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Songs for Royal Navy WWII

GUEST,Raggytash 28 Aug 14 - 06:47 AM
Charmion 28 Aug 14 - 10:34 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 14 - 10:46 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 14 - 10:47 AM
Les from Hull 28 Aug 14 - 01:08 PM
GUEST 28 Aug 14 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Raggytash 28 Aug 14 - 02:27 PM
Les from Hull 28 Aug 14 - 06:28 PM
breezy 28 Aug 14 - 08:06 PM
Padre 28 Aug 14 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 28 Aug 14 - 08:55 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 14 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,keith A of hertford 31 Aug 14 - 06:39 AM
doc.tom 31 Aug 14 - 07:18 AM
doc.tom 31 Aug 14 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew 01 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM
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Subject: Songs for Royal Navy WW11
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 06:47 AM

I have just received my late Fathers "Arctic Star" medal for his service on HMS Rodney during Arctic Convoys in WW11. He was also on HMS Rodney at the Salerno landings in Italy and the D Day landings. This got me thinking. There are many great songs regarding land based soldiers and the trails and tribulations they underwent during WW11 but I cannot recall any songs relating to the Royal Navy.

So .......... here's the challenge, can someone either point me in the way of some good songs about the Naval involvement OR better still write a brand new one just for my Dad.

The medal will be given to my Mother on her 90th Birthday in October, as yet she doesn't know I've got it.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WW11
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:34 AM

Hi, Rags: My Dad was an RN radar rating (HM ships Wrestler, Adamant and Sheffield, plus shore service in Mombasa, Durban and Columbo). He told me that, during the war, singing was rare in the lower deck, where only "Maggy May" was still in circulation as a true folksong, though he may have been holding back on a few bawdy ones.

That said, may I suggest "The Grey Funnel Line" by Cyril Tawney?


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WW11
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:46 AM

There are plenty of Navy songs from WWII and there are plenty of books of them. Cyril's book contains some of them. I bet there are some in Roy Palmer's book, Boxing the Compass, (The Oxford Book of Sea Songs). Unfortunately as Charmion suggests the majority of them are not suitable to be listened to by a 90-year-old lady. Many of them also are parodies of earlier material. I bet there are plenty in this very forum if you look. There is a RN version of 'The Mare and the Foal' from WWII.

Roll on the Nelson, the Rodney, Renown,
We used to sing Hood but the bastard went down!

You could always bowdlerise an existing song.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WW11
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:47 AM

I'm sure Les will be along shortly to give us chapter and verse.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WW11
From: Les from Hull
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 01:08 PM

Well, not really Steve.

But there was an alternative version to the chorus you mentioned with the second line of 'This four-funnelled bastard is getting me down'. This referred to the 50 ancient destroyers loaned by the USA. They were totally unsuited to the work they undertook - North Atlantic convoy escort - after 20 years in mothballs, built for speed and not for endurance or agility and could apparently roll your fillings out on a long Atlantic swell.

'Jervis Bay' is an excellent song. There's a version in the DT but what's given there as verse five is really the chorus.

Jim Radford is appearing at Hull Folk Festival (oh did I mention that again?) and he served on rescue tugs during WW2 and has written excellent songs of his experiences.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 02:18 PM

There's a good book 'HMS Rodney slayer of Bismarck and D-Day saviour' by Iain Ballantyne that tells the full story of HMS Rodney.

Rodney and her sister ship Nelson were the most powerful ships in the Royal Navy although a little slow and outdated by WW2. Their design had to be modified following the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921 which limited their size. Hence they were jokingly known as the Cherry Tree Class (cut down by Washington). Because all the main armament was forward and the superstructure and funnel further aft her service nickname was Rodnol (RN oilers - tankers carrying oil fuel for steamships - had names ending in -ol).


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 02:27 PM

Thanks All,

While I understand that the Grey Funnel Line is a fabulous song, it is not about a specific incidence during the conflict or about a specific ship and their involvement in any particular battle. I'm amazed that someone(as far as I am aware)has never written (for example) about the sinking of the Hood or the Bismarck. If I had the talent to write such a song I would try to do so.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: Les from Hull
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 06:28 PM

There's a song called 'The lost 1400' about exactly that, with a recurring line 'sail, sail you Mighty Hood' and the refrain 'says the 1400 to the 3, the lost 1400'. Of a crew of around 1400 on Hood, only 3 survived. Other than hearing Phil Jenkinson sing, that's all I can tell you.


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: breezy
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:06 PM

Down By the Dockyard Wall may be worth a look written by Shep Woolley
various youtubes check em out
for a widow very apt


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: Padre
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:16 PM

Raggytash - I believe Charmion was referring NOT to the song, "Gray Funnel Line" but to a book by that title which does contain a number of RN songs from WWII. I have a copy somewhere in my library, but just not immediately to hand.

Padre


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:55 PM

Many many years ago, as a teenager on a week long sailing course at HMS Ganges....(Sadly the base is no longer active)...I was priveledged to meet one of the three survivors from the Hood...by then a CPO with lots of long service stipes !


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:03 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST,keith A of hertford
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:39 AM

The 23rd Flotilla Song.
thread.cfm?threadid=36218#498561


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: doc.tom
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:18 AM

Amongst his prolific output, Alan Burbidge wrote two that may serve: The Mighty Hood [not the song Les refers to above], and The Mumansk Run [particularly relevant from what you say]. PM me if you want copies.

TomB


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: doc.tom
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:19 AM

That should have 'Murmansk' of course!


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Subject: RE: Songs for Royal Navy WWII
From: GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM

If you haven't already, you might take a look in /Songs from the Front & Rear: Canadian servicemen's songs of the Second World War/ by Anthony Hopkins* (ISBN 0-88830-171-5) which, although Canadian, has many songs that were also sung in the RN.

There was one song that our father learned in the RN that he would sing in public went to the tune of "See, amidst the winter's snow":
Can a dockyard matey run?
Yes, they can, I've seen it done;
At the ringing of the bell,
Dockyard mateys run like Hell!

*Not /that/ Anthony Hopkins.


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