Goodnight Saigon (7:02)

Cover of Piano Man

From Piano Man and 54 other releases

“Goodnight Saigon” is a song written by Billy Joel, originally appearing on his 1982 album The Nylon Curtain. It is one of the most well-known songs about the Vietnam War. It depicts the situation and attitude of United States Marines beginning with their military training on Parris Island and then into typical aspects of Vietnam combat.

Unlike most of his early works, ‘Goodnight Saigon’ is not a piano-dominated song, instead relying on a gentle guitar strumming pattern, which Joel himself played. However, the rare concert performance has Joel play the spare piano accompaniment.

Singer-activist Joan Baez covered the song in 1991.


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We met as soul mates on Parris Island
We left as inmates from an asylum
And we were sharp, as sharp as knives
And we were so gung ho to lay down our lives

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • steamboat58

    Adios Saigon..................

    24 Feb 2013 Reply
  • shep_shepherd

    Apparently, the men singing with Billy on this track were all Vietnam veterans. Such a powerful and sad song.

    9 Nov 2012 Reply
  • wolfy76484

    this song bring tears to my eyes. being english i only met conscientous objector when i was working in london during vietnam. but the passion and the words brings to life what the american soldiers may have felt

    2 Aug 2012 Reply
  • withinTwilight

    very important masterpiece.

    18 Jul 2012 Reply
  • nick_honest


    5 Jun 2012 Reply
  • steamboat58

    Powerful song

    28 Apr 2012 Reply
  • uncleharpoon

    Captures the feeling I get when talking to our Vietnam Vetrans. Proud but sad.

    29 Mar 2012 Reply
  • RaiderKman

    Great song, but from The Nylon Curtain, not Piano Man.

    4 Jan 2012 Reply
  • smolemon

    excellent song, surprising changes in tone. love it.

    3 Aug 2011 Reply
  • dfz9555

    very fine song from a very good album

    23 Jul 2011 Reply
  • cousinbull

    God Bless The Troops

    1 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Ksimi

    Last fm, please correct the info - this track is on Nylon Curtain and not on Piano Man

    21 Apr 2011 Reply
  • prominence_la

    @JoelTheCat - What? Really? This, to me, is one of the highlights of The Essential Billy Joel's second disc. Absolutely moving.

    5 Apr 2011 Reply
  • tipper42

    A very sad song about a very sad conflict.

    8 Mar 2011 Reply
  • JoelTheCat

    The one I would skip on Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. The one I'm going to skip right now.

    8 Feb 2011 Reply
  • marcy50

    Me is still sad and horrible to think about..I hate wars useless..

    9 May 2010 Reply
  • cherokeejoe

    had friends never came back

    9 May 2010 Reply
  • eddyd84

    this song is NOT on the Piano Man Album.

    7 May 2010 Reply
  • OGWS92

    Pretty damn amazing

    6 Mar 2010 Reply
  • lindakerr

    this song reminds me off a friend that is out in afghanistan right now god bless

    20 Feb 2010 Reply
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