"Bring the Boys Home" Performed by Freda Payne (1971)

October 13, 2008


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“Bring the Boys Home” was the #3 R&B Single and #12 Pop Single and Payne’s second gold record following the one she received for “Band of Gold”.   The song was not included in the first 50,000 copies of her second LP “Contact,” but was added onto the album when it became a hit.

“Band of Gold” may be what Miss Payne is most remembered for — but “BTBH” always held a slight edge for me as my favorite Payne pop song.  Plus the song is as relevant today just as it was in 1971! Listen and check out these lyrics to see for yourself. This song should be an anthem right now just as it was during the Vietnam era.

Bring the Boys Home
Composed by Angelo Bond/General Johnson/Greg Perry

Fathers are pleading, lovers are all alone
Mothers are praying-send our sons back home
You marched them away-yes, you did-on ships and planes
To the senseless war, facing death in vain

Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Turn the ships around, lay your weapons down

Can’t you see ‘em march across the sky, all the soldiers that have died
Tryin’ to get home-can’t you see them tryin’ to get home?
Tryin’ to get home-they’re tryin’ to get home
Cease all fire on the battlefield
Enough men have already been wounded or killed

Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Turn the ships around, lay your weapons down
(Mothers, fathers and lovers, can’t you see them)

Oooh, oooh…
Tryin’ to get home-can’t you see them tryin’ to get home?
Oooh, oooh…
Tryin’ to get home-they’re tryin’ to get home

Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
Bring the boys home (bring ‘em back alive)
What they doing over there, now (bring ‘em back alive)
When we need them over here, now (bring ‘em back alive)
What they doing over there, now (bring ‘em back alive)
When we need them over here, now (bring ‘em back alive)

Song Trivia: Vietnam protest song “BTBH”  was banned by the US Command from the American Forces Network for fear that it would “give aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Freda Payne was born and raised in Detroit Michigan but never became part of the Motown stable of stars (although her younger sister Scherrie did become one of the revolving members of “The Supremes” in the Seventies). Gordy tried to recruit the teenage jazz singer, but her parents nixed the deal just as they did for the musically talented Freda to join Duke Ellington’s band as the featured vocalist.

Ultimately Freda signed on to the Invictus label in 1969. Invictus belonged to her friends Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland who had left Motown to form their own label.  She got her first hit with “Band of Gold” from her first LP of the same name.

Payne has had a long career in entertainment with her music, tv and movie appearances and she is still active in the industry today. Her offical Web Site is here.

Let’s keep this oldie alive! It deserves to be heard again.

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Filed under:Angelo Bond/General Johnson/Greg Perry,Bring the Boys Home,Fabulous Female Vocalists,Freda Payne,Pop/R&B,Seventies

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 j May 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

this song sukz

Reply

2 Edward Wright Jr. June 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hello Miss Payne,
I was in Da Nang Vietnam when your song “Bring The Boys Home” was released, when I heard it, I wanted my own copy
so bad, but could not get it because of the band that was put on it.
Just like that time in Nam, I still love “Bring The Boys Home”, and I love you for singing it for me and all the “Boys who went to Viet Nam”. P.S., Still don’t have my own copy. Can you help me with that problem?
God Bless You.
E. Wright

Reply

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