on his own record label, Rainbow Collection, and eventually got it picked up by Adelphi Records. With its radical lyrics and limited promotion, the album didn’t sell as well as it could have in a more lenient market, such as today’s.

Written by Dave Van Ronk (and eventually recorded/released by him in 1994), the first recording and release of the song was the version recorded by Patrick Sky in 1971 and heard below. Initially, Vank Ronk was intended to appear with Sky on the song, but for reasons not mentioned, it never happened. There’s a live version of the song which features both Van Ronk and Sky from a tour they did together in 1973, but the version heard below is the original featuring only Patrick Sky and released on his 1973 album, Songs That Made America Famous.

album art

Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

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Lyrics:

When I came back from Luang Prabang
I didn’t have a thing where my balls used to hang
But I got a wooden medal and a fine harangue
And now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

And now the boys all envy me
I fought for Christian Democracy
With nothing but air where my balls used to be
But now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

One and twenty cannon thunder
Into the bloody, wild, blue yonder
For a patriotic ball-less wonder
Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

In Luang Prabang there is a spot
Where the corpses of your brothers rot
And every corpse is a patriot
And every corpse is a hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

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