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Saigon is a city in Vietnam where major combat operations took place during the Vietnam War. Joel wrote the song as a tribute to many of his friends who had served in the war. In the song, Joel imagines what it must have been like deep in the combat-addled terrain.
Phil Ramone, who produced this song, said: "We never thought it would be a hit, but we knew it meant a lot to Billy Joel and to the people we lost in Vietnam. Then later, when he does it once in a while in a show, the place just comes apart. I think that happens a lot that we don't think something will be as powerful and it turns out that it does come out powerful." (courtesy: The Celebrity Cafe
In the UK, this was released as a double-A-sided single along with "Leave A Tender Moment."
At some concerts, Joel would bring Vietnam veterans on stage when he performed this.
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