Lyrics

“8th of November”, by Big and Rich

On November 8th, 1965, the 173rd Airborne Brigade on Operation Hump, War Zone D in Vietnam, were ambushed by over 1,200 V.C. Forty-eight American soldiers lost their lives. Severely wounded, and risking his own life, Lawrence Joel, a medic, was the first living black man since the Spanish-American War to receive the United States Medal of Honor for saving so many lives in the midst of battle that day. Our friend, Niles Harris, retired 25 years, United States Army, the guy who gave Big Kenny his top hat, was one of the wounded who lived. This song is his story. Caught in the action of kill or be killed, greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother.

Said goodbye to his mamma as he left South Dakota to fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
He was nineteen and green with a new M-16 just doin’ what he had to do.

He was dropped in the jungle where the choppers would rumble with the smell of napalm in the air.
And the sergeant said, “Look up ahead”

Like a dark, evil cloud 1,200 came down on him and 29 more.
They fought for their lives but most of them died in the 173rd Airborne.

On the 8th of November, the angels were crying as they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down and the hell all around there were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly, through a clear, blue sky. 1965, the 8th of November.

Now he’s fifty-eight and his ponytail’s grey but the battle still plays in his head.
He limps when he walks, but he’s strong when he talks ’bout the shrapnel they left in his leg.

He puts on a grey suit over his Airborne tattoo and he ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen, as he orders a tall one and swallows it down with his tears.

On the 8th of November, the angels were crying as they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down and the hell all around there were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly, through a clear, blue sky. 1965, the 8th of November.

Saw the eagle fly, through a clear, blue sky. 1965.

On the 8th of November, the angels were crying as they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down and the hell all around there were few men left standing that day.

On the 8th of November, the angels were crying as they carried his brothers away.
With the fire raining down and the hell all around there were few men left standing that day.
Saw the eagle fly, through a clear, blue sky. 1965, the 8th of November.

The 8th of November
The 8th of November

Said goodbye to his mamma as he left South Dakota to fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
He was nineteen and green with a new M-16 just doing what he had to do.