The Ballad of the Green Berets – Barry Sadler & Robin Moore – 1966
The song has a strong military style drum line – so I tried to emulate this with the various bass styles. If you have difficulty with the bass drone – then simply play C, G7 or F bass instead (see the same chord structure pattern in the chorus)
ALSO – some of the “fanfare” chords from the 2nd part can be added when you play it as a solo!
I am adding this to the Playlist with the Patriotic Songs!!!
About the Song:
“The Ballad of the Green Berets” is a patriotic song in the ballad style about the Green Berets, an elite special force in the U.S. Army. It is one of the very few songs of the 1960s to cast the military in a positive light and in 1966 it became a major hit, reaching No. 1 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and four weeks on Cashbox. Ultimately, the song was named Billboard’s #1 single for the year 1966. It was also a crossover smash, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Country survey.
The song was written by Robin Moore and Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, while the latter was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in the Vietnam War. Moore also wrote a book, The Green Berets, about the force. The tune itself is borrowed from the traditional American folk song “The Butcher Boy”.
The lyrics were written in honor of Green Beret James Gabriel, Jr., the first native Hawaiian who died in Vietnam, who was executed by the Viet Cong while on a training mission on April 8, 1962. One verse was written in honor of Gabriel, but it never made it into the final version.
Sadler debuted the song on television on January 30, 1966 on The Ed Sullivan Show.