Watch closely when I’m working out at the gym, singing along silently to the music on my iPod. You can tell what I’m listening to by what I do.
For example, if it looks like I’m having flashbacks to popular media depictions of ‘Nam, it could be one of two songs.
“Paint It Black” from the television show Tour of Duty:
My father, who worked nights in the 1980s and almost as much of the 1990s as he had left to him, recorded this program on videocassette so he could watch it later, and over the summers, he would watch the program with my brother and I (and people think binge watching was invented in the 21st century). As I mentioned, when my father got out of boot camp, his troop was lined up, and the officer asked the first couple of guys if they knew their alphabet. My father and the others selected probably said, “Sir, yes, sir!” And they went to Okinawa instead of Vietnam. My father, I think, felt guilty about that the rest of his life.
Of course, it could be “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, which is used in the film Forrest Gump:
Of course, I have the whole songs, which sound like this respectively:
Frankly, I think both of the songs rock and I like the thematic material, but because of their born-on dates, they’re associated with the Vietnam War in popular culture.
Well, the popular culture of twenty-five or thirty years ago, anyway.
Not only would I have to explain the music to some of the kids at the gym, I’d also have to explain the Vietnam War. Best I just put the earbuds in and turn the music up.