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Song Parodies -> "The Ballad of Abu Ghurayb"

Original Song Title:

"The Ballad of the Green Berets"

Original Performer:

Barry Sadler

Parody Song Title:

"The Ballad of Abu Ghurayb"

Parody Written by:

Bob Gomez

The Lyrics

Captive soldiers in Iraq
Stripped and starved, and beaten and stacked
Lost their freedom, got no pay
The poor men of Abu Ghurayb

Shocking news on CBS
Sad but true, horrific at best
Photographs came out today
From the jail of Abu Ghurayb

Must be seen to be believed
Goes against Ameria's creed
Tortured men are on parade
Detainees of Abu Ghurayb

With black hoods upon their heads
Make one move, you're better off dead
Sleep-deprived unless they gave
Up the goods at Abu Ghurayb

Piles of men with no clothes on
Women laugh and point at their schlongs
That's not what America's for
Message lost in the fog of war

Donald Rumsfeld called to task
Who's in charge?--the senators ask
"Who's in charge? That would be me--
Who's to blame? Photography!"

More than one full year ago
The Red Cross let the Pentagon know
There was widespread prison abuse
Their report was of no damn use

Private Darby is his name
Sent the bad news up the chain
His disclosure now seems brave
That's the news from Abu Ghurayb

Those MP's were poorly trained
Rumsfeld said, "Geneva code's waived!"
Cheney, Powell, and Dubya, too
Buck stops where? We'll get back to you...

Put our values to the test
This can't be America's best
Heal these scars and start today
Burn the jail of Abu Ghurayb
Burn the jail of Abu Ghurayb
ęBob Gomez 2004 Hey hey, ho ho, that Rumsey jerk has got to go!

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.7
How Funny: 4.6
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 7

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   1
 4   0
 5   6

User Comments

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Jack Wilson - May 10, 2004 - Report this comment
Great job! 555
Phil Alexander - May 10, 2004 - Report this comment
DKTOS, but a powerful read.
Bob Gomez - May 10, 2004 - Report this comment
The original song came out in 1966 during the Vietnam War, words and music by Robin Moore and Sergeant Barry Sadler, who recorded it and had a huge hit. It's a song which glorifies military service as much as any pop song ever has. As far as I know, it is the adopted anthem of the Green Berets.
Trojan Cat - May 10, 2004 - Report this comment
555 - Tremendous improvement on that cornball song.
Paul Robinson - May 10, 2004 - Report this comment
Bob, I remember the original - you did a great job of "Refreshing" it here. Not to mention an accurate job of assessing the asses who ought to be answering for this. It should go right up to the top for setting the tone of mistreatment. Instead they're going to try and dump the blame on poorly-trained, undermanned flunkies (yes, they have responsibility, too, but their punishments should be mitigated somewhat by the conditions they were working under and the overall lack of direction and leadership given them).
Jay W - May 11, 2004 - Report this comment
Pristine irony.
Michael Pacholek - May 16, 2004 - Report this comment
Either you are with America, or you are with the Bushies. Clearly, Bob is with America.
Royce Miller - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Bob, at least the prisoners still have their heads. Nick Berg doesn't.
Johnny D - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Powerful stuff, Bob, well done, 555. Royce, you're correct - the sick twisted bastards who sawed-off that poor guy's head with a huge butcher knife while he was fully conscious and screaming deserve the severest punishment under the law - and the sick twisted bastards in the American military chain of command who ordered the torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners deserve to be court martialed and dishonorably discharged, since they have hideously dishonored all of America's brave and honorable military men and women who serve our country with courage, faith, strength, dignity, and respect for their fellow human beings - even for their enemies.
Bob Gomez - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
You're right, Johnny. I think American troops should be setting the highest standard of conduct. Instead, they are following loosely-communicated orders in an atmosphere of vengeance, fear and loathing. No one seems to be in charge, and that is a recipe for disaster. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz bear direct responsibility for what has happened on their watch, and as yet have done nothing to remedy the situation. It's time for both of them to step down, I think.
Johnny D - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
If Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz decide to act like responsible adults and announce their resignations at a press conference at which they courageously accept responsibility for this terrible insult to patriotic American soldiers everywhere, I for one would have a new-found respect for both of them.
Royce Miller - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Johnny D and Bob--While people need to be insulted by the acts of the renegade US soldiers, they don't need to forget about the difference between what they did, and cutting someone's head off--not just one person's, but remember Daniel Pearl also. The difference is, cutting one's head off is always final, brutal to the utmost, and should send a message about the kind of people that want to destroy us. I'm more worried about them than I am about Rumsfeld or anyone else in the government here--but that's me.
Johnny D - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Royce - You saw in my comment above that I agree with you 100% about the evil that motivates the psychopaths who beheaded Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, and that it needs to be punished severely.

I certainly did not forget about the difference between those terrorist murderers and our own small group of misbehaving military personnel, however - please believe me - I see the difference very clearly, as I believe every intelligent and thoughtful American citizen does, too.

I'm not as worried about Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the officers under them who misbehaved as I am about those head-chopping terrorists. But I will not let Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz or the small group of guilty members of the American military chain of command get off scot-free simply because what they did is not as severe or evil as what the head-chopping terrorists did......I want Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to resign, I want the American military officers who either sanctioned the prisoner abuse or who should have stopped it and didn't to be court-martialed and dishonorably discharged, and I do not believe for even just one tiny second that the whole prisoner abuse episode was the work of a tiny group of renegade Private First Class soldiers who were not acting on orders from people higher up in the American chain of command.

We must protect ourselves from those head-chopping psychopaths and fight them off when they try to attack us. BUT it is not patriotic to let Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the guilty American officers - whoever they may be - get away with the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, even if that abuse is far, far less evil than decapitation by terrorists.

I love and respect our honorable and brave military men and women who risk their lives to protect mine!!! Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the corrupt members of the American military chain of command who bear responsibility for abuse of Iraqi prisoners have DISHONORED those courageous and awesomely honorable American soldiers who fight to protect you and me, Royce.
Robert J. Pagliaro - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Very patriotic - Rumsfeld is a sick, sick man. These are bad people in the current administration - no wonder, they all came from the Nixon, Reagan and King Bush I reigns. Let's not lose sight of the fact that more innocent lives have been taken by the American Dictator Bush than were taken in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Thankfully, his days are numbered as more and more of the American people are discovering that this group of murders and theives have been misleading the country.
Royce Miller - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Johnny-This incident with the soldiers will be used to try to make Bush and those in his administration look bad, bottom line, no surprise. And personal responsibility has gone out the window anymore--people don't have to take "orders"; the people who did the acts should be held responsible. Going after Rumsfeld is a political ploy, and the Democrats are milking it for all it's worth. I respect your view, and this is mine. Thanks for acknowledging that the murderers who killed Berg are vicious.
Johnny D - May 18, 2004 - Report this comment
Royce - you bet I acknowledge that the thugs who killed Berg and Pearl are vicious - no argument there! And yes, I know that Bush's political opponents will use the prisoner abuse incident to make his administration look bad, no surprise there - I'm sure either party would do that to the other party, it's just dirty politics as usual. And I agree that the people who did these acts to these prisoners should be made to answer for what they did. And I agree that going after Rumsfeld is a political ploy - but here's where I disagree with you, Royce - I believe that it's a very necessary political ploy, so long as Rumsfeld himself refuses to accept some appropriate measure of personal responsibility for what was done by the American military - by Rumsfeld not stepping up to the microphones, acknowledging that he shares the responsibility, and resigning in a dignified way, he is spitting in the faces of every honorable American soldier who is willing to fight and die for you and me.
Bob Gomez - May 20, 2004 - Report this comment
Royce and Johnny, I appreciate your exchange and I want to extend a virtual hug to both of you. Torturers throughout history haved tried to justify or minimize their atrocious acts by pointing at worse acts perpetrated by the Nazis, the Japanese, the Turks, etc., etc., etc. We are not yet in a position to prosecute Nicholas Berg's killers, but when we are, I hope we treat them according to the law, not according to the vengeance we feel in our hearts. This entire war has been, in my estimation, from the beginning, a misguided, poorly planned, blind act of vengeance and retaliation for September 11, 2001. No connection to Al-Qaeda has been established; no weapons of mass destruction have been found; the Iraqis have not embraced their occupiers with flowers and chocolates; and now the same prison Saddam Hussein used for torture has been shown to have been used for serious abuses by American intelligence and troops. This is not World War III, it's a fiasco. The sooner the truth gets out, the better, so the American people and the world can see clearly how a superpower can make mistakes and correct them under the scrutiny of a free press. - May 20, 2004 - Report this comment
Bob Frickin' Gomez: In the words of a friend of mine: "Dead-on satire....This whole war makes me so sick I couldn't laugh at your song, but you got my 5's anyway."

As for the morally relativistic argument that *they* are worse than *we* are, well, the lesser of two evils is still evil. And we're supposed to be the good guys. It's getting more and more difficult to convince the world that we're just here to help.

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