Rice Grows Again In Vietnam

cd cover: the feral crow by scott ainslie© 1995, Scott Ainslie

A family working in the sun.
Food must be grown for everyone.
So green—-new life has begun.
Rice Grows Again In Vietnam.

Our fathers met here long ago.
And with their blood these fields are sown.
So silent now, where many fell.
So many stories they can’t tell.

Receive the weak, receive the strong.
And prayers of ours for those who’ve gone.
Forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done.
Give me the strength to carry on.

There will be days when rain must fall—
upon these fields, upon the wall.
But may the harvest of these tears——
bring peace to our remaining years.

Lift up your tools, lay down your gun.
Once peace is lost, nothing is won.
Harvest a thousand grains from one:
Rice grows again in Vietnam.

There will be days when rain must fall—
upon these fields, upon the wall.
But may the harvest of these tears——
bring peace to our remaining years.

And though the war’s pain is not gone,
Rice grows again in Vietnam.

NOTE: The Vietnamese translation is available as a gif file.

Personnel:

Scott Ainslie
Acoustic Guitars, Vocal.
Scott Petito
Bass, Synth Pads
Jerry Marotta
Drums and percussion
Marc Shulman
Electric Guitars
Leslie Ritter
Harmony Vocal
Duyen Tran
Spoken Vietnamese

Guitar:

This piece is in the key of D in standard tuning and the figures honor the parallel fourths common in Asian harmonies. My thanks for the gift of her spoken Vietnamese goes to Duyen Tran her neighbor, Jerry Marotta.

Dedication

This song is dedicated to Nguyen Dinh Nghia, a master of traditional Vietnamese flute and composition who taught at the National Conservatory of Music and at Van Hanh University in Saigon in the 1960s, and to his friend and mine, Larry Bohnert. Nghia fled Saigon when the Communists took over in 1975, fearful that his talent might be used in their cause. It took him almost ten years to escape South East Asia, and he landed in the Washington, DC area with his family in 1984.

At first uneasy about the expatriate community’s response to a song of reconciliation, Nghia had finally agreed to perform on this track with me, but was prevented from participating by health problems that continue to plague him to this day. His generous spirit and his assessment that this track would “Change many hearts” sustained me as I pursued this recording. This song is dedicated to his friend, Larry Bohnert, who connected us, to Nghia, and to his family.

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