Fifteen years Le Bing Son
Fought side by side with the Americans
In the mountains and deltas of Vietnam

In '75 Saigon fell
and he left his command
And brought his family to the promised land

Seabrook Texas and the small towns
in the Gulf of Mexico
It was delta country and reminded him of home

He worked as a machinist, put his money away
And bought a shrimp boat with his cousin
And together they harvested Galveston Bay

In the mornin' 'fore the sun come up
He'd kiss his sleepin' daughter
Steer out through the channel
And casts his nets into the water

Billy Sutter fought with Charlie Company
In the highlands of Quang Tri
He was wounded in the battle of Chu Lai
And shipped home in '68

There he married and worked the gulf fishing grounds
In a boat that'd been his father's
In the morning he'd kiss his sleeping son
And cast his nets into the water

Billy sat in front of his TV as the south fell
And the Communists rolled into Saigon
He and his friends watched as the refugees came
Settle on the same streets and worked the coast they grew up on

Soon in the bars around the harbor was talk
Of America for Americans
Someone said, "You want 'em out, you got to burn 'em out"
And brought in the Texas klan

One humid Texas night there were three shadows on the harbor
Come to burn the Vietnamese boats into the sea
In the fire's light shots rang out
Two Texans lay dead on the ground
Le stood with a pistol in his hand

A jury acquitted him in self defense
As before the judge he did stand
But as he walked down the courthouse steps
Billy said "My friend, you're a dead man"

One late summer night Le stood watch along the waterside
Billy stood in the shadows
His K-bar knife in his hand
And the moon slipped behind the clouds

Le lit a cigarette, the bay was as still as glass
As he walked by Billy stuck his knife into his pocket
Took a breath and let him pass

In the early darkness Billy rose up
Went into the kitchen for a drink of water
Kissed his sleeping wife
Headed into the channel
And casts his nets into the water

Of Galveston Bay


Lyrics submitted by oofus


Galveston Bay song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI rate this in Bruce's top 5. This just breaks your heart.
    Story of a Vietnamese soldier coming to America. Racism and prejudice in the wake of the war.
    Will Billy kill a man who's just like him: Fought in the war when he probably didn't want to. Kisses his child good-bye every morning.

    In the end, Billy just can't bring himself to do it.
    One of the songs ever written.

    springsteen: the greatest
    The Magic Raton November 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe story told in this song is nearly identical to that told in the 1985 film Alamo Bay. A great song.
    Zero_The_Heroon May 14, 2007   Link

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