The VWSP has identified, to date, 145+ songs from Australia & New Zealand - 7 of which are from New Zealand, with the rest of the songs from Australia.
According to the National Archives of Australia, approximately 60,000+ Australian served in the Vietnam War, as part of an alliance with the US, between 1962 and 1973. 521 Australians died, and approximately 3000 were wounded. More than 3,000 New Zealand military and civilian personnel served in Vietnam between 1963 and 1975. 37 men died, and 187 were wounded.
This forms part of the larger Vietnam War Song Project, an interpretive examination of over 6,000 Vietnam War songs identified, revealing how the war's significance is represented through music. The project also collects spoken-word recordings about the conflict. The goals of the project are: (1) to critically analyse the song lyrics, searching for historical, social, and cultural themes, and collecting data on the genre, location, ethnicity, nationality, language, and time period of the recordings; (2) to learn about the Vietnam War, and the music and artists associated with it; (3) to preserve the physical records for the future, as artifacts of the 20th century. This unique collection of voices advances scholarship by providing insights into people’s views about the war over time as represented in music, looking at diverse communities and vibrant music scenes. It is crucial in developing our knowledge of the war and the humanities, through the use of a digital research platform.
Hugo Keesing, Wouter Keesing, C.L. Yarbrough, Justin Brummer
University of Maryland, Modern Songs of War and Conflict: Keesing Collection on Popular Music and Culture, 2023