Page first created June 11, 2003. Last edited June 11, 2003. Copyright 2003 by Thom Parrott.


Thom Parrott's Recordings
Broadside Ballads, Volume 5: Time Is Running Out
Thom wrote and sang one song on this set.

"Pinkville Helicopter" was first published in Broadside Magazine and included in "Best of Broadside Magazine, Volume II," and the Broadside recordings "Broadside Ballads, Volume 5" and "Best of Broadside, 1962-88," a Grammy nominated 5-CD boxed set. Thom sings and plays rhythm guitar and is backed up by John Maciewicz on guitar and harmonica. Produced by Mike Millius.

All the Folkways and Broadside recordings are still available from the Smithsonian. This link will open a new window -- www.si.edu/folkways/.

"Pinkville" was the military map designation for the village also called "Song My" and "My Lai 4." Early news reports tended to use "Pinkville" but these events eventually became known as "The My Lai Massacre."

From the time helicopter Captian Hugh Thompson informed headquarters that American troops were slaughtering unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, until headquarters issued a cease fire was eight hours. The massacre had been over for six.
PINKVILLE HELICOPTER
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright 1968 by Thom Parrott

As they flew over Pinkville, the choppers could see,
The slaughter that went on below them.
And they radioed the dying of the women and kids,
So that general headquarters would know them.

Then one circled down to a place on the ground
Where there were children who were wounded and crying.
And he took them in the chopper to take the kids out
So that they wouldn't be among the dying.

They were on their way out when below them they saw
A little two year old baby
So they went down again and the pilot got out
Muttering "The whole world has gone crazy."

The baby was cradled in the Captain's arms
Wounded and crying and bloody
When a Lieutenant came up and said "Put the kid down
And get your chopper on out of here, buddy."

The Captain looked down at the Lieutenant's gun
That was smoky and hot from the killing.
He said "If I have to give my life for this child,
Then, by God, you know that I'm willing."

Then the gunner who stood in the helicopter's door
Called out to the Lieutenant,
"We're calling your bluff. There's been killing enough.
If your gun starts more, mine will end it."

So they flew the kids out to the medics who said,
"War is hell. Even babies get wounded."
The pilot just looked at his gunner and shook.
Said "To kill them was what was intended."

As they flew over Pinkville, the choppers could see,
The slaughter that went on below them.
And they radioed the dying of the women and kids,
So that general headquarters would know them.


The events described in this song occurred March 16, 1968. The pilot was Hugh Thompson, the gunner was Lawrence Colburn and the co-pilot was Glenn Andreotta. Thompson and Andreotta took turns leaving the helicopter to search thru the bodies for living children and staying at the controls while Colburn covered them. Andreotta was killed in combat a few weeks after the My Lai Massacre. These three courageous and honorable men received the Soldier's Medal in March, 1998, for heroism not involving conflict with the enemy. Their story has been told by 60 Minutes.


Broadside Ballads, Volume 5: Time Is Running Out
Folkways Recordings -- 05312, 1970

Side I
Time Is Running Out -- Wendy Smith
Good Mornin' Brother Hudson -- Frederick D. Kirkpatrick
Not Enough To Live On -- Mike Millius
Pinkville Helicopter -- Tom Parrott
Farewell, Mr. Charlie -- F. D. Kirkpatrick
Ballad of Martin Luther King -- M. Millius
Backstreets of Downtown August -- Anne Romaine
Nothin' But His Blood -- F. D. Kirkpatrick

Side II
We Shall Be Free Together -- Roland Mousaa
To Be A Killer -- Wes Houston
Elijah Good -- W. Houston
Pinkville Helicopter -- W. Houston
Hell No! I Ain't Gonna Go! -- Matthew Jones, Elaine Laron
A Pickax and a Stone -- Jimmy Collier

This link will open a new window -- www.si.edu/folkways/.


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Broadside Ballads, Volume 5: Time Is Running Out
Folkways Recordings -- 05312, 1970
Time Is Running Out -- Wendy Smith
Good Mornin' Brother Hudson -- Frederick D. Kirkpatrick
Not Enough To Live On -- Mike Millius
Pinkville Helicopter -- Tom Parrott
Farewell, Mr. Charlie -- F. D. Kirkpatrick
Ballad of Martin Luther King -- M. Millius
Backstreets of Downtown August -- Anne Romaine
Nothin' But His Blood -- F. D. Kirkpatrick
We Shall Be Free Together -- Roland Mousaa
To Be A Killer -- Wes Houston
Elijah Good -- W. Houston
Pinkville Helicopter -- W. Houston
Hell No! I Ain't Gonna Go! -- Matthew Jones, Elaine Laron
A Pickax and a Stone -- Jimmy Collier

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