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In the song "Bring the Boys Home" (Invictus Records # 9092, US issue), Freda Payne emotionally pleaded with the politicians to end the war and send back the soldiers, noting the fathers and mothers left on the home front. It referenced the draft / call of Uncle Sam: "You marched them away...on ships and planes", and strongly attacked the purpose of the war, calling it "senseless" and "death in vain". Finally, Payne declared that "enough men have already been...killed". Influenced by the Philly Soul sound, with strings, the song had an upbeat tone, despite the serious and depressing lyrics, and it reached # 3 on the Billboard R&B charts, and # 12 on the pop charts.
"Father are bleeding, lovers are all alone
Mothers are praying, send our sons back home
You marched them away-yes, you did, on ships and planes
To the senseless war, facing death in vain
Bring the boys home (Bring them back alive)
Turn the ships around, lay your weapons down
Can't you see 'em march across the sky
All the soldiers that have died
Cease all fire on the battlefield
Enough men have already been wounded or killed
What they doing over there...when we need them over here?"
Composed by General Johnson (from the band Chairmen of the Board), Greg Perry, and Angelo Bond, all involved with the Detroit based label Invictus Records - founded by Holland-Dozier-Holland after they left Motown Records in 1967. The song was banned from the American Armed Force network in South Vietnam. Payne discussed the song in a 2011 interview saying that it:
"was the height of the Vietnam War, and Richard Nixon was the President of the Republican party, and I remember first hearing it play and listening to it I was like, wow. It brought tears to my eyes. It touched my heart. And so we went into the studio and did it, and it reached gold status....Back then, shortly after the song was released, the record company got a telegram from D.C. from the U.S. government saying that my song would not be played in South Vietnam because it would be giving aid and comfort to the enemy....But people liked the song; they picked up on it. And the song still got heard over in Vietnam, because I run into people who were over there who said they heard it over there, and they said the song was encouraging to them and helped them".
Vietnam War: Soul, Gospel, & Funk Records: http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Gershwin/vietnam_war__soul__gospel__and_funk_records