Sullivan

Album: Monsoon (1997)
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  • It's not hard to reach back to the day
    Underneath an Iowa sun.
    Running to the tower of waterloo, looking
    For the sullivan train to come.
    His five boys would run to the top and
    Salute him as he went bye.
    First we'd wave hello.
    Then we'd wave goodbye.

    It's not hard to reach back to the days
    After the attack on Pearl.
    Overnight my buddies turned into men, run-
    Ning out of time for games and girls.
    The Sullivan boys were not overlooked
    Uncle Sam calling each by name.
    The very next day they left on a mystery
    Train.

    Say goodbye, bye, bye, Mrs. Sullivan
    Don't you cry, cry, cry, cry, cry.
    "We regret to inform you
    The Navy has taken your sons away."
    So put your blue star in the window.

    It's not hard to reach back to her smile,
    When she received the letter.
    The ltters, they sounded generally the
    Same it said: "If they coudn't
    Be home, at least they were together on a
    Mighty fighting battleship,
    Somewhere in the south pacific."
    The letters never got much more specific.

    Say goodbye, bye, bye, mrs sullivan
    Don't you cry, cry, cry, cry, cry.
    "We regret to infrom you
    The Navy is keeping your sons away."
    All five, five, five, five.
    So keep your blue star in the window.

    It's not hard to reach back to the day
    When the war finally came home.
    Uncle Sam will send you a telegram, so he
    Doesn't have to tell you over the phone.
    I heard she cracked up, when they found
    Out what the war had cost,
    And all five of her boys were lost.

    Say goodbye mrs sullivan
    Go ahead and cry.
    "We regret to inform you that all your sons
    Have passed away."
    All five!
    So change your blue star to gold. Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 10

  • Natalie from Lorena, TxI see a lot of comments about the meaning of the song, but I don't see anything about how the music is truly made. The beginning riff with the guitar is just spot on with this lyric. I also love how they use the repetition, "Say goodbye, bye, bye, Mrs. Sullivan/And don't you cry, cry, cry." Using that repetition gave us the satisfaction of singing along with the song. Honestly, the music behind the lyrics and meanings is just as amazing.
    April 1, 2021
    Natalie, Age 15
  • Chris Word from Phoenix Az@Scott from Kankakee, Saving Private Ryan is actually based on events that happened to the Niland brothers, as a result of what happened to the Sullivan brothers changes in the law were made, and so the Army thinking all but the youngest Niland had been killed, and ordered a unit to find him and bring him home. My middle daughter, a H.S. junior just got a history assignment for WW2, and she is going to do it on the Sullivan brothers, and include this song with her report. Oh btw you really should wiki the Niland brothers it's quite the amazing story.
  • Cory from Schaller, IaThe policy the government made was the Sole Survivor policy. My dad says him my uncle werent allowed to be on the same ship when he was in the Navy.
  • Randy from Flint, Miall the boys in the Sulliven familly ware drafted as for the changes the millitary made i dont know but i know thate they ware all drafted
  • Scott from Kankakee , IlThe movie "Saving Private Ryan" is in fact somewhat based on the Sullivan Brothers. The govt. had enacted a policy preventing the loss of an entire family because of the Sullivans and as a result sent in a team to find Pvt. Ryan. I believe this is commented on at the begining of the film.
  • Erica from Saude, IaThe government didn't just send Mrs. Sullivan a telegram. The family was told by three men from the Navy's drafting dept. Also the family recieved a letter from the president at that time.
  • Mike from Charlton, MaThe Sullivans story had nothing to do with the movie "Saving Private Ryan". They weren't actaully drafted into the Navy, they enlisted on their own. They didn't serve on a battleship, but the light cruiser U.S.S. Juneau, which was destroyed on while protecting a convoy to resupply troops on Guadalcanal.
  • Eric from Orlando, FlThe military changed their policy so that siblings would not be stationed on the same ship/plane to avoid a repeat of the Sullivan tragedy. This did serve as inspiration for Saving Private Ryan (the true story, not the song).
  • Annie Ladner from Columbus, MsThis is actually based on a true story of five brothers stationed on the same ship in WWII. Their ship was attacked and all five died in 1942. A movie was made about them in 1944 called "The Fighting Sullivans." Now, this I'm not sure about, but I think after that incident it became military policy to avoid that kind of tragedy... and I assume that's where the plot of Private Ryan came from.
  • Wilfred from Melbourne, AustraliaThis sounds a lot like the plot to the movie "Saving Private Ryan"... are the song, movie and actual event connected in some way?
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