Lyric discussion by Crazy_Diamond 

as far as i know, this song is about a young man ,barely 20, going off to Vietnam. but it could of course apply to most of the key wars in history.

this song is beautiful. it is very emotional song. the lyrics are very poetic that almost made me cry.

I agree that the song is lovely, and is probably applicable to any war fought. It's one of the most powerful songs about war I've ever heard, and I think it owes a lot of its power to the emotion in McLean's voice over the last two verses. But the suggestion of 'trenches' specifically suggests WWI rather than Vietnam, since WWI was where trench warfare killed hundreds of thousands.

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