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#210019 - 03/14/13 02:11 PM ninteen  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Tom Priestly Offline
Tom Priestly  Offline

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
I was visiting England in 1985 when the song "NIneteen" became popular. The writer, Paul Hardcastle was comparing his own life at 19 to those of the soldiers featured: "...what struck me was how young the soldiers were: the documentary said their average age was 19. I was out having fun in pubs and clubs when I was 19, not being shoved into jungles and shot at." The title "19" comes from a documentary's claim that the average age of an American combat soldier in the war was 19, as compared to World War II's 26. The source for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, shows a large number of deaths (38%) were ages 19 or 20. The song is known for its "stuttering" refrain: "N-n-n-n-nineteen".

Prof. Emeritus Tom Priestly
Modern Languages & Cultural Studies
University of Alberta
Edmonton AB
Canada T6G 2E6

#210024 - 03/14/13 03:00 PM Re: ninteen [Re: Tom Priestly]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,134
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
LukeJavan8  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,134
Land of the Flat Water
I remember it well.

----please, draw me a sheep----
#210055 - 03/18/13 01:10 AM Re: ninteen [Re: Tom Priestly]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
qwerrk Offline
qwerrk  Offline

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Greetings, yes indeed Tom, I remember the song and video well. It's unfortunate that the link posted in AWAD for Paul Hardcastle's '19' has to point to one of the many newer versions/mixes of the video.

The original is unsurpassed and is a much more impactful and to the point video. (Sorry, I have no link to give as it is apparently no longer available thanks to EMI's stinginess...best as I can tell anyway).

The "nuh-nuh-nuh-nineteen" is certainly earconic to the song but so is the uttered phrase "I wasn't really sure what was going on..." and it's the more telling.

Average age aside and 40 years beyond "'Nam" war has not gotten an iota better for any involved....hmm, maybe UAV pilots? I suppose most of them sleep okay at night...or then again maybe not :-\

Unrelated to the focus of this week's AWAD on the number 19, I actually watched the 1985 video within the past week (I long ago snagged my own copy before EMI protested to whoever and shut it down :-p ).

Deh, deh, deh,, deh, deh, DESTRUCTION! / Suh, suh, suh, Saigon / Vietnam / Suh, suh, suh, Saigon / Vietnam / Suh, suh, suh, Saigon / Nuh, nuh, nuh....

TR Hanlon / qwuh, qwuh, qwuh, qwerrk

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