March 21, 2007 8:53 PM   Subscribe

What's the significance of the numbers 3-5-0-0 in the controversial song of the same name from the musical Hair?

My dad and I have been trying to figure this out for a long time. I say that the song is controversial because it is often omitted from many soundtracks that you can purchase online or otherwise.
posted by inconsequentialist to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Quick Google search turned up this:

What does 3-5-0-0 mean?
Answer #1: According to James Rado, it represents the number of G.I. casualties (either per week or per month, he isn't sure) at the height of the Vietnam War. (Thanks to Jessica Kardos for this answer.)

Answer #2: Three-five-zero-zero, or the number three-thousand-five-hundred, is the number of Americans (Marines), who, on March 8, 1965, landed in Vietnam, the first ever to be specifically designated as COMBAT troops, thus marking a turning point, the official beginning of America's (or LBJ's) escalation of the War in Vietnam. (Thanks to Joseph Tioga for this answer.)

From The Hair Pages
posted by Hargrimm at 9:00 PM on March 21, 2007

Even more controversial is the reference to DC as "Niggertown" in the same song.
posted by klangklangston at 9:54 PM on March 21, 2007

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