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Submarine Poems

A Christmas Poem | Submariners | The Trade | Earning Your Dolphins | Always Remember
Morton & Wahoo | Diesel and Shale | The Old Salt | An Unknown Father | Final Inspection
Submarine Dreams | The Guppies | I Read A Book | A Submariner's Thirst
The Night Before Christmas | Can I Go Out And Play by Buzz from OZ | For DBF Sailors
Soul of a Submariner | The Cruising  Boys  of SUBDIV NINE |A Spray on my Bright Scope
Silent Submarine Service | Brother of the 'Phin | Here's to us

Words to "Take Her Down" the Submarine Service Song

A Submarine

Born in the shops of the Devil,
Designed in the brains of a fiend;
Filled with acid and crude oil,
And christened "A Submarine".

The poets send in their ditties,
Of Battleships spick and clean;
But never a word in their columns,
Do you see of a submarine.

I'll try and depict our story,
In a very laconic way;
Please have patience to listen,
Until I have finished my say.

We eat where’re we can find it,
And sleep hanging up on the hooks;
Conditions under which we're existing,
Are never published in books.

Life on these boats is obnoxious,
And that is using mild terms;
We are never bothered by sickness,
There isn't any room for germs.

We are never troubled with varmints,
There are things even a cockroach can't stand.
And any self-respecting rodent,
Quick as possible beats it for land.

And that little one dollar per dive,
We receive to submerge out of sight;
Is often earned more than double,
By charging batteries at night.

And that extra compensation,
We receive on boats like these;
We never really get at all,
It's spent on soap and dungarees.

Machinists get soaked in fuel oil,
Electricians in H2SO4;
Gunnersmates with 600W,
And torpedo slush galore.

When we come into the Navy Yard,
We are looked upon with disgrace;
And they make out some new regulations,
To fit our particular case.

Now all you Battleship sailors,
When you are feelin’' disgruntled and mean;
Just pack your bag and hammock,
And go to "A Submarine"

I found this in the Sub Base newspaper in Groton, CT in 1966.
There was no author listed for this piece. It is reputed to have been written by a sailor off the N-2

A Submarine Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived in a crowd, 
In a 40 man berthing, with shipmates so loud.

I had come down the Sail with presents to give,
And to see just who in this rack did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, just poopy-suit close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of far distant land.

He had medals and badges and awards of all kinds, but
One in particular seem to catch my eye. Why they were
Dolphins, with a tiny submarine... pinned on with pride,
A sobering thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, it was so dark and dreary,
I had found the house of a Submarine Sailor once I could see clearly.

The Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in his rack, dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the berthing in such good order,
Not how I pictured a United States Submarine Sailor.

Was this the hero whom I saw on TV?
Defending his country so we all could be free.

I realized the families that I've seen this night,
Owed their lives to these Submarine Sailors who were willing to fight.

Soon 'round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate a new Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, for this life is my choice."

Defend the seas this day,
So others may rejoice.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours so silent, so still,
And we both shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
This Guardian of Honor, so willing to fight.

Then the Sailor rolled over and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, All is Secure!!"

Author: Unknown

There are stories told about knights of old and the shooting of Dan McGrew
And the classic tale of the great white whale still thrills us through and through.
There’s Farragut and John Paul but the saltiest of them all
Were the boys in blue from World War Two who answered Freedom’s Call.

Now I won’t boast so I’ll drink a toast to the boys who went down under.
With Navy pride they fought and died when their boats were ripped asunder.
They learned their trade, our debt they paid in the world beneath the sea
And there they sleep in waters deep, a part of history.

Those noble ships with sonar blips once fought their way to Glory
And the men inside, because they died, left none to tell their story.
Proud Argonaut, you had your shot, you and the Amberjack,
‘Twas near Rabaul you gave your all and never more came back.

Pompano, you and Runner, too, were lost in forty-three.
Your gallant crew went down with you, defending liberty.
The Pickerel too, the sleek Wahoo, the Grampus and the Herring,
The Albacore, all lost in the war, have taken their last bearing.

So many more, subs by the score, went to their watery grave,
In silence deep they lie asleep, the young lads and the brave,
But this I know, somewhere below lie those who paid the price,
Our debt is paid because they made the final sacrifice.

A Poem by:
Robert L. Harrison
Oct. 16, 1997
Greenfield, Indiana

The Trade

They bear, in place of classic names,
Letters and numbers on their skin.
They play their grisly blindfold games
In little boxes made of tin.
Sometimes they stalk the Zeppelin,
Sometimes they learn where mines are laid
Or where the Baltic ice is thin.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

Few prize courts sit upon thier claims.
They seldom tow their targets in.
They follow certian secret aims
Down under, Far from strife or din.
When they are ready to begin
No flag is flown, no fuss is made
No more than the shearing of a pin.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

The scout's quadruple funnel flames
A mark from Sweden to the Swim,
The Cruiser's thund'rous screw proclaims
Her coming out and going in:
But only whiffs of parafin
Or creamy rings that fizz and fade
Show where the one-eyed Death has been.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

Their feats, their fortunes and their fames
Are hidden from their nearest Kin;
No eager public backs or blames,
No journal prints the yarn they spin,
(The censor would not let it in!)
When they return from run or raid.
Unheard they work, unseen they win.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

1916, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

  It takes a heap o learnin for a qualifyin' gob
  Thats the story I was told by one ol Navy COB
  He sez you gotta learn to put a boat together
  Then tear it down and fix it in most ever kinda weather.

  There aint no rest or pleasure  for a guy whos NQP
  And a lowly DINK is good as dead, or so the COB tells me.
  You gotta get ten sigs a week, or maybe it is twenty,
  I cant recall just how it wuz but I know thet it wuz plenty.

  You gotta learn bout pressure air and when you got that done,
  You answer questions by the score or is it by the ton?
  If you're late in gettin sigs, you muster with the Chief
  An he has DINKS for breakfast, he's tough beyond belief.

  Next you study ships control, electrical, an scopes ,
  Your situations critical,  youre almost outa hopes.
  An dont forget hydraulics, radar and sonar, too,
  Propulsion next you gotta learn cause thats whut turns the screw.

  Emergency equipment, explain and demonstrate,
  If youre in port, you stay aboard, no time to celebrate.
  Finally  there comes a day when you stand  to take your test
  Before the board you prove to all that  youre the  very best.

  The Captain pins a badge on you, this is your crowning glory
  Youve earned your Dolphins fair and square, the end of one proud story,
  Next mornin, bright an early, youre awakened with this quip,
  Come on, sailor, rise and shine, its time to learn the ship!

  Robert L. Harrison
  Greenfield, Indiana
  Copyright October 18, 1997

Always Remember

Let it never be said that we don't remember.
What Submariners have done since that day in December.
The sun shown bright on that Pearl Harbor morning.
When the enemy attacked with little or no warning.

The Tautog was there with no time to think.
And splashed one Japanese plane right down in the drink.
She sent twenty-six ships to the depths of the sea.
And came to be known as the "Terrible T."

The Sealion at Cavite was the first to be caught.
She was moored to a pier but bravely she fought.
Two bombs exploded through the hull they did rip.
And many brave submariners died in their ship.

There were many proud boats like the Perch and the Finback.
The Kraken, the Haddock the Scamp and the Skipjack.
We remember the Halibut Blenny and Darter.
And never forget Sam Dealey in Harder.

Cutter and Seahorse's torpedoes ran true.
She targeted the enemy and sank many Marus.
And although the enemy was quite filled with hate.
"Red" Ramage and Parche showed many their fate.

"Mush" Morton and Wahoo never backed down from a fight.
Fluckey and Barb entered Namkwan Harbor one night.
Many airman were saved by O'Kane and the Tang.
Some owe their lives to Seafox, Tigrone and Trepang.

We remember the honorable boat called Barbel.
Before she was lost she gave the enemy hell.
The Sturgeon, the Trigger the Pollack had heart.
The Torsk made the last two frigates depart.

Nowadays the cold war seems to be a big factor.
And submarines are powered by nuclear reactors.
The proud names are still there the Tautog did shine.
But her hull number by then was Six Thirty Nine.

Many boats gave their all with heroic namesakes.
Like Thresher Scorpion, Nautilus and Skate.
The Seadragon, Swordfish Richard B. Russell and Dace.
Have all stood out to sea and heard the enemies trace.

We remember "Forty-One For Freedom" whose patrols couldn't fail.
The George Washington Andrew Jackson and Nathan Hale.
Now the Alaska and Nebraska and other Tridents are here.
They patrol the deep oceans so aggressive nations have fear.

There are new boats on the line called Cheyenne and Wyoming.
They will all do us proud like the old Gudgeon and Grayling.
So take time each day and think of the past.
Then toast the new Seawolf for she's quiet and fast.

Let it never be said that we don't remember.
What submariners have done since that day in December.
The sun still shines bright every Pearl Harbor Morning.
But never forget the enemy attacks without warning.

By John Chaffey, Powell, WY
SSN639, SSN687, SSBN619

Morton and Wahoo

Most submariners know, the story so well.
And if you ask, they will surely tell.
Of a skipper named “Mush” and a boat called Wahoo.
They set the mark for courage, with an honorable crew.
Shoot the S.O.B.’s, was her battle cry.
Making seven war patrols, Wahoo’s record doesn’t lie.
Morton taught sailors, like O’Kane, Grider and Moore.
The art of submarine warfare, at the enemies front door.
From the Solomons to Honshu, Morton made the enemy pay.
His torpedoes hit their mark, in Wewak Harbor that day.
Alas in the end, Wahoo met her fate.
Exiting the Sea of Japan, through LaPerouse Strait.
Now Davey Jones looks after, those sailors so brave.
And the silent blue ocean, is their eternal grave.
But the legacy lived on, with a new ship of the line.
She was christened USS Morton, in nineteen fifty-nine.
The DD Nine Forty Eight, the saltiest ship in the fleet.
Her sailors talk of her proudly, wherever they meet.
But she too is gone now, as is the second Wahoo.
They have passed into history, as all Navy ships do.
But the names Morton and Wahoo, are almost like one.
And old salts remember, that “Mush” got the job done.

By John I. Chaffey  SSBN619, SSN687, SSN639
Powell, WY April 2, 1999

Diesel and Shale - Cyril Tawney

On the 5th of November back in '53
The big man at Dolphin, sure, he sent for me
"We brought you here, sonny, 'cause we want you to know
We've booked you a berth in water below"
    With the diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    We've booked you a berth with the diesel and shale

But when I protested, "I'm no volunteer"
They said "we ain't had one in many's a year
But that's a wee secret between you and me
There's many a pressed man down under the sea"
    With the diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    Down under the sea with the diesel and shale

"Oh doctor, oh doctor, I don't think I'm well"
"Well, never mind, sonny, we'll very soon tell
Try holding your breath 'til I counts up to three
There! That proves you're fit to go under the sea"
    With the diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    To go under the sea with the diesel and shale

I went to the storeroom to gather me rig
They gave me a sweater ten sizes too big
I climbed down that boat like an old polar bear
I says to meself "there's a smell in the air"
    And it's diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    There's a smell in the air and it's diesel and shale

A blast on the klaxon, ring on the gong
And then you go down where no mortal belongs
Where the air's goin' bad, the bread's goin' stale
They mix you a nightcap of diesel and shale
    Diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    They mix you a nightcap of diesel and shale

We circled the Med for a summer or two
Where the water's so warm and the sky is so blue
'Least that's what they tell me, but I wouldn't know
You don't see much sun when you're stuck down below
    With the diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    When you're stuck down below with the diesel and shale

"Oh Susie, oh Susie, won't you be mine?
Submariners' wives have a hell of a time
You'll live like a duchess with cash on the nail
If you don't mind the smell of the diesel and shale"
    Diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    If you don't mind the smell of the diesel and shale

Then the big man at Dolphin, 'e told me at last
"It's time you went back to your ship with a mast"
"I'll feel just like Jonah, leaving his whale
But you know where to stick all your diesel and shale
    Diesel and shale, diesel and shale
    You know where to stick all your diesel and shale

The Old Salt
One day when all the Navy
to a goodly crowd was host
when it's gates were opened widely
at each Navy Yard and Post.

When crowds of friends-civilians
came from places far and near
to view the mighty warships
that were tied to every pier.

There passed before the sentry
and sergeant of the guard
an old and gray-haired fellow
who came hobbling in the yard.

Whose gait was slow-unsteady
whose frame was bent and frail
whos eyes were red and weary
whos face was wrinkled and pale.

His withered hand held tightly
a small and wilted bouquet
of flowers that he's gathered
on that Decoration Day.

Who, once inside the gateway
forsook the milling throng.
He had no time for cruisers
or the battleships so strong.

Instead he sought a vessel
that had laid for many years;
neglected and forgotten
'mid deserted, crumbling piers.

He trudged for what seemed ages
'til he finally found the slip
and his eager gaze had centered
on a very ancient ship.

The sides of which were rusty
and who's decks were rotted through
her periscope bent and twisted
and her rail was broken too.

His eyes grew dim and misty
as he gazed upon the boat
He cried,"Old pal I've found you"
then a lump came in his throat.

He moved close to the sub
'til he touched its barren side
its presence seemed to stir him
and unto the boat he cried.

"We've had our times old fellow"
in our younger days we both
have weathered storms together
and sailed pleasant seas, my oath.

We've served our nation nobly
with ne'er a thought of self
but now we're both forgotten
and we've landed on the shelf.

We're like the fabled bridegroom
who's tiring of his bride
found greater use in others
then cast his bride aside.

But still we share between us
the memories of the past
and these will serve to cheer us
for the short time that we last.

To me you were a mother
and a friend and home in one,
when tired I've often slumbered
on you just like a son.

That's why I've paid this visit
on this Decoration Day
and why I've brought this token
and he held out the bouquet.

Before I take my parting
I will rest my body sore
in the old and tender embrace
that I knew in days of yore.

Then without further prattle
he climbed over the sub's side
he laid down to slumber
but ere the morning came, he died.

They found his body later
and tho the old man's race was done
the old sub still guarded
her beloved sailor son.

Poem written by Dan Mack in the l920's when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day.
As this century winds down, it is most fitting to remember the sacrifices made this century. Submitted by NY State Supeme Court Justice,
John J. Callahan. (USS Sterlet SS 392)
Frank Toon (USS Blenny SS-324)...Submarines in WWII

Contributed by Tim Noonis, a son of Walter Jack Noonis, who was aboard the Thresher when it went down April 10, 1963
An Unknown Father -

How I often think about that fateful morn
Our hearts to be broken, all hope forlorn

On a fog shrouded morning the Thresher headed for sea
The date was April 10th, Nineteen Sixty Three

She was sleek and fast; a proud ship was she
1st in her class, her number 593

With her faithful sub tender, Skylark in tow
To test depth that morning the Thresher would go

Skylark to Thresher… "Are you ok?"
Thresher to Skylark… "Having troubles today"

Skylark to Thresher… "Are you still there?"
Nothing from Thresher but bubbles of air

With a loud clap of thunder, her fate was sealed
What happened to Thresher would not be revealed

One hundred and twenty-nine men … on a ship in harms way
Their God, they would meet, before the end of the day

6,000 feet and more the Thresher lay deep
An ocean of tears her families would weep

Thresher lay in pieces .. on the ocean floor
Those fine handsome sailors forever no more

Her end was violent and quick we are told
'Twas thought with this, our hearts be consoled

Did you have time to think or a chance to pray?
Had you any idea what fate held that day

Wives, sons and daughters, uncles and aunts too
Waited on shore and prayed for you

The news came slowly and when it did, it was grim
All souls lost! … My thoughts were of him

No gravesite to visit, not a body to grieve
No respite from anguish, no sorrow's reprieve

You were thirty-four and me just one
A heavy burden to bare, for a life just begun

USS Thresher SSN 593 Lost at sea April 10, 1963. 129 men & crew died that day.

Final Inspection

The Sailor stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you Sailor,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The Sailor squared his shoulders and
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who sail the seas
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep,

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Sailor waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God,

"Step forward now, you Sailor,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

(Autor not given.
If you know who wrote this please in form me.)

Submarine Dreams

“Look here, matey:
I’ve been in the belly
of the beast,
and she was my home.”

Far out in the deep,
blind steel rises
from dark and shadow,
into the arid lights
of a grinning moon,
scattering across the waves
like fish in panic.

All ahead one-third,
cold ballast blown
from belly vents,
the boat rises
into the compact heart
of a firmament of stars.

And all are quiet
upon the flying bridge:
there is no horizon -
the ocean is in the stars,
the stars are in the water,
and the water is cleanly
like nothing else that moves,
like nothing else that stands still.

And it’s the weight of tons
pushing at your feet,
as the steam turbines hum
and the screw pulses:

there have been said words
of this:
silent service,
deadly missions,
in the coldest war.

But the truth
was one shot
would kill us all,
take us out from
this divine emptiness.

“Close the hatch, boys;
and dive this pig:
we’ll not see the likes
of this place again.”

Bill Wesse submitted this to a BBS


Long before the advent of the hippie and the yuppie
There was a class of warship that was fondly called the Guppy,
Now the Guppy was a submarine, in case you didn’t know,
Long and black and sleek she was, and always on the go.

In World War Two, the submarines were our first line of attack,
Many of them went out to sea and some did not come back,
Now the submariners knew this but still they went to war,
To defend their nation’s freedom was what they were fighting for.

After World War Two had ended, when the Japs and Germans quit,
Someone thought the old subs should be streamlined just a bit,
So they re-designed the old boats and titled them Tang Class
With snorkels, better batt’ries and a hull to make’em fast.

They went to sea both north and south from the East to setting sun,
They never knew when night was o’er and daytime had begun.
Theirs was a life of silence and the darkness of the deep,
Sometimes their only pleasure were a few hours of blessed sleep.

They ploughed the seas from Pole to Pole in defense of freedom’s goals,
From Pearl Harbor, and Yokosuka to the faroff Iceland shoals,
To spy on Soviet submarines and other ships of war
Was the job of these brave lads who roamed the ocean floor.

They ran patrols from Greenland to the shores of Timbuktu
The GIUK GAP and MED RUN were just nothing for a crew
Of Guppy sailors who thought the NORTHERN RUN okay,
Then take shore leave in Norfolk for another night of play.

How many Guppies were there? Far more than I could name.
And each has earned an honored place in the Guppy Hall of Fame.
They fought the War with Soviets in secrecy and guile
Until the foe gave up the fight, which made it all worth while.

Now they’re gone, as all ships go when their tour of duty’s o’er,
Brave Guppies, stalwart warriors, they roam the seas no more,
They’ve gone to graves far out at sea and this should be their lot,
Gone from the sight of those they served but not to be forgot.
Bob Harrison
Greenfield, Indiana

I Read a Book

I read a book when I was but a lad
Standing barely belt high to my dad.
That book had an impact on my life
Second only to the girl who became my wife.

It told the story of heros true
Who chose to fight beneath the oceans blue.
It told of battles lost and won
And how these men did a job well done.

It told of those who never came back
That suffered death by enemy attack.
It told of all the young lives lost
Paying for freedom with the highest cost.

Of the ones who returned it also told
Telling about these men brave and bold.
But each one I've known is quick to deny
He's anything but an ordinary guy.

I read the book as a lad of ten
And made up my mind there and then.
I knew I just had to grow up to be
A sailor who fought beneath the sea.

I earned my dolphins and wore them with pride
With all my shipmates by my side.
No matter which boat I always knew
All hands would know just what to do.

I was lucky or so I'm told
For the war I fought was known as Cold.
I never knew a torpedo shot in anger
But that's not to say there was no danger.

The only thing I have come to regret
Is there are some things that are secret yet.
I pray before I leave this vail of tears
I can tell my family about those years.

Myron Howard

Found this poem in the latest issue of the Submarine Association of Australia newsletter.

'A Submariner's Thirst' by Mark 'Blue' Reynolds.

It was still, that morning
We were leaving the moorings,
And the Sub was to whisper away.
The lines were thrown,
The sea was our own,
With nothing but water in our way.

Long days we did pass,
The depths were still and vast,
And just the sound of silence to the ear.
The only thought that we had,
That would keep us from going mad,
Was the image of that first cold beer.

The time was very close,
The Sub crew were to boast,
How close the Sub wharf was to be.
For the fridge was getting cold,
The guys were ready to fold,
To crack that first can of VB.

(Mark wrote the above poem for a VB beer competition)


By Richard R. Smith, USS Nereus (AS-17) Chaplain, Christmas, 1961

'Twas the night before Christmas,
The sea was quite still.
Not a sailor was stirring,
Nor over the hill.

The subs were all nested,
Right close to the side.
The tender was anchored,
And riding the tide.

The O.D. was watching
The lights in the stream,
When a short little snorkel
Appeared on the beam.

His periscope moving,
He gave us a look.
Then he surfaced the craft
Right alongside the Snook.

A weird looking boat,
The strangest I've seen.
It was Old Santa Claus
In a submarine.

He popped up on deck
Of the cute little craft.
And rowed alongside
In a war surplus raft.

We were all watching,
And scratching our heads.
Up the gangway came Santa
In his GI dress reds.

His seabag was heavy,
It weighed near a ton.
And was stuffed with presents
For Flotilla One.

"Avast all you Swabbies,"
He let out a roar.
"I'm stuck with the duty
And can't get ashore.

"So I brung you some presents,
Divide up the loot."
Then he turned on his heels,
With a salty salute.

Down the gangway he clattered,
As he left the ship.
We cheered the old rascal
For making the trip.

He said as his submarine
Started to dive,
"Merry Christmas to you,
SubRon 3, SubRon 5."

A bit of history is needed for this one. One of the members of a Submarine related BBS was lamenting his need to attend a gathering of submarine sailors at a private ranch in California. Trying to convince his wife the need to travel to the United States from Australia for this event, this was his plea. Thanks Buzz!
(At the Bash at the Ranch)

Can I please go out to play,
I asked the spouse again.
All the guys will be heading there,
by car and boat and plane.
There’ll be some horses and a cow or two,
A dog named Zeke, and a Bar-B-Q
A laugh, a song, a story too,
May I please go out to play??

I know it’s a little far away,
And it would be better not to go.
But ‘Silver Spurs’ is calling me,
It’ll be one hell of a show.
Me an’ POD will be very good,
Act just the way we know we should,
Partyin’ as only a Submariner could,
Can I please go out to play??

I wanna sing a Cowboy song,
And yell ‘Hi Ho Silver’ too.
I wanna ride the Happy Trails,
After deeds of derring do.
I’ll ride up high just like John Wayne,
Galloping along with flying mane,
Feeling the dust and the driving rain,
Can I please go out to play??

There’ll be nights around the campfire,
Reliving the deeds we’ve done,
Whilst protecting the world from evil,
Until all the wars was won.
We’ll dive and surface just one more time,
Smelling the diesel and feeling the grime,
Now really dear, is that such a crime?
Can I please go out to play??

There’ll be guys from many countries,
From many towns and boats and wars.
And of course the best boat of all,
Will be the one that you called ‘Yours’.
The pinging will be flying strong,
There’ll be stories right, and stories wrong,
One or two legends will enthrall the throng,
Can I please go out to play??

You have to understand my dear,
The Bash is the place that I must go.
Ol’Gringo will be there as well,
Watching and enjoying the show.
How could I go on in cyberspace,
Listening to how they trashed the place,
Missing the chance to meet face to face,
Can I please go out to Play!!!

The Sons will be singing all of their hits,
And Tommy Cox will add quite a few more,
The No Sh*tters outpouring to left and to right,
Both DBF’ers and Nukes evening the score.
The snap attacks will come thick and fast,
Only the brave and the quick will last,
Tales from the present, and tales from the past,
Can I please go out to play??

I want to meet the whole BBS Crew,
Those strangers whom I now call friend.
We’ve talked for ages as old shipmates,
And will stick together until the end.
The faces will match the names that I know,
The greetings will be warm, and friendships will grow,
We’ll party till we hear the old cock crow,
Can I please go out to play??

Of course I’ll mow the bloody lawns,
And prune that tangled shrub.
Yeah, I’ll even paint the bloody house,
And stay away from the bloody pub.
But while I’m doing it … in my mind,
I’ll be diving deep and running blind,
Once more among my very own kind,
When in June I’ve gone out to play!!

Buzz From Oz

For DBF Sailors
They say we have it easy, and maybe they are right.
We've never felt a depth charge, we've never seen a fight.
We don't stink of deisel, we wash our clothes each week.
The nukes will make us tons of water, our hull it doesn't leak.

The smokeboat sailors have their fun, they say no boomer's cool,
"Hey squid can I come on your boat and swim around your pool?"
They say we're soft, we'll never know, just what their boats went through
to end a war they didn't start and wish they never knew.

Yes it's true, our fish stay dry, none pass the outer doors.
But wasn't that the final goal of The War to End All Wars?
So listen now, and listen well, we stand our watches well
and if the time should ever come, we too, will face our hell.

You did your job, you've earned our thanks, and the lessons that you taught
are passed to each and every every nub that thinks that he's so hot.
His quals will be as tough as when you first filled out your card.
No sleazy sigs will sully what was meant to be damned hard.

For when those dolphins are tacked on, you know he'll beam with pride.
And pass on those traditions of the men who fought and died.
We share the tales we've heard from you, sometimes we change the names.
But don't you ever start to think, we're out here playing games.

We might not have to close and shoot, a ship that's in our scope.
Our mission differs from what you had, and so, you'd better hope,
that in our life, your children's too, in fact, for long past that,
that we will never get flash traffic with a message that
cause birds, not fish, to swim away and bring their judgement down
on an enemy that we've not seen, nor pinged with sonar sound.

For if we ever fire those shots and bring the fury of the sun
to those who threaten you and yours, then our hell has just begun.
You came back heroes to your homes, maybe greeted with a band.
But we'll come back to nothing, no homes, no kids, no land.
For our war will be the one that really is the end.
It started with the fires of hell that we were told to send.

So go ahead and have your fun, we'll take on your best shot,
but then go home, and go to sleep, our job is finished not.
We'll just go on making more patrols, not much to do out here.
Four knots to nowhere, punching holes in an ocean, without fear.

John Eckard

Words to "Take Her Down"

Take her down, and softly glide
Through the deep blue underneath the ocean.
We’ll control, the oceans wide
From down, down, underneath the sea.
Torpedoes crash and missiles roar.
Is the music underneath the ocean
From down below we’ll up the score
Of the ships on the bottom of the sea.

Say some toasts and pass the word,
In the futures yet to be
That we’re safe as long as there’s
A submariner underneath the sea.
So rig for dive, and take her down
Down, down underneath the ocean.
Fearless men, who find renown
In the deep blue underneath the sea.

Soul of a Submariner!!!

He cast his soul to the wind, and let his spirit free. 
And his life was set on course, with a submarine decree.

Society had many rules, no way he would live by.
No commuting to an office, no wearing suit and tie.

No time to conform, no time for kids and wife.
The sea was to be his home, the service was his life. 

If only he could tell, of the sights that he had seen.
Of the seas that he had sailed, on that fine old submarine. 

But his tales will go untold, because of history past.
Of lessons paid in blood, the "Silent Service" it was cast. 

Though the days drift into years, the memories do not fade. Of good boats and tough missions, and the sacrifices made. 

Of Silver Dolphins and great shipmates, and moonless dark sea nights. Of travel to exotic lands, and many bewildering sites.

O' to hear the claxon sound, his friends they do not know. He prays to once again, go where Submariners go.

Each year he grows more restless, the salt flows through his veins. But the depths are for the young, not the old with many pains.

His heart beats with a fever, his mind drifts to the sea.
He knows the taste of liberty, and what it costs to be free.

He will hear the vents no longer, he will go to sea no more.  For his final set of orders, has cast his soul ashore. 

By John Chaffey, Powell, WY-c 2001 

Our four star admiral swore,
By the fine gray beard he wore,
That his fleet could lick Big John’s scoutin’ line;
So he formed protective screens,
Which were made of submarines,
Of the fighting Roger type of SubDiv Nine.

Swish, Swish, Swish, the craft is diving,
Straight for a case of native wine,
Let’s get boosted to the skies,
Then go down and never rise,
We’re the cruising, shootin’ boys of SubDiv Nine.

So at midnight on the Fourth
We left the golden north,
Lordy, we did hate to break away!
But it was an awful drouth,
So we headed for the south,
And our poor dear wives and swethearts had to stay.

Round, round, round the old breakwater,
Heading south for Magdalena Bay,
Oh the port main engine stopped,
And the starboard crankshaft dropped,
With old Panama three thousand miles away!

Oh the two-boat led the mob,
When the one-boat lost her job,
And the four-boat plugged along just like a ford,
Oh the six-boat rigged a sail,
And the seven-boat lost her tail,
And the eight-boat put her faith right in the Lord.

Shoot main ballast with the hand pump,
Blow auxiliary every time,
While the engines shake and clink,
Let her float or let her sink,
We’re the cruisin’, shootin’ boys of SubDiv Nine.

Then we went to Hula town,
Where the maids have skins of brown,
And we drank Okolehao most all the time;
The wives and kids all came along,
To keep us all from going wrong,
We’re the cruisin’, shootin’ boys of SubDiv Nine.

Crash, crash, crash, the boats are diving,
Flooding ballast through the salvage line,
Hoist away the brimming cup,
We’ll go down and ne’er come up,
We’re the cruisin’, shootin’ boys of SubDiv Nine.

Here we are in Valley Jo,
But the yard ain’t got no dough,
So supply us with a lost of ten inch line,
Give us water, give us chow,
And we’ll go to sea somehow,
We’re the cruisin’, shootin boys of SubDiv Nine.

Swish, swish, swish, the craft is diving,
Straight for a case of native wine,
Let’s get boosted to the skies,
Then go down and never rise,
We’re the cruisin’, shootin’ boys of SubDiv Nine.

Has anyone ever heard of this? New to me.
My guess is that it must be about the R-boats in the 20’s or 30’s.
And does anyone know the tune to this??

Bill 349

A Spray on my Bright Scope

I am a submariner, 
From birth on til’ this day
My landbound feet grow restless, 
I must be underway.

I’ve done few things of note aboard, 
That’ve not been done before,
Tho’ should I live quite long enough,
They’ll be the stuff of lore.

I have no need of firmament,
Give me the shining sea
A spray on my bright scope tonight,
Is all I need of thee.

My life is best beneath the waves,
With men of my own kind,
Creaks and groans brought from the depths,
The last heard earthly sign.

Above the waves there is a space,
Less thick than that of mine,
Where wings can soar o’r ships near shore,
But depth is my red wine.

There’s smoke on the horizon,
Men scurry down below,
I clear the bridge, and call the dive
It’s time to start the show.

I track my foe with Eagle’d eyes
And squinting as I close
I point my fish to a point of death,
Along the compass rose.

From withheld breath I find the strength,
To call the deadly shot,
It’s me or them I say myself
The sad old bloody lot.

My God is this what I must do,
To keep these fine men free
A spray on my bright scope tonight,
Is all I need of thee.

Suddenly I fear no more
My thoughts ring soundly true,
Forgive us Lord for this foul act,
We leave our soles to you.

I hear the sound of tearing iron
Of ship now torn asunder
Our visit unexpected,
Announced with sounds of thunder.

Escaping down to darkened depths,
Below a feisty squall.
That sprayed upon my scope tonight,
And surely saved us all.

I have no need of glory,
Just men to stand with me,
As we sail off into the night,
To keep our country free.

-- Don Gentry

Silent Submarine Service

On Veteran’s Day,
we sit and pray,
for those who die in the battles we fight.
Your teacher teaches,
You hear the speeches,
You sing with all your might.

Well, what would they do
if they came home to
no home, no parade, just sand?
They would look around,
not a soul to be found.
All they’d see is a barren wasteland.

But that won’t happen.
Keep peacefully napping.
Let the "real" heroes do their job.
They’re the ones who come back
with experiences you lack.
No parade, no surrounding mob.

When you think of wars,
you think of the deafening roars,
of WWII and the Vietnamese.
You think of joining the soldiers,
while drinking your Folgers.
You live your life with ease. 

They go off missing holidays,
like Christmas and birthdays,
For years they’ve helped us stand proud.
You’re thinking, "You’re just jealous"
So we may be, fellows.
But I think we’re just against the crowd.

There’s nothing wrong with the Army men, 
In fact, one is a friend.
But I don’t like ones who boast and brag.
The fight for America, too,
and stand for the red, white, and blue,
And we all pledge to the same flag.

I just want you to know,
who missed the premier show,
that you waited for for days. 
Many branches, many wars,
Many opened and closed doors,
Many fought in many different ways.

"Who are these people," you say,
"who keep a peaceful way?"
Well don’t worry, don’t you be scared.
These people protect you,
so you can live peacefully, too.
They’re the silent Submarine Service. 

-Rachel Eckard  age 11

Brother of the 'Phin

I chanced upon a sailor once
with an emblem on his chest.
It appeared to be two angry sharks
on a trash can for a rest.

His white hat was wrinkled and dirty;
his neckerchief tied too tight
and he had only one eye open
as he staggered through the night.

He was young and scrawny and wiry;
with knuckles cracked and oozing.
I could tell from the way he looked and smelled
he'd spent the night whorin' and boozin'.

But as he pulled abreast, he squared his hat
and said "Sir, do you have a light?
I'm due back aboard by quarter to four
Or the COB will be settin' me right."

As I fumbled around for my lighter
he pulled some smokes from his sock
"and I'll be damned lucky to make it," he muttered
'Cause I'm steamin' against the clock."

Through the flame of my well-worn Zippo
I could see a smile on his face.
"But, you know -- it was damn well worth it.
That 'Bell's' is a helluva place."

He sucked the smoke deep down in his lungs
and blew smoke rings up towards the moon
Then he rolled up his cuffs, pushed his hat to the back
and said "maybe there'll be a cab soon."

In spite of the time he was losing
He was wanting to shoot the breeze
So we sat on the curb, like two birds on a perch
as he talked of his life on the seas.

I asked about the thing on his chest
and he looked at me with a grin.
Then he squared his hat, snubbed out his smoke
and said "I'm a Brother of the Phin."

"I'm one of the boys who go under the sea
where the lights from above don't shine;
Where mermaids play and Neptune is king
and life and death intertwine.

Life on a boat goes deep in your blood
and nothing on earth can compare
to the feeling inside as she commences a dive
going deep on a hope and a prayer.

I've sailed some fearsome waters
down below the raging main
and I've heard that old boat creak and groan
like the wheels of a railroad train.

It's the one place on earth where there ain't no slack
where you don't have more than you need;
where each man is prince of his own little space
and each lives by the submarine creed.

There ain't much I've done in this fickle life
that would cause other men to take note,
But I've walked in the steps of some mighty fine men
who helped keep this country afloat.

They slipped silently through the layers
down below that raging main
while up above enemy men-o'-war
laid claim to the same domain.

Brave sailors were they
in their sleek boats of steel
silently stalking their prey
and closing in for the kill.

They died as the lived
unafraid, proud and free
Putting all on the line
to secure liberty.

Their bones now rest in glory
down in Neptune's hallowed ground
But their souls stand tall at the right hand of God
Awaiting the claxon's next sound.

So, it's more than a "thing" that I wear on my chest
It's a badge of the brave, proud and true.
It's a tribute to those who have gone here before
riding boats that are still overdue"

It's the "Dolphins" of a submariner
worn proudly by the few
who've qualified at every watch
and touched every bolt and screw.

They know the boat on which they sail
like they know their very soul
and through the fires of hell or the pearly gates
they're ready for each patrol.

But when in port they take great sport
standing out from all the rest.
For deep inside they burn with pride
for the dolphins on their chest."

Then he stood erect, squared his hat
and pulled his neckerchief down to the "v"
He rolled down his cuffs, put his smokes in his sock
and squinted back towards the sea.

"I can hear them diesels calling
So I'd best be on my way.
We'll be punchin' holes in the ocean
when the sun peeks over the bay."

As I watched him turn and walk away
I felt honored to know such men.
for they bring life to Duty, Honor, Country
these "Brothers of the Phin."


Larry Dunn July 2003

I Remember

Here's to us, one and all
Who heard the message and answered the call
To break away from the old mainstream
And live our lives on a submarine.

Sub School gave us the chance to pass the test
To declare that we were The Best of the Best.
When we left New London with orders in hand
We all headed out for distant, faraway lands.

Some went East coast some went West
But no matter where you ended up, your first boat's the best.
You reported on board not knowing what to think
But now you're known to all as a nub and a dink.

You learn about Tradition and learn about Pride,
You learn about Honor and the men who have died,
You learn about the heritage that's been passed on to you
Because now you're considered one of the crew.

You study that boat from bow to stern
From the conning tower to the bilges, it's your duty to learn
Where and what makes that boat go,
How it operates and in what direction it flows

How to charge those batteries and keep them alive
Or how to rig the boat for dive
Draw those systems fore and aft,
Blow the shitters, Check the draft

These are duties that you must glean
When you live your life on a submarine
When you've learned all there is to know about your boat
You show 'em you know it, by your walk through vote

You go before the Qual Board, card in hand
Where they question and grill you to beat the band
And when you think you can take no more
They tell you to wait just outside the door.

For what seems like eons, Time stands still
And when they call you in, you feel quite ill!
But they congratulate you for doing so good
And welcome you into their Brotherhood.

Right of passage declares that you must drink your "fish".
And the tacking on process is not something you wish
But you wear those dolphins on your chest with pride
Because down deep in your heart, you know you're Qualified.

It seems like yesterday, it seems like a dream
That I truly lived on a submarine
Most Boats are gone, a memory of time
I wonder what happened to that crew of mine?

The Old Boats that are left, are all museums
And even if you rode 'em, you have to pay admission to see 'em.
So here's to us, those that remember
Who rode the boats out in all kinds of weather

To those past, present and even the future
To those young, hardy lads who still love adventure
So let's lift our glasses and have a toast
To the memory of those daring young sailors and their undersea boats.

Author is Dick Murphy IC3(SS) who wrote the poem in 2003 for the 1st USS Tiru SS 416 Reunion held in Charleston, SC

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