I have a question about Billy Joel's song 'Goodbye Saigon'. What does the bold and italic part mean? That Charlie and Baker died? Or that they lost they lost their innocence because they had to kill people? I would say the former one because of 'remember'

Thanks in advance for helping me with this.

And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together
Yes we would all go down together

Remember Charlie, remember Baker
They left their childhood on every acre

And who was wrong? And who was right?
It didn't matter in the thick of the fight
Able, Baker, Charlie, ... used to be the beginning of the military "alphabet".

I don't know if that's the reference or not.

Nowadays, it's Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, ...

The references may be to the men of Baker Company and Charlie Company. I have heard of Charlie Company but not Baker Company.

In general it means that the war forced the combatants to grow up fast. They went from boys to men while fighting in that war. Your idea of "loss of innocence" is correct.


It's true that Charlie and Baker were used as the names of US companies.

However, here's another possible interpretation of the verses you have shown us.

'Charlie' was how the American soldiers referred to the enemy.

Thus, remember Charlie, remember Baker could possibly be seen as a reference to to both sides in the conflict.

This seems like a little bit of a stretch, but it certainly fits very, very well with the next line, And who was wrong? And who was right?

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong

American soldiers referred to the Vietcong as Victor Charlie or VC. "Victor" and "Charlie" are both letters in the NATO phonetic alphabet. "Charlie" referred to communist forces in general, both Vietcong and PAVN.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thank you Jim. Emotion: smile
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