The F-111

Lyell Sayer
Lingua: Inglese

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Words: Lyell Sayer
Tune: Traditional (Johnny Lad)


The song was a reference to the US-made F-111c fighter bomber. The Australian government ordered a number, for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1963. However, the final version of the aircraft were not delivered until 1973, because of technical problems, which included unexplained loses during its use in the Vietnam War in the late 60s and early 70s - or as said in the chorus of this song: "it is a lovely plane... it's a pity that it isn't safe to take it off the ground".

The narrator started with the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, pondering that "our Canberra bombers are...old as hell". He called up "Uncle Sammy" to purchase planes, to "scare some Asians".

The narrator noted that the government "sent some off to Vietnam" to "wipe out all the Viet Cong" - a reference to the "VC" - the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Vietnamese: Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng Miền Nam Việt Nam) (NLFSV or NLF), the political and military resistance to the US and South Vietnamese government from within South Vietnam. However the North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh ordered his comrades not to waste bullets etc., because "these brand-new planes the Yankees have all fall down by themselves".

The song had an alternative verse, used on some versions of this songs, such as by Johnny Lad. The narrator said here that the price of the aircraft keep increasing, and so suggested that if "Sir Robert was still here", then "we'd make him pay the bill". Continuing with the satire, the narrator also said that at "the present rate of accident", Australia had about "a week's supply" of the aircraft.

Vietnam War Song Project
Now, Sir Robert Menzies was walking down the street
And thinking of our air force which was mostly obsolete
Our Canberra bombers are getting old as hell
We better call up Uncle Sam and see what he can sell
Well he said to Uncle Sammy, "We want to buy a plane
To save our lovely country from going down the drain
We want to scare some Asians, so see what you can do
The answer was, Bob, buddy, we've got just the thing for you
Oh, the F-one-double one it is a lovely plane
It flies at twice the speed of sound and scatters bombs like rain
It's wings go back and forward, it's the latest thing around
It's a pity that it isn't safe to take it off the ground.

Bob said, "We'll take two dozen"
The plane they had to make
And soon they had one ready, its first flight for to take
Well it whistled down the runway with a dreadful roaring sound
And then broke up in little bits and fell back on the ground
They sent some off to Vietnam, the country to defend
To wipe out all the Viet Cong and cause the war to end
But Ho Chi Minh said
"Comrades, don't waste our precious shells
These brand-new planes the Yankees have all fall down by themselves....

They want crazy old age pensions
The cost will be too high
They'd rather buy an aircraft that is allergic to the sky
But still I can't help thinking, wouldn't it be nice
If they didn't waste our taxes on that flying opera house
After due consideration, I found a proper use
They should take one from the hanger and fill it up with juice...

Now years have come and years have gone, and we all still depend
On our nice old Canberra bombers our country to defend;
The plane's prices double every time one takes a spill,
And if Sir Robert was still here, we'd make him pay the bill.

And when they are all ready, and we have paid the fee,
Our Generous Uncle Sammy will make delivery,
But I doubt if it will be much good to him or you or I,
At the present rate of accidents we've got a week's supply.

4/9/2021 - 19:04

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