What constitutes a Vietnam War song? To be included in this discography it must mention Vietnam, or if released between 1962 and 1975—the so-called "war years"—its lyrics must deal with soldiers, fighting, patriotism and related issues. Songs that were popular with soldiers but had no direct link to the war generally are not included.
Inclusion criteria for post‐war songs—1975 to the present—are somewhat different. While mention of the Vietnam War continues to find its way into song lyrics, there are also new categories that qualify. By far the largest of these is songs by Vietnam veterans. Whether they are retrospective or deal with current issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the effects of Agent Orange or homelessness, they are considered war songs.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (aka "the Wall") is the subject of another large group of songs. While the vast majority of songs have English lyrics, the Discography has also begun to add Vietnam War songs that were recorded in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish and other languages. Appropriately titled instrumentals are also listed.
When the first [Incomplete] Discography was published in 1993 it had about 550 entries. Four years later that number had grown to over 800. C.L. Yarbrough became a co‐researcher in 2002 and his Internet searches helped the listing surpass 2100 songs in early 2008. Frank Merrill’s collection of 55,000+ uncharted singles added approximately 1200 new Vietnam titles in 2009. By the end of 2010 the Discography listed over 4100 entries—more than 3000 unique titles—and is still growing. The content indexed in this online collection represents a portion of the total content listed in pdf format.
It will quickly become evident that the Discography still has many gaps missing labels and record numbers, missing dates, etc. Any reader with additions or corrections is strongly encouraged to contact Hugo Keesing at firstname.lastname@example.org Your input will gladly be accepted.
Other significant discographies of Vietnam War recordings, including at a minimum several hundred titles, have been prepared by Lee Andresen (Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War, Savage Press, 2003), John McAskill (“Vietnam War Music Bibliography," online at http://www.lasalle.edu/library/speccoll/Bibliographies/VIETNAM_WAR_MUSIC_BIBLIOGRAPHY.pdf) and James Perrone (Songs of the Vietnam Conflict, Greenwood Press, 2001). Their contents have largely been accepted and incorporated here.
- Hugo Keesing
- Wouter Keesing
- C.L. Yarbrough
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