THE POWER OF MUSIC…
Written by a Shipmate who wishes to remain anonymous
Someone recently posted about how certain songs trigger old memories and transport them back to a specific period of time… It got me to thinking, about songs that almost literally take me back to a specific time, place, and in some cases a person… I grew up and went thru school with C&W music, but then in the late 50’s, along came Elvis, Bill Haley, The Platters, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, and many other greats with the impending splitting of Rock and Roll from C&W. Some stayed C&W, others went to the popular Rock & Roll side, lots of great music, but no specific song defines that place and time for me… until I got to WESTPAC… The first one was when I got to Iwakuni in ‘64, I had always been a Marty Robbins fan, and as I turned right at “Three Corners”, and was walking past the bars, I heard a song coming from a little Country “Stand Bar”, so I went in, and behind the bar was this little 18-year-old sweetheart that cemented my love of Japanese women forever… She was the daughter of one of Mama-san’s friends, sort of “sowing her wild oats”, under Mama-san’s strict supervision, before hopefully settling down to become a traditional Japanese wife. She apparently liked me, because she quickly figured out that it was the song that drew me in, and from that time on… even after I had been gone for two or three months, as soon as I walked in the door, she would stop whatever song was playing and put it on… As soon as she realized what was happening, Mama-san sat me down and had a “come to Jesus” talk with me, she only allowed us to go out to the base for a movie or something, and then she insisted on coming along and chaperoning… But, as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”… Anyway, any time I hear this song, I’m suddenly a 22-year-old 2nd Class, having my first taste of the Orient, and learning just how delightful Asian girls can be…
Marty Robbins was the musical equivalent of a Frederick Remington or Zane Grey. His stirring saga songs and tales of the old west are loved all around…
As things started to heat up in Vietnam, we transferred from Iwakuni to Sangley Point in the Philippines, to get closer to the patrol zones. After securing the planes, and settling into billeting, we immediately decided to go out to Cavite City and experience some of the “Cultural Attractions” of our new home… Out the main gate, straight down “Radio Road”, (later changed to Doctora Salamanca), one of the first bars you came to was a high-class establishment called the “Sugar Shack”… went in, and met this sweet young lady, (wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to her actual age, just let it suffice to say, her Work Papers said she was 18, and what Sailor in heat is going to argue with the Philippine government…?) That was when I experienced my second epiphany about Asian girls… Pilipina Honeykos are every bit as delightful as Japanese Ojousans… Needless to say, after that night, this song immediately transports me back in time to when I was a young Sailor, experiencing my first taste of the beauty and “cultural diversity” of the PI…
The next three or four years are all jumbled together, as I bounced all over WESTPAC, furthering my education, or as the college boys might say, pursuing my Master’s and Ph.D. in Asian Studies, with a specialty in Oriental girls… Visiting such exotic Sailor universities as Japan, PI, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand… But as delightful as most of these ports were, there were no real epiphanies, unless you count the now anticipated revelation, Chinese, Thai and Korean girls are every bit as delightful as their Japanese and Pilipina sisters, but no particular songs defining those studies… except for…
JAPAN: When I hear one song, I’m again young Sailor, learning about Oriental girls from the experts in Thieves Alley in Yokosuka, Four and a half street and “D” Avenue in Yokohama, “Whisper Alley”, and BC Street in Okinawa, and the alleys of Sailor Town and Saki Town in Sasebo…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8S5JZVQxHIQ
Olongapo: Again, this song, I’m a young Sailor, alive, uninjured… just back from flying combat rescue from North SAR Station off Haiphong with two months pay, combat pay and no taxes, crossing “Shit River” and heading down Magsaysay… I’m sure there were other songs, but can’t remember any… it seemed like this was blaring from every bar and disco on the strip…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QkwmSzPdVnY
Finally, ‘Nam… I’m transported back to my in-country visits and a little different type of education, by this song… incidentally I met a guy in the VFW one night who had been an announcer on AFN Vietnam and he said they probably got more requests for this than all the others put together…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wJVpihgwE18
That about sums up my song triggered memories of being a “young, dumb and full of cum” Asia Sailor… got one more when I was a bit older, that I may tell you about someday… but it is X rated, and I’m not sure I’m ready to tell it right now…
I may post later… or tell it in person if I’m ever able to make it to Branson…??
Que lo disfruten!!!! ….. Enjoy!!!!
I’m now far from that young Sailor, exploring Asia and discovering just how delightful Oriental girls can be, but I just had another epiphany… I was sitting here unwinding, sipping a glass of wine and checking Facebook when I decided to put on some music… I put it on “random play”, and the second song to play seemed to describe the situation as it is now, and to be the perfect one for the end of this series… One line in particular I thought was especially appropriate…
“He said, son, it was great, but it ended too soon
Now I’m just an old man with nothin’ but memories…” Y’all have a great Navy weekend
2 thoughts on “THE POWER OF MUSIC”
Sounds one heck of a lot like me and my life!
Thank you to Mr any mouse”
I’m certain you pretty much nailed it for a whole lot of us “Old Timers”!!
Wow, what memories this brings back! USS Twining (DD 540), 1959-1963, WestPac 1960, 1962-63.