Orange Crush is a song by R.E.M. which was an orange flavored soft drink. In this case, though, it was meant to refer to Agent Orange, a chemical used by the US to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. US military personnel exposed to it developed cancer years later and some of their children had birth defects.
The song does not refer to any single Vietnam-related experience for lead singer Michael Stipe, but simply that he lived in that era of American history.
Stipe's father served in Vietnam in the helicopter corps.
Stipe sometimes introduced this in concert by singing the US Army jingle, "Be all that you can be, in the Army."
The drill sergeant heard in the background during the middle is just an imitation by Stipe. In the traditional Michael Stipe way, the words he says during the imitation are complete nonsense.
This was not the first R.E.M. song to deal with the Vietnam War. That distinction goes to "Body Count," an early unreleased song that they played live many times.
The song is ranked 4th tier for drums, while vocals, guitar and bass are ranked 1st tier. The drum pattern is a disco beat.
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