The Ballad of the Green Berets (1965) – SSgt Barry Sadler


The Ballad of the Green Berets by SSgt Barry Sadler is about the Green Berets, an elite army unit of highly trained soldiers, who often have to fight in faraway countries.

Listen to the song The Ballad of the Green Berets and read along with the lyrics.
Answer the questions afterwards. 


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

5 Silver wings upon their chest
These are men, America’s best
One hundred men we’ll test today
But only three win the Green Beret

Trained to live, off nature’s land
10 Trained in combat, hand to hand
Men who fight by night and day
Courage deep, from the Green Beret

Silver wings upon their chest                                
These are men, America’s best
15 One hundred men we’ll test today
But only three win the Green Beret

Back at home a young wife waits
Her Green Beret has met his fate
He has died for those oppressed
20 Leaving her this last request

Put silver wings on my son’s chest
Make him one of America’s best
He’ll be a man they’ll test one day
Have him win the Green Beret


  1. Mention the typical qualities of the Green Beret soldiers. Also mention the lines.
  2. What does the outcome of the test in line 7 show? What conclusion can you draw?
  3. What is the tone of the song?

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