In going through some of my grandfather's old papers, I came across a sheet containing two poems relating to Guadalcanal. Ironically, my grandfather fought in the European theater so I do not know why he would have had this.
The first poem is titled "The Grass Is Greener" and the second poem is titled "Remorse". No author is mentioned, but it ends with 'Thanks to "Hoppy"'.
The Grass Is Greener
In the deep blue Pacific so far away
The Lord must have lost His temper one day;
And in His wrath He thumbed His nose
And on that spot an island arose;
A hell on earth, believe me, pal-
This place was named Guadalcanal.
A place where every man is weaned
On bright yellow pills called atabrine.
Where the torrid sun burns flowing red
And makes a man wish he were dead.
A spot where each man draws his lot
Of fever, jaundice and tropical rot.
For freedom's sake we come to fight,
For our people's sake we fought all our might.
For justice's sake we made them run;
For our children's sake the fight was won;
For our Country's sake we're willing to roam-
But now, for God's sake, please send us home.
The Lord must have heard our cry of despair,
For rumors of leaving soon filled the air.
Orders came through to get ready to go-
We all were dead sure that this meant 'Frisco,
Barracks bags packed, what could be finer?
Then my God! A lighter instead of a liner.
Our dreams were all broken; oh cruelest of Fates!
When we landed at Munda instead of of the States.
Bomb craters and flies and all kinds of debris
Are known from a jungle so dense you can't see
It rains all the time, yet no drinking water,
Just mud, swamp, stink that rivals the slaughter.
Reminiscing about the thoughts I once had,
It seems to me now I must have been mad.
For in the deep blue Pacific not far away
Lies an island the Lord must have blessed one day.
The place which now seems like heaven to me, pal,
Is that lovely old stink hole called "Guadalcanal".
Thanks to " Hoppy ".
Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Possibly 'Hoppy' wrote them, or they were written by a friend of his, or sent to him by a friend. They read as if written on the spot,as a release from the frustrations and tensions of the situation. Lots of ordinary soldiers did and still do this (though making up songs is more common - like The 'Quartermaster's stores, and, earlier, many of the songs in the Sharpe TV series), and then will show them around to friends, copy them out etc - often they get accidentally edited and altered (Chinese whispers in written form) so lots of slightly different versions emerge and extra verses are added. It could be your grandfather met up with someone who had fought at Guadalcanal, or had a relative who did so, and got them from there.
I hope someone else knows them - there are one or two websites of that type of poem/song that I've come across in the past, some posted by ex-soldiers or their association, but I can't remember how I got to them -sorry not to be of more help. I do collect war poetry that I like, but haven't come across these.
the first one was published in 1945
the last line reads
But now for Godīs sake send us home.
A soldierīs thoughts
written by Charles Stacey,
son of mr and mrs Clate Stacey, of Big Piney
The Pinedale Roundup
Thursday, October 11, 1945 Pinedale, Wyoming
Well done, Ilza - that can't have been easy to find.
actually it was
( no credit for me, this time)
it is a great site for old newspapers search
I use it quite a lot