Paul Kaplan, qui appartenait au groupe de la revue Broadside, avait été enthousiasmé par les premières chansons de Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton ou Phil Ochs, et s’était intégré à la scène folk de Greenwich Village. À la fin des années 70, il a édité les trois albums posthumes de Phil Ochs. Son répertoire était essentiellement celui de la chanson protestataire, et son profond investissement contre la guerre du Vietnam s’est en particulier exprimé par cette chanson – sobrement intitulée Vietnam.

Avez vous jamais vu un pays ruiné, où les fleurs ne repousseront pas ? Avez vous jamais entendu le tonnerre partout autour de vous ? Avez-vous jamais tué un homme sans même connaître son nom ? Vous êtes vous jamais levé avec la tête baissée de honte ? Alors vous avez connu le pays qu’on appelle le Vietnam.


VIETNAM

Have you ever seen a ruined land?
Have you ever seen a meadow that will never bloom again?
Have you ever sean such horrors brother about by man?
Have you ever stood between the clapping of two hands

Have you ever heard thunder all around?
Have you ever tried to bury your face in the ground?
Have you ever cried to Heaven how far must I go down?
Did you ever know your screaming didn’t make a sound?

Did you ever feel the earth tremble beneath the iron rain?
Did you ever lose your best friend and you could not feel the pain?
Did you ever kill a man and you did not know his name?
Did you ever try to rise up when your head was hung in shame?

The Romans burned Carthage to win the Punic War
And nothing grew but misery for a thousand years or more
All the children lost their future with their fathers and their home
How do I know about it, it was written down in Rome.

Have you ever seen a ruined land?
Have you ever seen a meadow that will never bloom again?
Have you ever sean such horrors bro’t about by man?
Have you ever stood between the clapping of two hands
Then you’ve seen the country that is know as Vietnam
Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam.