19 (5:14)

Cover of The Definitive Paul Hardcastle

From The Definitive Paul Hardcastle and 157 other releases

“19” is a song by English musician Paul Hardcastle released as the first single from his self-titled third studio album Paul Hardcastle (1985). The song features dialogue by television narrator Peter Thomas, and a strong anti-war message.

The track is about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served. “19” features sampled dialogue and news reports from Vietnam Requiem, an ABC television documentary about the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by veterans.

Song information

The title “19” comes from the documentary’s claim that the average age of an American combat soldier in the war was nineteen, as compared to the claim of World War II’s 26. This claim has since been disputed. Undisputed statistics do not exist, although Southeast Asia Combat Area Casualties Current File (CACCF), the source for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, shows a disproportionate number of all deaths (38%) were ages 19 or 20. According to the same source, 23 is the average age at time of death (or declaration of death.)

Nineteen topped the pop charts in the UK for five weeks, and reached the top twenty in the USA, where it also topped the dance chart. For a while it was the top selling single in thirteen countries (helped by the fact that versions of the song were recorded in French, Spanish, German and Japanese), and it received the Ivor Novello award for Bestselling Single Of 1985. Hardcastle was later sued by ABC for his unauthorised use of samples from the documentary.


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In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war but it wasn't
It was different in many ways, as so were those that did the fighting
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26
In Vietnam he was 19

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • McGuelrretti

    Not only this song, but the whole album brings me good vibes

    21 Feb 10:12pm Reply
  • smoothwoman

    I love this so much!!

    23 Apr 2014 Reply
  • JaFO_NL

    It's not hard to believe. No army would want to tell you that it basically makes you unfit for society for life. It makes it kind of impossible to find new suckers who are willing to die for the ideals of old men.

    28 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Photo-Galleria

    Still after all these years, it is one cracking song. Drum Bass remix, anyone?

    22 Dec 2012 Reply
  • silversurfer250

    Requiem æternam

    17 Nov 2012 Reply
  • nWoSyxx

    Vietnam. S-S-Saigon. PURPLE HEART.

    11 May 2012 Reply
  • Whelanmk

    Should have been in Command and Conquer!

    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • psibreaker

    Remix? Nice, but I prefer the original.

    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • tomfarcie

    Like this track very much!

    29 Mar 2012 Reply
  • WeirdSteve

    All time classic!

    28 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Sissygirl426

    May our soldiers make it home this year. They are APPRECIATED.

    3 Jan 2012 Reply
  • simplyred11

    awsome track, GoD BlesS them !!!!!!!!!!

    30 Dec 2011 Reply
  • smoothwoman

    God Bless America !! This is a hard core beat

    9 Dec 2011 Reply
  • NYC77

    original is the best

    20 Nov 2011 Reply
  • IntruderIAm

    "All those who remember the war, they won't forget what they've seen, destruction of men in their prime, whose average was 19, Dedededededede-Destruction" Epic! and very danceable, who else could achieve this?

    12 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Allronix

    And we have not learned our lessons, apparently...Another generation of PTSD, poor medical care, and homelessness while the politicians crow about "support our troops" and wear their lapel pins.

    9 Nov 2011 Reply
  • jobforce

    Deep meaning behind this track particularly if you ever lived with anyone who served in the Vietnam war.

    7 Nov 2011 Reply
  • sobeya

    i know a lot of viet vets this is a good tribute to all of them who gave their all even they knew it was useless bless them all and all who protested the whole catastrophe that ruined a whole generation

    15 Oct 2011 Reply
  • cosmopolitaidol

    10/ 4... ......C q., cq.. 40.... QSL..!!

    7 Sep 2011 Reply
  • ruinedtwo

    Not the best version, but I'll take what I can get.

    30 Aug 2011 Reply
  • All 121 shouts

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