Written by Tanner Iskra, VAntage Point Blog | January 31, 2019
This #OperationSong spotlight is on “The Forgotten War” by Veteran Carl Murphy who served in the Army. Carl served during the Korean War.
Carl joined the Army when he was 18 years old, eventually being sent to Korea where he “walked into hell” – quickly realizing the realities of war. Carl recounts his experiences in the song such as “dodging bullets” and “disarming mines.” In the chorus, he says that he “half froze to death” in the unforgiving temperatures of Korea where he developed frostbite, along with other soldiers, but yet, they fight on Carl also mentions in “Forgotten War” how some “came back changed” and others came back in body bags. Carl remembers one of those men, whose body he pulled out from a river. He thought about visiting the soldier’s mother later in his life to tell her how her son died, but decided against it.
The main theme of the song is how the Korean War is not really talked about in American history, although the men who fought in it are still living with its physical and mental scars. Korea is overshadowed by the two conflicts that flank it – World War II and Vietnam – making Korea the “forgotten war.” This inspired Carl to write his song. He got involved with Operation Song and wrote the lyrics while another else set music to it.
“The Forgotten War” has become a very popular song, playing at many military bases and radio stations across the country. South Korea Radio stations even contacted Carl and asked him if they could play his song. Carl’s song makes sure that the war’s “unsung heroes” are remembered and that their sacrifices are never forgotten. As he says towards the end, he will always remember his “brothers” he fought alongside in Korea and hopes they will greet him “at Heaven’s door.”
Thank you for your service, Carl!
Here is Carl’s song on SoundCloud:
If you have problems listening to the song here, you can also listen to it on the Operation Song SoundCloud page by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/operationsong-tm/the-forgotten-war-carl-murphy-george-teren
Operation Song is a non-profit based in Nashville, Tennessee that partners professional songwriters with veterans, active military, and their families to help them tell their stories through song. Since 2012, they have written over 600 songs with veterans of WWII to those currently serving. They hold weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsor events and group retreats throughout the U.S. Those who serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. If you are interested in learning more about Operation Song or hearing more songs, please visit: http://www.operationsong.org/.
Source: VAntage Point, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs