“DEAR JOHN” – By Des Kelly

“DEAR JOHN” – By Des Kelly


Continuing my “Stories- in-Song” (Country-style), this is one that references the past Korean war, where an American soldier, named John, gets a letter from his girlfriend, telling him that she was sorry, but felt that she had already waited too long for him to come home, and as a result, had decided to get married to someone else, and, to make bad matters worse, to his kid brother Don.

Just imagine it, if you will, people. Here is this guy, fighting for the Stars & Stripes, against, quite possibly the grandfather of the “Rocket-Man” who has been the subject of many of my recent stories for eLanka, waiting for the day when he could go back home to marry his childhood sweetheart, only to get this letter from her, beginning with
“Dear John”.

American songwriters Billy Barton, LewisTalley & Fuzzy Owens got together to write the song popularised by Jean Shephard & Ferlin Husky. I have the strange feeling that it took THREE songwriters to pen this particular simple Country song only because all “three” were pretty emotional men, and the “lyric sheets” kept getting wet, with their individual tears, so they needed to be together to console each other. However, after the song was recorded and released in 1953, it became a million-seller for Jean, and the “writers” were not weeping anymore, but laughing their way to the bank.

This is not the end of the story, however. John’s sweetheart went and married his brother Don, only to find that Don wasn’t quite up to it (whatever the reason), then wrote ” Forgive me John, I’ve made a terrible mistake”, BUT too late, it seems. John wasn’t going to be fooled the second time around, and had decided to stay in the Army to keep fighting the “Rocket-Man’s” grandfather and take his chances elsewhere.

Whoever said that “Country Stories In Song” were not the absolute BEST, were talking bulldust. eLanka Readers, around the World, please read, listen and enjoy both “Dear John” & “Forgive me John”. Please forgive me, also, folks, but I should have gone to AMERICA to make my fortune in showbiz, singing & songwriting, and weeping now, doesn’t help at all.

Desmond Kelly
Star of eLanka

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