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Twas the night before Christmas (Cambodian Version)

By Russ Vaughn

Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
While the river was lightened by rockets red glare
No one but the President knew we were there.

The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
No one else would remember it when we got back.

When out on the water there arose such a clatter
I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
The incoming friendly was starting to flash
And I knew that the ARVN's were having a bash.

The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
On a clandestine mission so secret it's true
That I'm still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.

While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
I thought of a title, "Apocalypse Now."
To give to the films I was I making each day
To show all the voters when I made my big play.

As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
Spook said, "Merry Christmas!" and tossed me a packet.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.

I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
Just sharing with the press its secretive place
As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.

Don't bother to quibble with history my friend,
By pointing out Johnson was President then.
Don't listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.

Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O'Neill,
So you don't remember? Well it's something I feel.
I don't need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,

Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain...

Russ Vaughn was 2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division -- Vietnam 65-66