August 30

Dolly Parton Honors America’s Best, The Green Berets

Dolly Parton wowed the country world when she released her rendition of “Ballad of The Green Berets.” With songs such as “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” and “9 to 5” under her diamond-studded belt, it was almost a bit of surprise for her to cover the legendary Green Berets tribute – but lo and behold, here it is, and we’re glad she did.

Parton has always been a massive supporter of the military, and we must say, her recording of “Ballad of The Green Berets” was her most patriotic move.

“The guys in special forces are usually the first ones into the war and often the last ones out. Imagine going into a hostile country, lightly armed, and with just a few men. What they do is so secret, they never get the recognition they deserve, and this is the one time I want them to know they’re appreciated,” Parton once said before she delivered the emotional tune, which she recorded for her album For God And Country in 2003.

A Song Casting the Military In A Positive Light

Written by then Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, “The Ballad Of The Green Berets” is a song dedicated to the U.S. Army elite special force team. 

Saddler started writing the song when he was training to be a Special Forces medic during the Vietnam War. Author Robin Moore, who wrote the book The Green Berets, has helped Sadler compose the lyrics and get a recording contract with RCA Records.

A part of the lyrics was written in honor of U.S. Army Specialist 5 James Gabriel, Jr., a Special Forces operator and the first Hawaiian native to die in Vietnam. He was killed by Viet Cong gunfire in the middle of a training mission with the South Vietnamese Army in 1962. One verse mentioned Gabriel by name; however, it did not make it in the recorded version.

Sadler recorded the patriotic ballad in 1966 and the eleven other tunes in New York for the album, “Ballads of the Green Berets,” and it quickly became a hit as it cast the military in a positive light. It peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart and stayed there for five weeks. It was a crossover hit too.

“Fighting Soldiers from the sky. Fearless men who jump and die. Men who mean just what they say. The brave men of the Green Beret. Silver Wings upon their chest. These are men America’s best 100 men will test today, but only 3 win the Green Beret,” the song goes.

Listen to Dolly Parton’s rendition in the video below, and it will surely puff up your chest with American pride for those who are sacrificing so much for our great nation.


Dolly Parton

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