Tchepone – Lyrics

As I put together things to write about here, I often go down the rabbit hole. This was another of those. I wanted to know more about where the song and in particular where the Lyrics came from. So here’s a bit more information along with the Lyrics.

(For anyone reading the lyrics, there’a a lot of jargon you may not know. Don’t worry, you’ll get the idea. And if it “bugs” you, find someone who was there… they’ll know.)

Tchepone was written by Toby Hughes. In ’67 – ’68 he was an F-4C pilot with the 557 TFS at Cam Ranh Bay. So, knew what he was singing about first hand. Chuck Rosenberg and Robin Thomas are also given credit on the commercial recording.

Another pilot, Chip Dockery, made a tape of the song and it was widely distributed. Dockery flew with the 13th TFS (two tours, ’68 & ’71). He flew almost 400 missions including to Barrel Roll, the HCMT, and “up north.”

Tchepone became one of the most popular parodies of the war. It was sung by pilots in clubs and bars all over Southeast Asia. According to one source, “Dockery remembers singing “Tchepone” with his back-seater while on a mission over Tchepone itself.”

So… without further adoooooo… the lyrics:

TCHEPONE  (Chuck Rosenberg / Robin Thomas / Toby Hughes)

Written by Toby Hughes – 1968

 

I was hanging ’round Ops……just spending my time

not on the schedule……not earning a dime

When a colonel steps up…… and he says I suppose

you fly a fighter by the cut……of your clothes.

 

He figures me right,……I’m, a good one I say

Do you happen to have me…… a target today?

He says Yes I do, a real easy one…….No sweat my boy,

……it’s an old time milk run

 

I gets all excited……and ask where it’s at.

He gives me a wink……and a tip of his hat

Two-fifty miles away from home drome,……a sweet little hamlet that’s known as

…… Tchepone

 

REFRAIN                     

Oh, you’ll sure love Tchepone

 

I get on my G-suit……and strap on my gun.

Helmet and gloves……out the door on the run

Fire up my Phantom……and take to the air.

Two’s tucked in tight……and we haven’t a care.                    

In forty five minutes……we’re over the town.

 

From twenty eight thousand……we’re screaming on down.

Arm up the switches……and dial in the mils.

Rack up the wings,……and roll in for the kill.

I feel a bit sorry……for folks down below.

 

Of destruction that’s coming……they surely don’t know.

The thought passes quickly……We know a war’s on.

On down we scream……toward peaceful Tchepone.

 

Unsuspecting, peaceful Tchepone

 

Release altitude……and the pipper’s not right.

I’ll press just a little……and lay ’em in tight

I pickle those beauties……at two point five grand,

I’m starting my pull……when it all hits the fan

 

A black puff in front……and then two off the right,

Six or eight more……and I suck it up tight.

There’s small arms and tracer……and heavy ack ack.

It’s scattered to broken……with all kinds of flack.                     

 

I jink hard to left……and head out for the blue.

My wingman says……Lead, they’re shooting at you!

No Bull, I cry as I point it for home.

Still comes the fire……from the town of Tchepone.

 

Dirty, deadly Tchepone

 

I make it back home……with six holes in my bird.

With the colonel that sent me……I’d sure like a word

He’s nowhere around……though I look near and far.

He’s gone back to Seventh……to help run the war.

 

I’ve been round this country……for many a day.

I’ve seen all the things……that they’re throwing my way.

I know that there’s places…… I don’t like to go,

down in the Delta……and in Tally Ho.

 

But I’ll bet all my flight pay……the jock ain’t been born

Who can keep all his cool……when he’s over Tchepone.

 

Oh, don’t go to Tchepone

2 thoughts on “Tchepone – Lyrics

  1. 2 days ago camped at Ban Laboy, with demiining team, where they are clearing for excavation of a crash site looking for remains of 2 FAC pilots. Now we are at PouThamok a place that has a maze of jungle tracks w cobblestone and indigenous hill people, there is much evidence of the conflict here, War scrap and a cratered landscaped. Pushing South tomorrow along the Le Xanong River , will report again

    • Thanks for the update Don. Did they find any UXO in the area? Let us know if you have any idea when the FAC(s) crashed”… or who the pilots were pilots?

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