"I Bombed Korea" as written by and John Mccrea....
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I Bombed Korea song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentIt's also about the emotional aspect, both before and after the war. This vet did some of the most heinous things in the name of duty. But it's not like he was infantry- this vet was in the air force- "red flowers bursting down below us". Bombing people he'd never seen and who had never seen him. It was terrible because of what it actually was, but the voice of the song can live with that. Villages blown up and whatnot, just red flowers. The vet doesn't live with the regret, he's sitting in a bar with stories to tell. Not a hero, not a movie star. Just a guy. And fundamentally, all of us can relate to that perspective- things happen around us, even terrible things, but we turn away from it just because it would change the person we are.
    outbackwaiteron December 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentObviously, since nobody in Cake is even old enough to be in the Korean war, it's a metaphor for something else he use to do on a regular basis and now regrets and feels guilty about. It doesn't actually mean he's a war veteran.
    SpecialEddon July 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou guys are all on the right track. The song is actually about a guy John McCrea met in a bar. He was talking about the Korean which he fought it. From the sounds of the song he was probably drunk.
    But it makes sense, if you think of yourself sitting in a bar, and a drunk Korean War vet singing about his experience."And so I sit here at this bar, i'm not a hero i'm not a movie star"
    sungod916on October 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with J.J., except that I don't think he gets *more* recognition than he wants; he probably doesn't get enough, shown by the way he tells his story.
    MrMastadonFarmon September 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd another note that reinforces my opinion- there is no description of the ground, the country, the other soldiers, or anything. It's all from the perspective of the plane, forcing us to look from only one direction, and the isolation that allows the vet to think of what he's done in such limited and ultimately guiltless terms.
    outbackwaiteron December 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIs anyone else strongly reminded of Joseph Heller's Catch-22? The pilots bomb villages and are forced to ignore the morality of the war to a certain extent. It's not that they don't care -- well maybe it is -- but they don't have a choice. "We didn't know if it was wrong or right / I bombed Korea every night."
    straight_upon February 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it is definitely an interpretive song about being in the shoes of the war veteran who let the war define his life. He never got past the war. It's that guy that's by himself in the bar who, if he catches someone's ear that will listen, will try to tell his story. I don't see any protest about war in the song, just the sad truth of the veterans who are now loners who frequent the bar and maybe don't have any real close family or friends. (I refuse to use the "a" word, haha, since I frequent the bars and will listen to what these people have to say... I know it makes them feel better...) If you've ever been to the local bar, you've met the guy they sing about... it is a prefectly vivid depiction of those veterans! Best of all, there is a genuine neutral stance taken in this song. It is more reflective than anything. Rock on Cake!
    postmanon January 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song about a guy who fought in the Korean War, and is somewhat "shell-shocked" about the ordeal.

    He seems to regret bombing the civilians, but he admits that at the time, he wasn't thinking about whether it was "wrong or right", probably because he was quite young.

    Now, as a veteran, he gets more recognition than he wants. He is not proud of his days in the war.
    J.J.on June 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, also the line "I bombed Korea every night" seems to say that he dreams about it a lot
    ThePythonon May 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOther people look at me funny when I say this is one of my favorite CAKE songs. It is quite simple, but catchy and quirky. I think it's not quite an anti-war song, but it's obvious that the man the song is about has some serious regrets about what he did in the war.
    jpaul34on January 07, 2005   Link

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