Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) (The Monitors)

14 MARCH 1966


Motown band the Monitors had a small hit in 1966 with 'Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)', which reached #100 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #37 on the R&B charts).

This was a cover of the song by the Valadiers which had reached #89 in 1961. It was about the concerns of a young man drafted into the army, and in 1966 the Vietnam War provided a good topical background for a new version. Stylistically, this sounds remarkably like a 1961 song and therefore somewhat out of place in the rapidly-changing music scene of 1966, but the lyrics were just right for the time.

Richard Street, who later replaced Paul Williams in The Temptations, was the lead singer of the Monitors.


'Greetings, this is Uncle Sam
I want to take you to a far off land
I need you, oh, I need you
Yes, I need you to lend a helping hand

Said goodbye to all my buddies
Say hello to your new friends
'Cause you're in the army now
And your new life has just begun

I need you
Oh, I need you
Yes, I need you
To lend a helping hand

I can just see me now
With a rifle in my hand
I'm gonna have to say
Goodbye to my girl

And I hope she doesn't
Find another man
And baby, baby, while I'm away
Please, please write everyday

Oh no, no
Please don't take me, Uncle Sam
You're in the army now
Goodbye, baby, so long, friends
Goodbye, baby, I hope to see you again

I need you
(Come on, boy)
Oh, I need you
(We're gonna make a man out of you)

Yes, I need you
To lend a helping hand
(This one training)
(You're not gonna miss)

Come on, boy
What ya mean you've never heard of KP?
I don't care if it's 4 in the morning
There is a right way, a wrong way
And there's my way, you'll do it my way

Come on, boy, on the double
Get in step, boy, come on now
March, march

Your mama's a long ways off, boy
So stop your crying, march
Get in step, boy, left, right, left, right
I said get in step, boy, left'

>