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Ballad of the Green Berets

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Barry Sadler

Barry Sadler (lyrics Robin Moore; arr. Johnny Warrington)

General Info

Year: 1965 / 1963 [sic]
Duration: c. 1:30
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: Cimino Publications
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Ballad of the Green Berets is a patriotic song in the ballad style about the United States Army Special Forces. It is one of the few popular songs of the Vietnam War years to cast the military in a positive light and in 1966 became a major hit, reaching No. 1 for five weeks on the Hot 100 and four weeks on Cashbox. The song was written by then Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, beginning when he was training to be a Special Forces medic. The author Robin Moore, who wrote the book, The Green Berets, helped Sadler write the lyrics and get a recording contract with RCA Records.

The lyrics were written, in part, in honor of U.S. Army Specialist 5 James Gabriel, Jr., a Special Forces operator and the first native Hawaiian to die in Vietnam, who was killed by Viet Cong gunfire while on a training mission with the South Vietnamese Army on April 8, 1962. One verse mentioned Gabriel by name, but it was not used in the recorded version.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

N.B. Publication sources indicate that the Johnny Warrington arrangement was made in 1963, although the song was written in 1965.


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer