Writers Of The Rio Grande Classic

For Memorial Day 2017

For decades and decades following the  The Vietnam War The U.S. Government denies any ill health effects from the herbicide Agent Orange. Some years back after many veterans of the conflict had died from it, it was admitted that there was some legitimacy  to the illnesses that  thousands upon thousands of veterans were complaining of. Sadly, some of the same chemical compounds used in agent orange are still being used in agriculture today.

What not everyone knows is that more veterans die from disease, illness connected to their service, and from suicide than are ever killed in combat. Something to ponder Memorial Day 2017.

Thanks to Beto Conde for penning a classic. Please spread this link far and wide. 

A poem by Beto Conde | music by edgardo

I got the Agent Orange Blues
Sprayed over my head as I lay in my jungle Bed
Forty years gone, now something here is wrong
It’s closing in on me
Why won’t it let me be?

I got the Agent Orange blues
Traveling down the years to find me
I never placed the order
Still I pay and pay
This son of a bitch will not go away
I got the Agent Orange Blues

I got the Agent Orange blues;
The government swears I’m lying
But it feels so much like dying
They say he ain’t really nuts
Maybe just a little stressed out
Maybe he’ll just go away
His kind get fewer every day

To cure these Agent Orange blues
Grandma’s home remedies just won’t do
The Agent Orange burrows so deep inside
Springs the ambush, kills me some
Then it goes off to hide
Sneaky-ass Agent Orange Blues

Woke up this morning;
Nothing is where it should be;
Down is up, up is down

What is wrong with me?

I feel I’m headed underground
No one needs me around
I feel I’m going down

Now don’t feel so lucky to be left out
The Agency still has quite the clout
They got poison mixing up especially for you too

Right now all I can do is
Try just to survive the death moving inside
They call the agent Orange Blues

Author: Beto Conde

Beto Conde has written a series of short stories and poems about his Vietnam experience titled “Moonlight Faces.” One of the poems was selected for the tribute at the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. which he read at the event. He currently lives in the Valley and writes poetry and short stories.


2 Responses to Agent Orange Blues

  1. Kamala says:

    fantastic–both words and music…

  2. Alejandro says:

    Excellent!! I really like the music, the feeling to sing it and the lyrics.

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