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Baldricks_Mate
05-06-2006, 05:04 AM
I bought an album "The Weavers, Live at Carnegie Hall Vol 2", it had a song on it, track 4, "The Sinking of the Ruben James". Being Aussie, I am not always familiar with other countries ballards of heroism and sacrifice. Original words were by Woodie Guthrie(?) but the last verse added much later by Fred Hellereman... However I stand ready to be corrected on any details...

Sinking of the Ruben James
Have you heard of the ship called the good Reuben James?
Run by hard fighting men both of honor and of fame.
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free,
but tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.
Chorus:
Oh, tell me, what were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Oh, tell me, what were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

One hundred men went down to their dark and watery graves.
When that good ship went down, only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October they saved forty-four
from the dark, icy water of that cold Iceland shore.

(Chorus)

It was there in the dark of that cold and watery night.
They watched for the U-boats and they waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion's roar.
They lay the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

(Chorus)

(Fred's added verse...)

Many years have passed since those brave men are gone.
Those cold, icy waters, they're still and they're calm.
Many years have passed and still I wonder why
the worst of men must fight and the best of men must die!

(Chorus)


Maybe that next DD the U63 & Cpt Longhaulass will let pass...


Ah, what I would give to write music and lyric this good.

I am ex services and no pacifist but the sacrifice of all these kinds of men leaves me wondering of the boundaries of man's inhumanity to man...

Baldricks_Mate
05-06-2006, 05:04 AM
I bought an album "The Weavers, Live at Carnegie Hall Vol 2", it had a song on it, track 4, "The Sinking of the Ruben James". Being Aussie, I am not always familiar with other countries ballards of heroism and sacrifice. Original words were by Woodie Guthrie(?) but the last verse added much later by Fred Hellereman... However I stand ready to be corrected on any details...

Sinking of the Ruben James
Have you heard of the ship called the good Reuben James?
Run by hard fighting men both of honor and of fame.
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free,
but tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.
Chorus:
Oh, tell me, what were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Oh, tell me, what were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

One hundred men went down to their dark and watery graves.
When that good ship went down, only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October they saved forty-four
from the dark, icy water of that cold Iceland shore.

(Chorus)

It was there in the dark of that cold and watery night.
They watched for the U-boats and they waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion's roar.
They lay the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

(Chorus)

(Fred's added verse...)

Many years have passed since those brave men are gone.
Those cold, icy waters, they're still and they're calm.
Many years have passed and still I wonder why
the worst of men must fight and the best of men must die!

(Chorus)


Maybe that next DD the U63 & Cpt Longhaulass will let pass...


Ah, what I would give to write music and lyric this good.

I am ex services and no pacifist but the sacrifice of all these kinds of men leaves me wondering of the boundaries of man's inhumanity to man...

Kingcobra24
05-06-2006, 06:32 AM
http://www.reuben-james.navy.mil/history.htm

janek73
05-07-2006, 06:05 PM
You can hear 30 seconds of this song here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000000EHK/ref=pd_sim_...UTF8&v=glance&n=5174 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000000EHK/ref=pd_sim_m_1/002-5111215-9718418?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=5174)

John_NAVY
05-07-2006, 11:10 PM
I belive I've heard Johnny Horton do a version of this song too.

One of his hits was Sink The Bismark.

hueywolf123
05-08-2006, 10:11 PM
The closest thing that got my hair standing on end, being ex-navy marine engineering, was the 'Stokers Lament'.
Then, hearing it being recited on Anzac day in the Tattlers club, Sydney, by an ex HMAS Canberra (WWII version) Stoker. It was about 10:00am, and I had been marching with the crew of the present day Canberra. We met at this club later with the surviving WWII HMAS Canberra crew members.
Hearing this guy recite the Stokers Lament (the beer may have helped) almost bought me to tears

The Stokers Lament,
Now each of us from time to time has gazed upon the sea, and watched the warships pulling out, to keep his country free. And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale, about the men who sail these ships, through lightning, wind and hail. But there's a place within each ship that legends fails to reach.
It's hot below the waterline, it takes a living toll, a hot metal living hell, the sailors call the hole. It houses engines run by steam that make the shafts go round, a place of fire and noise and heat, that beats your spirits down. Where boilers like a hellish heart, with blood of angry steam, are moulded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.
Whose threats that from the fires roar, is like a living doubt, that any minute would with scorn, escape and crush you out. Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and in a hell, as ordered from above somewhere, they answer every bell. The men who keep the fires alight, and make the engines run, are strangers to the world of light, and rarely see the sun.
They have no time for man or god, no tolerance for fear, their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear. For there's not much that men can't do, that these men haven€t done, beneath the decks, deep in the hole, to make the engines run. For every hour of every day, they keep the watch in hell, for if the fires ever fail, their ships a useless shell.
When ships converge to have a war, upon an angry sea, the men below just grimly smile, at what their fate may be. They're locked below, men foredoomed, who hear no battle cry, it€s well asured that if they're hit, the men below will die. For every day's a war down there, when the gauges all read red, twelve hundred pounds of superheated steam, can kill you mighty dead.
So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale, the very words would make you hear, a fired furnace wail. And people as a general rule, don't hear of men of steel, so little is heard about what sailors call the hole. But I can sing about this place, and try to make you see, the hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.
I've seen those sweat soaked heroes' fight in superheated air, though no one knows they're there. And thus they'll fight for ages until warships sail no more, amid the boilers mighty heat and the turbine's hellish roar. So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a warlike foe, remember faintly if you can, "the men who sail below".
THE UNKNOWN STOKER