Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

“I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 19, 2010

The Dirty South” by the Drive-By Truckers was written from a recollection of band member Patterson Hood.

The title of this entry is a line from the 2003 song, “The Sands of Iwo Jima” on the album “The Dirty South” by the Drive-By Truckers was written from a recollection of band member Patterson Hood.

In his album commentary about this song, Patterson said: “As a kid, I spent every weekend at my Great-Uncle’s farm (my family’s old homestead) where I rode go-carts and acted out my favorite movie scenes in the woods. George A. is an amazing man (still kicking hard at 84) and I have long tried to capture a glimpse of those times in a song.

“During World War II he was drafted and ended up on the island Iwo Jima in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. As a curious child, I’d often innocently ask him about all that. One night while watching the old John Wayne movie (The Sands Of Iwo Jima) on TV, he simply said that he “never saw John Wayne over there”.

“So many of the folks I’ve written about in this album feel forced into doing terrible things. George A. was no doubt, changed by his experience, but I know him to be easily one of the greatest men I have ever met, thus, making it a much trickier subject to write about.”

Patterson’s observations are about truth and reality, honor, dignity and service.. the giving of oneself for others esteeming them, their needs and wants greater than yours. Doubtless, we all, at one time or another, have met these unassuming quiet heroes, men whom are the backbone of our communities.

In his 1909 book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.”

Following are the lyrics to the song…

The Sands of Iwo Jima

George A. was at the movies in December ’41
They announced it in the lobby what had just gone on
He drove up from Birmingham back to the family’s farm
Thought he’d get him a deferment there’s was much work to be done
He was a family man, even in those days
But Uncle Sam decided he was needed anyway
In the South Pacific over half a world away
He believed in God and Country, things was just that way

Just that way…..

When I was just a kid I spent every weekend
On the farm that he grew up on so I guess so did I
And we’d stay up watching movies on the black and white TV
We watched “The Sands of Iwo Jima” starring John Wayne

Every year in June George A. goes to a reunion
Of the men that he served with and their wives and kids and grandkids
My Great Uncle used to take me and I’d watch them recollect
about some things I couldn’t comprehend

And I thought about that movie, asked if it was that way
He just shook his head and smiled at me in such a loving way
As he thought about some friends he will never see again
He said “I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima”

Most of those men are gone now but he goes still every year
And George A’s still doing fine, especially for his years
He’s still living on that homestead in the house that he was born in
And I sure wish I could go see him today

He never drove a new car though he could easily afford it
He’d just buy one for the family and take whatever no one wanted
He said a shiny car didn’t mean much after all the things he’d seen
George A. never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jima

Title: Sands of Iwo Jima
Artist: Drive-By Truckers
Album: The Dirty South

SANDS OF IWO JIMA (Legal Title)

BMI Work #6944534
Songwriter/Composer; Current Affiliation; CAE/IPI #
JOHN MICHAEL COOLEY; BMI; 504182683
PATTERSON D HOOD; BMI; 129114200
MICHAEL JASON ISBELL; BMI; 438211868
BRADLEY SCOTT MORGAN; BMI; 194143567
SHONNA LEE TUCKER; BMI; 504875055

Publishers
RAZOR AND TIE MUSIC PUBLISHING; BMI; 238650263
RAZOR AND TIE MUSIC PUBLISHING
CAE/IPI #: 238650263
Phone:(212) 473-9173
Fax:(212) 473-9174
Contact:
RAZOR & TIE DIRECT LLC
DBA RAZOR AND TIE MUSIC PUBLISHING
214 SULLIVAN ST STE 4-A
NEW YORK, NY 10012
RDEPERTO@RAZORANDTIE.COM
http://www.razorandtie.com

SOUL DUMP MUSIC; BMI; 430676563
SOUL DUMP MUSIC
CAE/IPI #: 430676563
Phone:(212) 473-9173
Fax:(212) 473-9174
Contact:
RAZOR & TIE DIRECT LLC
DBA RAZOR AND TIE MUSIC PUBLISHING A/C
SOUL DUMP MUSIC
214 SULLIVAN ST STE 4-A
NEW YORK, NY 10012
http://www.razorandtie.com

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