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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > WWI Aviation > Other WWI Aviation > Music, Songs and Poetry


Music, Songs and Poetry Topics related to the music, songs and poetry of World War I

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Old 3 February 2003, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
JoeMcCarthy
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There's a song from WW-I that some flier wrote that had the lines:


"...Take the Manifold out of my brain
"From out of my back take the crankshaft
and assemble the engine again."

Does anyone have all the words to that song?

Joe
 
Old 3 February 2003, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Joe:

The Young Aviator lay dying,
And as in the hangar he lay, he lay,
To the mechanics who round him were standing
These last parting words he did say -

(Chorus):

Take the cylinders out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
The cam box from under my backbone
And assemble the engine again.

Then go ye and get me school bus
And bury me out on the Plain, the Plain,
And get them to write on my tombstone
Some formulae out of Duchesne.

When the court of Enquiry assembles
To find out the reason I died, I died,
Then say I forgot 'twice Iota'
Was the minimum angle of glide.

Oh had I the wings of an Avro
Then far into Holland I'd fly, I'd fly,
I'd stop there until the war's over
And laugh at you blighters on high.

And now I suppose I'll be joining
The Flying Corps up in the sky, the sky,
Where they all understand 'twice Iota'
And they all have got wings that will fly!

Graeme
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Old 3 February 2003, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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All

The song had, I believe, 24 verses in its fullest form. Each Squadron is said to have customised it a little.

Another

Wrap me up in my old flying jacket,
And give me a joystick to hold, to hold,
And I'll soar once again o'er the trenches
And thus shall my exploits be told.



151 at Biggin Hill had a verse which mentioned Seely, who was one of the Lords and Masters

The words I have are very similar to Graeme's but vary in places.



Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain,
From the small of my back take the crank shaft
And assemble the engine again.



There was also:

A young aviator lay dying,
And as in the wreckage he lay, he lay
To the mechanics assembled around him,
These last parting words he did say.

OR

A young Aviator went stunting.

and

And now I suppose I'll be joining
The Flying Corps up in the sky, the sky
Hope the angels have heard of "Iota"
And the wings that they give me will fly.

Anyone else who has any stray verses, please post them. I am interested to collect all variations and verses.

Thanks to Graeme for the start.

Darryl
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Not here are the goblets glowing,
Not here is the vintage sweet;
'Tis cold as our hearts are growing,
And dark as the doom we meet.
But stand to your glasses, steady!
And soon shall our pulses rise:
A cup to the dead already-
Hurrah for the next that dies!
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Old 4 February 2003, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Darryl

Chaz Bowyer put together the book "Airmen of World War 1 - Men of the British and Empire air forces in old photographs." Appendix 1 is given over to songs and verses.

For the Young Aviator - Tune: Originally 'The Dying Lancer' but mainly associated with 'Tarpaulin Jacket'. Of the many versions of this tune and lyrics published over the years, this is perhaps the most commonly used [the version I have and which I posted here].

In the bibliography, Chaz gives as his sources "Anon., Air Force Songs & Verse, Aeronautics Ltd, 1927" and "Nettleingham, F.T., Tommy's Tunes, Erskine Macdonald, 1917".

Graeme
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Old 4 February 2003, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Graeme,

I'll try to get hold of at least one of the sources.

Cooksley mentions some verses and Biggin Hill History others. Those are my main sources. As with all "folk" music, I guess words would have been very "flexible".

The verse about Seely, Under Secretary of State for Air, was used by 141, not 151 and ran:

So gather up quickly the fragments,
And when you've returned them to store,(to store)
Write Seely a letter and tell him,
His 141st is no more. *

very best regards from a fellow Heretic

Darryl
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Nunquam obliviscar

Not here are the goblets glowing,
Not here is the vintage sweet;
'Tis cold as our hearts are growing,
And dark as the doom we meet.
But stand to your glasses, steady!
And soon shall our pulses rise:
A cup to the dead already-
Hurrah for the next that dies!
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Old 4 February 2003, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Arthur Gould Lee in his book "No Parachute" wrote (in a letter home to his wife) of singing this song at 46 Squadron party held in June 1917 for some members of the squadron who were going home:

"The R.F.C regulars included a very old one that we used to bawl at guest nights at
Portmeadow to the tune of "The Tarpaulin Jacket", and gaily called "The Dying Airman".

The Young Aviator lay dying
And as in the wreckage he lay,
To his comrades all gathered around him,
These last parting words he did say

Chorus

Take the cylinder out of my kidneys,
The connecting rod out of my brain, may brain.
From the small of my back take the crankshaft,
And assemble the engine again.

It goes on like this for a dozen verses, all somewhat lugubrious, and for some
unknown reason the chaps enjoyed singing it."

There are several songs and verses quoted in "No Parachute" that might be of interest.

I've seen a version reproduced somewhere else where a crankshaft or camshaft arrives a bit lower. Can imagine the lyrics being sung in different ways to suit the occasion.

Does anyone know anything of the reference to "twice Iota"? Is it gibberish or an actual term that might have been used in flight training, such as in classroom instruction in those days?

Regards
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