John Schumann Records New Shane Nicholson Produced I Was Only 19’ With The Waifs -
John Schumann and The Waifs

John Schumann Records New Shane Nicholson Produced I Was Only 19’ With The Waifs

by on September 6, 2023

in News

John Schumann has marked the 40th anniversary of his iconic Redgum song ‘I Was Only 19’ with a new version with The Waifs, produced by Shane Howard.

In a statement John said, Such a pleasure to work together finally. Mutual respect and an intuitive mutual understanding how we Australians tell stories in music.

Our 40th Anniversary Version of ‘I Was Only 19’ with The Waifs, produced by Shane Nicholson is out today.
Once recording & production costs are recouped, our artist royalties will be directed to the Commando Welfare Trust ( which provides support where the existing veterans’ services don’t.

John Schumann tells, “Its quite extraordinary to think how long that song has lasted. Even today I am surprised by the level of affection there is right across Australia for that song. Even from people who weren’t even born when it went to number one. I am definitely blessed. A songwriter very rarely gets to write a song like ‘I Was Only 19’.”

To put a timeline on the song, when the song was released in 1983 it was just eight years after the Vietnam war ended. John almost didn’t finish the song when Don Walker beat him to a Vietnam story in Cold Chisel’s classic ‘Khe Sanh’. “I was toying with the idea of a song about Vietnam veterans and then Don (Walker) wrote ‘Khe Sanh’ (Cold Chisel) and I thought he hit it over the fence for six and there was no room,” John tells

“Somehow, for some reason or other I wrote mine anyway. While the broad mass of Australian’s still love ‘Khe Sanh’ the thing that gave mine its cred was I got the detail right. The Vietnam Veterans, they understood what Don was trying to say with ‘Khe Sanh’ but they absolutely identified and resonated with ‘I Was Only 19’. It was their commitment to the song, their approval, no matter how painful it was, it was their approval that dragged the rest of us”.

John adds, “The fact is Australian’s weren’t at Khe Sanh. I was singing about Nui Dat and Vung Tau and Don was singing about Khe Sanh. It is only those people that understand about Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War know that”.

Stay updated with your free daily music news email alert. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here

Be the first to see’s newest interviews and special features on YOUTUBE and updated regularly. See things first SUBSCRIBE here: Noise11 on YouTube SUBSCRIBE

Related Posts

Don Walker photo by Ros O'Gorman
Don Walker To Play More Solo Dates in 2024

Don Walker released his solo album ‘Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky’ in 2023.

22 hours ago
Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo at the Palais Theatre Melbourne 6 December 2023 photo by Lucas Packett
Devo Complete Their ’50 years of De-Evolution’ Farewell Tour In Melbourne

Devo may or may not have played their last show ever in Melbourne. The show on 6 December, 2023 at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda was the last date of the ’50 Years of De-Evolution’ world tour. If this really was their last show ever 50 years certainly ended with little fanfare.

1 day ago
J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, photo by Ros O'Gorman
J Mascis To Play Two Solo Dates In Australia

J Mascis will play solo dates in Sydney and Brisbane when Dinosaur Jr head down in 2024.

1 day ago
Rod Stewart at Rod Laver Arena 14 March 2023 photo Bron Robinson
Rod Stewart and Jools Holland Team Up For Swing Album

Rod Stewart and Jools Holland will release a Swing album together in February, 2024. ‘Swing Fever’s first single is ‘Almost Like Being In Love’.

2 days ago
Myles Goodwyn from his Facebook page
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine Dies Aged 75

Myles Goodwyn, lead singer and guitarist for Canada’s April Wine, has died at age 75.

4 days ago
James Taylor performs with his All Star Band in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 8 February 2017. Ros OGorman
James Taylor To Perform First Australian Shows Since 2017 in 2024

Singer/songwriting legend James Taylor will return to Australia in 2024 for his first tour since 2017.

4 days ago
Morrissey, Festival Hall, Melbourne, Photo By Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, photo
Morrissey Blows Out First Australian Show In Perth

Morrissey’s Friday night concert in Perth was cancelled because of “technical difficulties”.

5 days ago