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Burning Bridges by Mike Curb Congregation

Album: Kelly's Heroes SoundtrackReleased: 1970Charted:
34
  • This was the theme song of the 1970 Clint Eastwood comedy Kelly's Heroes. The film is a typical example of Eastwood's deadpan humor; Kelly is an American soldier who discovers a horde of gold bars stashed in a bank behind enemy lines, so he recruits a group of renegades to rob it. The song bears no real relation to the film although it could be interpreted as a former soldier reminiscing about the good old days of the war. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England)
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Comments: 16

And any Canadiens or Canadians; apologize to Mill Valley, Ca (true gorg. spot), comment directed @ Corby en Mont RealPaul - Pdx, Or
An historical fact for all you Mill Valley folks - WWII started in approx 1935 or 1936, depending on whom one speaks to in China, with the invasion of Manchuria (Manchuko to the conquering Japanese). In any case, the Big War started in the Eurasian front and ended there, for all intent and purpose. In Afrika and WEUR, the Allies mopped up after Soviet victories at Stalingrad and, most notably, Kursk (defense/offensive Orel/Belgorad/K'ahrkov) operations. Ignorance or obliviousness should not replace knowledge in any sphere of learning. While no SOV or Russo-phile by any standard, I tip my proverbial cap into the dust of Ukrainian roads to the Soviet Guards and other divisions that bled the soil of the Rodina red. Sorry to be preachy, but ignorance should best be placated by correction.Paul - Pdx, Or
To Mr or Mrs JW from Mill Valley, CA

Just a note - WWII started in 1939. Where was the US then? They only jumped in when they were caught sleeping on the job when Pearl Harbour was bombed. Yes, the US helped, but they didn't win the war on their own as every movie ever written by the Americans depicted. Google every battle ever won in both world wars and you will be surprised.
Corby - Montreal, Nb
Oh-kay. This one I gotta get in on. If this was a fight, I know exactly which faces I'd be swinging for.
Mr. England & Mr. Australia -Your ignorance shows! Both of your country's were saved by the USofA (in both WWI & WWII). Also, it is obvious neither of you have been in any sort of fight for survival, let alone in a war. To call the American Army "renegades" & "rob" & "AWOL" -your education & history are sick, very sick.
1) Those soldiers were given a 3-day leave. Look up the word "AWOL". (Oddball's group was destroyed except for the 3 tanks & crews of. And still, 2 of his tanks & the guys were also destroyed by the enemy. Yet who is to say that some Alied shell didn't take out Oddball & his newly purchased Tiger, melting all that gold into the ground?)
2) War has it's spoils. The gold belonged to the German Army until said army released it. Yes, the German Army stole said gold from whomever, yet do you honestly say the American soldiers "stole" it from the Germans???
3) And group of renegades -Why don't you enlist & lay your life out & expose it in a real war; Then I will answer this one.
My view is this song is a classic. "Burning Bridges" definitely has a Christian conotation within it. Death & destruction all around without question changes one's attitude. It is a soul thing, not spirit. I personally know this to a much lesser extent. To have been encapsullated within such a lifestyle for a year or two or three would change the focus of any sane man; both during the war & after. I see this song being about prior to enlistment & then concluding lyrics being of the wars' survival, back home in the free USofA, children all raised & gone to find their own way, the ex-soldier now alone with the memories of war & a lot of time to think & seeing the faces of the men he had to kill. Possibly regreting not listening to his friends telling him not to enlist from way back when. Yet now, with years gone by, being of a different economic class -lifestyle- all financial problems/responsibilities long ago taken care of via the spoils of WWII & the German army. How lonely it must be when one's soul is messed up.
"Burning Bridges" fits the movie to a 'T'. Kelly's Heros is a classic & is motivational. Motivational in that how easy my life is -I've NO excuses in this life & with any of its' difficulties. So, . . ., whatever to those who just don't get it.
Jw - Mill Valley, Ca
A fabulous song of realization, regret and resignation. It reminds me of a transitional period in my life when I felt as if no one around me understood what I was experiencing; in the process of trying to figure life out, I damaged some relationships. I was still a teenager! There is something about the song that is unapologetic, tho. No where in the lyrics does the singer decide to make amends or say "I'm sorry". It is more an attitude of "yes, I made these mistakes; I regret them. There is no repairing the past; I move forward." And that's sometimes all you can do...move forward; march forward, that's why I think the marching beat of the song works so well with its lyrics.Camille - Toronto, Oh
I just watched Kelly's Heros(for the ? time) and searched for the soudtrack to buy. Downloaded instead, who's got money to waste these days. Oh, I forgot about our fraudulent administration and insane congress,but their broke as well.I Concur with Mark in his assessment, the only difference from the lyric and the movie is most likely Kelly's Heros and the remaining German soilder did not regret their actions. I've always felt "WE THREE KINGS" was feeble attempt to simulate Kelly's Heros with less talented actors.Somchai - Calabash, Nc
I think Molly from Taunton, Maryland has the best take on the song. There's one heck of a lot of humor involving the "Viet Nam Era";apathy towards the completely idiotic and selfish people in control at the time and the realization that if you don't take care of yourself you'll get used and thrown away. Ol' Donald Sutherland had just finished M*A*S*H not long before this. Which is a heck of a social criticism on Viet Nam....I really hope this site has "Suicide Is Painless" by Johnny Mandel and the late Robert Altman's 13 Year Old Son here somewhere as, it's definitely worthy and also full of commentary!Nicholaus - Tracy, Ca
Geez, I hate to admit it, really but the first version of this song I ever heard was by Donny Osmond on his self-titled album. I loved it, and I still do. It's a cleaner sound than a "congregation".I think another artist could do this justice, kept simple it's a beautiful song.Beth - Charleston, Wv
I can't see how this song really fits into the movie, aside from the military sounding drums at the beginning and the end. It's a quasi-religious, easy-listening type song about the type of regret borne out of disregarding good advice and leaving behind the people who really matter most.Kevin - Reading , Pa
It is very obvious to me that "Burning Bridges" refers to Kelly's men giving up everything they knew just to rob the gold. Considering the time the song was written it probably had a lot to do with war in general and Viet Nam specifically.Molly - Taunton, Ma
Aside from the fact this is a great song from a great movie another point of interest. Mike Curb went on to become Lieutenant Governor of California. The last Republican to hold that position.Alan - Sault Ste. Marie, On
What an excellent song. If I ever become president of a country that will be the National Anthem.

Loved it from the first time I heard it in the late 60's and listen at least once a week to it. Kellys Heroes is alsa my favourite movie of all time.

As I grew older the words describe my life I had.

As Doug say I'm also a kind of Bridge Burner.
Arthur - Durban, South Africa
i bought this single back in the 70's, butI didn't watch the film Kelly's Heroes until today. If you read the lyrics all the way through, I cannot imagine a less relevant song to stuff in as a theme. Tiny Tim's "tip-toe thru the tulips" would have been just as good. The producers must have been zonked on acid. Am I nuts?Twig - Scarborough, Australia
Where Doug is right, Alexander's take on a former soldier reminiscing is probably not so close to the mark. Burning Bridges was very relevant to the movie as the concept of Kelly and crew burning their military bridges to go AWOL in the name of stealing gold was the movie's theme. Great song, has a very militaristic intro with the drums and brass.Mark - Peoria, Il
Great song from a great movie.I remember this song when i was a kid.Im listening to it at this very moment & i watched kellys heroes a lil while ago on pbs.James - Yucaipa, Ca
well, first of all the groups name was "the mike curb congregation" and of course its about a person who burns their bridges but then later regrets it. I'm kind of a bridge burner myself.Doug - Kansas City, Mo