Safe Behind The Wire lyrics
On Etched In Blue (1987), Portrait - The Very Best of John Schumann (2002), Behind The Lines (2008) and as a single
Safe Behind The Wire (John Schumann)
To the memory of Philip Thompson OA who as a national president of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, devoted the last years of his life to the welfare of over 50,000 veterans and their families. Phill was dusted off for the last time in the early hours of Sunday 23/11/1986. A good mate and a great Australian… goodbye and God bless Phil…
When the bodies were bagged and the telegrams sent
And the very last chopper had gone
And you looked out the window of the 707 on the airfield in Saigon,
Some of us thought that the war was over
Some of us couldn’t care less;
But you came home and threw a stay-behind party to try to clear up the mess.
I don’t know where you are tonight.. I’m down here in a firefight…
But where-ever you are, I hope you’re safe behind the wire.
We were fighting for freedom in South-East Asia…. That’s how the story ran;
Windy speeches about a domino falling from China into Vietnam…
But look back in sickness and anger,
Australia didn’t honour her debt;
And non-commission Officer Thompson learned that the war wasn’t over yet.
Living on your nerves, living on the phone and sleeping in airports far from home….
Dusted off now and safe behind the wire.
Well he have and he gave and he kept on giving, till he just couldn’t give anymore;
And he gave it away one morning in Sydney in a rust-red Commodore…
And I remember Phill best talking on the phone,
With a cheeky grin on his face….
Because Royal Commissioners and Knights of the Realm
Thought that Phill didn’t know his place.
And the’re still bagging bodies, Phill, though fourteen years have gone;
And the mums and the dads and the wives and the kids still have to soldier on.