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Lyr Add: The Dying Airman

DigiTrad:
I'VE BEEN A GAY ROVIN' YOUNG FELLOW
TARPAULIN JACKET
THE DYING AIRMAN


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Tarpaulin Jacket (77)
Wrap Me Up In My Tarpaulin Jacket (51)
Lyr Req: 'The man who packed the parachute' (37)
Lyr Add: Parody of Tarpaulin Jacket (4)


GUEST,Trish 21 Oct 03 - 05:30 PM
Gareth 21 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM
Gareth 21 Oct 03 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Oct 03 - 03:11 PM
Leadfingers 25 Oct 03 - 07:04 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Oct 03 - 10:44 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 26 Oct 03 - 10:17 AM
Leadfingers 26 Oct 03 - 11:23 AM
Leadfingers 26 Oct 03 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Lighter 26 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM
Gareth 26 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM
Dave Bryant 27 Oct 03 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Oct 03 - 03:17 PM
Ferrara 27 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Gaffer 28 Oct 03 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Steve Chamberlain 30 Sep 16 - 09:25 PM
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Subject: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 05:30 PM

A second for this song found many years ago in an old book that I can't remember the title of!

Three valve springs you'll find in my stomach
Two spark plugs are safe in my lungs
The propeller's in splinters inside me
To my fingers the joystick is clung
Take the prop boss out of my liver,
The aileron out of my thigh
From the seat of my pant take the piston
And see if the old crate will fly

I was told by a RAF veteran that this song was written in WW1 by a member of the Flying Corps, then banned by the RAF in WWII as "bad for morale"


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM

DT Version Click 'Ere

Traditionally an old RFC song.

I have heard a version sung by an old bomber command gunner, unfortunately we were all fairley well lubricated, so the exact words I can not recall.

He had survived a tour (20 ops) in Lancasters, so I think he was entitled to sing it - bad for moral or not.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 07:25 PM

Also see this thread Click 'Ere

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 03:11 PM

Also sung by American fliers in tyhe First World War and since. Alan Lomax prints a Korean War version in "Folk Sings of North America" (1960), and Oscar Brand has recorded a similar one.


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 07:04 PM

If any one wants any old Air Force (thats R A F ) songs I have a copy of the Airmans Songbook- R F C stuff right up to early sixties


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 10:44 PM

Leadfingers---I want!


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 10:17 AM

Leadfingers, I second Dick's request. Please post them all. Check in case there are previous threads on any of them, please.


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 11:23 AM

Dick,George, there are seventy one songs JUST for WWI,thirty two between the wars,seventy four for WW2,seven post war and fourteen
from the Parachute Regiment.I am afraid I havent the time to post them all unless I do one as and when I have time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOLD AVIATOR or THE DYING AIRMAN
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 12:07 PM

OK to start with NO1 in the book :- The Bold Aviator or The Dying Airman, sung to the tune of The Tarpaulin Jacket (1st of 3 versions)

Oh the bold Aviator was dying, as 'neath the wreckage he lay, he lay
To the sobbing mechanics about him these last parting words he did say
Two valve springs you'll find in my stomach, two spark plugs are safe in my lung,
The prop is in splinters inside me, To my fingers the joystick has clung

Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove, far away far away I would fly
Straight to the arms of my true love And there I would lay me and die
Take the propeller boss out of my liver Take the aileron out of my thigh
From the seat of my pants take the piston and see if the old crate will fly

Then get you two little tombstones Put them one at my head and my toe
And get you a penknife and scratch there here Lies a Poor Pilot Below
Take the cylinders out of my kidneys, the connecting rod out of my brain
From the small of my back take the crankshaft and assemble the engine again

And get you six brandies and sodas And lay them all out in a row
And get you six other good airmen to Drink to this pilot below
Two lines as previous verse!!

And when at the Court of Enquiry They ask for the reason I died
Please say I forgot twice iota Was the minimum angle of glide
Same two lines as above !!

And when I join the Air Force Way up way up in the sky
Let's hope that they know twice iota is the minimum angle of glide
Same two lines again --nearly a chorus !!

Last verse of version two :-

Who minds to the dust returning, And who shrinks from the sable shore
Where the high and lofty yearning of the soul shall be no more
So stand to your glasses steady, this world is a world full of lies
Here's a health to the dead already and Hurrah for the next man who dies.


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 01:29 PM

Anyone besides me who finds the phrase "From the small of my back take the crankshaft" either awkward or euphemistic? Something like it appears in every version of this song I've seen, but was it usually (or is it currently) sung that way?


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM

Serious Comment. You may not wish to read this

Having spent some time in the Marine & Aviation Insurance Claims sector, one of the first things you look for in a light Aircraft fatal is the autopsy. (Testing the remains of the pilot for drugs - prescribed or otherwise, and alcohol)- assuming the wreck did not burn.

I am afraid that only too often the remains had to be extracted from what was left of the engine.

A vertical dive from a few thousand feet generally puts the crank shaft and the engine block through the pilot, coming out in the small of the back.

I dare say RAF crash crews noticed the same effect.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 05:15 AM

Sounds a bit like thw question "What is tha last thing that goes through a mosquito's brain when it hit's your car windscreen ?" - it's arsehole !


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 03:17 PM

Thanks, Gareth.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A POOR AVIATOR LAY DYING
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM

Dick & everyone, here's yet another version, taken from my dad's WW II army song book, "Give Out! Songs of, for and by the Men in the Service." I can't do ABC notation but have created a midi file. Dick, if I e-mail you the midi file can you put it up? I put it up on our web page but can't get it to play.

A POOR AVIATOR LAY DYING

A poor aviator lay dying
At the end of a bright summer day.
His comrades had gathered around him
To carry his fragments away.

The airplane was piled on his wishbone,
His Hotchkiss was wrapped round his head;
He wore a sparkplug on each elbow,
'T was plain he would shortly be dead.

He spit out a valve and a gasket
And stirred in the sump where he lay,
To mechanics who round him came sighing,
These brave parting words did he say:

"Take the magneto out of my stomach,
And the butterfly valve off my neck,
Extract from my liver the crankshaft,
There are lots of good parts in this wreck.

"Take the manifold out of my larynx,
And the cylinders out of my brain,
Take the piston rods out of my kidneys,
And assemble the engine again!"


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Subject: RE: Lyric Add: The Dying Airman
From: GUEST,Gaffer
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 01:10 PM

Last 3 verses from Ferrara's version:

The young aviator expire-ed
And away up to heaven did climb
With the aid of his Rolls Merlin engine
He arrived there in double quick time

"Oh what have you done" said St Peter
"To be seeking admission up here?"
He said "I was a young Air Force pilot
On Earth for best part of a year"

The Pearly Gates opened like Magic
And there rang a Celestial Bell
"Come in, grab a harp and sit down lad
You've spent long enough down in hell!"

I think I got it from some Aussie source which I can't remember
Gaffer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Dying Airman - Serious Comment
From: GUEST,Steve Chamberlain
Date: 30 Sep 16 - 09:25 PM

Considering the number of WW1 aircraft that had engines in the rear, even a mild crash landing would send engine of upwards of 1000 lbs crashing forwards into the pilot - who sat in the back of two hole machines of this nature - and onwards thru the Air Gunner in the front seat.. if he hadn't already been thrown out, or dead already..


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