Wish You Were Here, Buddy

Album: Wish You Were Here, Buddy (1966)
Charted: 49

Songfacts®:

  • In 1966, public opinion was split regarding America's role in the Vietnam War. Pat Boone, a staunch conservative, was all for it, and recorded this song to express his views.

    The song is written as a letter from a soldier fighting in Vietnam to a friend back home who dodged the draft and is protesting the war. It's a very sarcastic message, where the soldier makes it clear that he doesn't appreciate his friend's opposition when he is on the front lines taking fire. He even makes a vague threat, telling him:

    When the whole darn mess is through
    I'll put away my rifle
    And the old uniform
    And I'll come looking for you
  • Over the next few years, many popular songs took a stand against the Vietnam War, but in 1966 one of the biggest hits in America was "The Ballad Of The Green Berets" by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, very much a pro-war song.

    Audiences in general were comfortable at the time with songs supporting the troops, as were radio stations. As top-tier artists like The Beatles began releasing anti-war songs, that sentiment took hold of the airwaves and songs like "Wish You Were Here, Buddy" got little support.
  • This in one of the few songs credited entirely to Pat Boone as a writer. It was one of his last singles, and his last hit for Dot Records. Boone's only subsequent appearance on the Hot 100 came in 1969 when "July You're A Woman" hit #100.

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