SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Theme Song for a War

by Jonathan Tennis

Don’t pull the thang out, unless you plan to bang
Bombs over Baghdad!

The rhythms and rap of Big Boi and Andre 3000,
Announced our arrival into Iraq,
From our Humvee’s homemade sound system,
Cresting the berm and blasting by what should have been a border crossing.
Our battle cry from the ATLiens of OutKast.
Our little piece of home we brought with us on the journey.

But there was no one here to hear,
Except my driver and I,
As we continued the march of thousands of American soldiers.
To Baghdad.

There were no Iraqis to witness the crossing of their home into a state of war.
To hear us celebrate our bombing of them back further into the dark ages.
Nothing personal.
It’s a great song.
And every war needs a good theme song.

I’ve been back,
More times than I care to remember.
More times than my family,
And my exes would have liked.
I’ve lost a lot in the process.
Friends over there.
Friends back here.

Bombs Over Baghdad,
Both in song and in real life.
Cause we had our doors off
Full combat load
Grenades primed
And OutKast on our radio.



Note: The italicized lyrics are taken from OutKast’s B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad), from their 2000 ablum titled “Stankonia.” Released in 1996, “ATLiens” was the duo’s second studio album.