"He Was Only 19" is a song written by Australian singer-songwriter John Schumann and performed by his band Redgum. The song tells the story of a young soldier named Damien Parer, who enlisted in the Australian army at the age of 19 and served in World War II.
The song begins with the lines "He was only 19, you know what I mean/Just a young guy, from out west of Sydney." These lines immediately set the stage for the song, introducing the main character and establishing the fact that he was a young man at the time of his enlistment.
As the song progresses, we learn more about Damien and his experiences as a soldier. He fought in the Battle of Tobruk, a crucial engagement in the North African campaign of World War II, and was later captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war. Despite these hardships, Damien remained determined and resilient, and eventually managed to escape and make his way back to Allied lines.
The song ends with the lines "Now Damien sleeps where the cross stands alone/On the beach at Balikpapan." These lines refer to the Battle of Balikpapan, in which Damien was killed in action at the age of 21. His death is a tragic reminder of the sacrifices that young soldiers like Damien made in the service of their country.
Overall, "He Was Only 19" is a powerful and poignant song that tells the story of one young man's experience of war. It serves as a tribute to Damien Parer and all the other young soldiers who have fought and died in the service of their country. So, the song is a reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of these young soldiers, and it serves as a reminder of the human cost of war.
"He Was Only 19" is a song written and performed by Australian singer-songwriter John Schumann. The song tells the true story of a young Australian soldier named Damien Parer, who was killed in action during the Battle of Kokoda in Papua New Guinea during World War II.
Parer was a war photographer who captured some of the most iconic images of the war in the Pacific, including footage of the famous M-3 Stuart tank. He was only 19 years old when he was killed, and his death had a profound impact on the Australian public.
Schumann's song, which was released in 1983, is a poignant tribute to Parer and all of the young soldiers who have lost their lives in war. It is a powerful and emotional ballad that speaks to the tragedy of war and the sacrifices that soldiers make to protect their country.
The song begins with the lines: "He was only 19, you know what I mean / Just a young man in a time of war / He left home to fight for his country / And he died in a foreign land." These lines set the tone for the rest of the song, which is filled with sorrow and heartbreak.
Throughout the song, Schumann sings about the many sacrifices that soldiers make, both large and small. He sings about the families who are left behind, and the pain and grief that they feel when a loved one is killed in action. He also sings about the bravery and courage of soldiers, and the way in which they put their lives on the line to defend their country.
One of the most poignant lines in the song is: "We will remember him, we will remember him / And the sacrifices he made / And the dreams he left behind when he died." This line speaks to the way in which soldiers are remembered and honored, and the way in which their sacrifices are never forgotten.
Overall, "He Was Only 19" is a beautiful and poignant tribute to the young soldiers who have lost their lives in war. It is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that they have made, and the way in which they will always be remembered and honored.