Redgum – I was only 19, Notes
This is a very powerful song about what all Vietnam veterans went through in the Vietnam war and all the emotions and experiences they have gone through This song has so many language techniques and powerful lines It emphasizes the fact that composer of this song was only 19 and he was so young and frightened to go to war The power illustrated in this song is War
The use of repetition is used almost after ever verse, “God help me, I was only nineteen” the effect this gives on the listener is it makes you feel what the composer is conveying you to feel. You feel the pain and the grieving the veterans went through and it makes you realize that some men were so young to go out and experience such things that no human being should go through. The use of a rhetorical question is used, “And can you tell me, doctor, why can I still not sleep?” This gives the effect of pity. You pity and feel bad for what he went through. It is stating that he cannot sleep because he was so frightened and stressed about whether he was going to live or die. He asked this question to a doctor because all he wants is professional advice and reassurance but in war he doesn’t have any. A lot of imagery is used to make the audience really imagine what the composer has been through “A four week operation when each step could mean your last one with two legs. It was a war within yourself” this is very powerful couple lines of the song. This is stating that he was on a 4-week mission through mines and each step was taken with precaution, as there were mines everywhere, if you took the wrong step you could have had your legs blown to pieces. It was a war between yourself because you would always be fighting against yourself to either take a step or not. “Frankie kicked a mine they day that mankind kicked the moon, God help me, he was going home in June.” This is stating that the composer’s mate Frankie has stepped on a mine and he has passed...
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