After seeing the Lumnieers in New Orleans, the singer informed the audience that the song was indeed about his eldest Uncle. You are able to see it on Youtube. LOVE THIS SONG...

Charlie boy, don't go to war, first born in forty four
Kennedy made him believe we could do much more

Oh
Lillian, don't hang your head, love should make you feel good
In uniform you raised a man, who volunteered to stand

Oh

Play the bugle, play the taps
Make your mothers proud
Raise your rifles to the sky boys
Fire that volley loud

News was bad on Upland Ave.,
Metuchen mourn our loss
Sons rebelled, while fathers yelled,
And mothers clutched the cross

Oh

Play the bugle, play the taps and
Make your mothers proud
Raise your rifles to the sky boys
Fire that volley loud



Lyrics submitted by BenRunkle, edited by nathebrat

"Charlie Boy" as written by Wesley Schultz, Jeremy Fraites, Maxwell Hughes

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Charlie Boy song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Comment:After a bit of searching I believe this to be about a member of Wesleys family, the lead singer.
    There was a 2ndLT Charles John Schultz USMC killed in Vietnam, born 1944 as the lyrics said and from Metuchen as the song suggets. All seems abit of a coincidence.
    I think this is the meaning for this.

    jrhmasterson January 10, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This is an incredibly beautiful song, and these lyrics are so full of empathy, wisdom, and humanity. Thanks jrhmasters and schultzee for your insights on the details that inspired it. I was wondering how this young artist could have had such a personal connection to the Vietnam War. He sounds like Bruce Springsteen or Woody Guthrie, with all of their social and political awareness, even though he is a generation removed from Vietnam. It is profound the way he describes the family divisions opened up by that war - years later it would tear up my stepmother's family over the draft. But the soldier mourned here was a volunteer, likely an early casualty. Kennedy's promise to pay any price for liberty was indeed costly. It ended badly, discredited, in Vietnam. But Charlie offered his service - and his great sacrifice - in earnest. The song makes my heart swell; there is no condemnation, only understanding for all sides. It makes the loss palpable, and it is full of love and big-hearted patriotism.
    mattlieberon March 05, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Charlie is a warfighter of some sort be it soldier or Marine. He has gone to war and died. His mother, Lilian, is reassured because she raised an honorable man.
    When a small town or neighborhood loses one of its sons, the town comes together. The women turn to religion. Especially the Catholics. Men are naturally angry.
    In a military Burial, bugles play "Taps" right after a 21 gun salute. 7 men fire three volleys and go to present arms. Taps is played to close the ceremony.
    dirtstar5on November 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:jrhmasters was right. This is a song about Charlie Schultz, Wesley's uncle. He went to the Vietnam war and was killed in combat.
    Schultzeeon February 15, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The song is about my older brother, Charles Joseph Schultz, 2Lt. in the Marine Corps who volunteered to join the Corps despite having been accepted to graduate school at the U. of Michigan School of Natural Resources, after he had graduated from Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pa. Charlie was in Nam for 30 days when he was killed in an ambush in Quang Tri province in a night firefight when he was walking "point." Charlie was a devotee of John F. Kennedy and thought it was his duty to go to war as his "country needed him." Lillian was our mother, Charlie her first born in '44, and Upland Ave. is where we lived in Metuchen, N.J. Wes is Charlie's nephew by my brother, Mike, who was a psychologist until his death from cancer in 2007. I can see Mike in Wes' face and hear him in his songs. Charlie did not have to go to Nam or even into the service as he would have been deferred for grad school had he chosen to do that. To this day, I wish he had. But he did what he thought was right and gave his all, that "last full measure of devotion," Lincoln spoke of at Gettysburg. Would that it had been in a cause as worthwhile as that war. But Charlie was and is a hero as are all those men who served their country, right or wrong, in Vietnam. Not many days go by when I don't think of him and miss him.
    Knuteon January 18, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:After a bit of searching I believe this to be about a member of Wesleys family, the lead singer.
    There was a 2ndLT Charles John Schultz USMC killed in Vietnam, born 1944 as the lyrics said and from Metuchen as the song suggets. All seems abit of a coincidence.
    I think this is the meaning for this.

    jrhmasterson January 10, 2013   Link
  • -1
    Song Meaning:Sooo Charlie is a soldier in the Vietnam War,
    Lillian is his mother.

    The chorus is encouragement to Charlie, from his mother or just people or whatever.

    the "News was bad..." chorus is about getting bad news about the war--either CHarlie is dead or theyre losing the war, etc.
    Upland Ave. is a street is Metuchen, NJ...maybe they live there?
    Sons rebelled--hippies
    Fathers yelled--people didnt like hippies, but didnt like the dying either...
    Mothers...--women prayed for it all to end...


    THats just what im guessing!!!!!!
    mermy96on November 05, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain