Mar 11, 2004, 1:46 PM
Post #1 of 101
Skydiving Songs & Poems
Divers of the Sky
by Hank McCarrick
to the tune "Auld Lang Syne"
The plane is here; the time is near We'll soon be climbing high Then jump we must, come hell or bust We're divers of the sky. May all go well; our fall will tell The chutes should open fine If one be done, t'was worth the fun For Auld Lang Syne.
As years are gone we'll carry on Til time to turn to dust Though weak and maimed, we can't be blamed For jump by surely we mus.
So toast we may though old and gray Our glasses raised on high We'll take a sip for all the rip cord Divers of the sky.
Flying Fred had cratered in A week ago and now and then We saw the spot where he'd been killed The hole in the ground had just been filled.
It made us stop and it made us think But we shrugged our shoulders and drank our drinks; We knew the score when he got his: Jumping from planes is a dangerous biz.
Fred had given up students and he'd given up style And he only saw the target every once in a while. Most of the time he walked country roads Having just come down from an eight-man load.
Time and again we'd heard Fred say, "Now save a place, 'cause on the day That this state sees a ten-man fly I'm closing tenth before I die."
Well, thinking of what we'd heard Fred say We decided to hold a memorial day. The first ten-man still gleamed in our eyes So on this day we'd give it a try.
With chewing gum and refrigerator tape We put our Beech into real good shape. The pilot grinned at the dripping oil Then strapped on a rig and said, "Let's roll."
The Federal Man thought otherwise; He threw the book and said, "Look you guys, You bounced old Fred when you were up last time; The tenth man stays, You're going with nine."
With tears in his eyes someone got off the load, Threw his gear in the trunk and drove off down the road. With thirty-six jumps he'd have probably done fine But Fred would be happy if we got the first nine.
The Beech took off in a black smoke cloud Just under the wires and over the crowd! Spectators ducked and faces got white And we didn't breathe 'til we were in flight!
We were two hours late when we hit twelve-five And the pilot yelled with fear in his eyes, "Get ready you guys, we're going on in 'Cause we're out of gas! Better check my pins!"
"Man in the door!" came a muffled shout, I was tyin' my shoes when the base fell out; The pin was gone, then three, then four, And then there was nothing but me and the door!
I dove head low, someone's boot in my mouth; The prop blast hit as I flew out; Tumbling plane overhead, falling bodies below, Stable at last, but a long way to go.
I tracked so hard that I couldn't stop, My breath was gone and my eyeballs popped! Drilled a hole in a cloud and started to flare, And when I came out the star was there.
I got a good grip and the star was round; One eye on the needle and one on the ground We started to break when we heard a yell And across from me was a face from hell!
Trailing red smoke from an M-18 A phantom tenth man appeared on the scene! We wanted to break but found we could not. Our grips froze tight when he hit the slot!
I'll swear to this day it was Flying Fred, He had surplus gear and his eyes were red! With a laugh you could hear and a wave of his hand He broke off the star just over a grand!
Nobody waved and nobody tracked, The trees got so big we just unpacked! Reserves went by! Out flashed my own! But that red smoke flew towards the ground.
Out by the peas was the Federal Man Timing low pulls with a watch in his hands. Came the lowest pull of all that day Because Phantom Fred was heading his way.
With a grinning laugh and a blast of wind In a cloud of smoke Fred brought it on in! Lightning flashed and thunder rolled! When the smoke cleared away, there was just a hole.
White reserves started landing there, The Beech was down in a field somewhere The FAA didn't like all this; The man staggered off to file a near miss.
We all looked at the hole; then we all shook hands. It was legal now, our first ten-man. Where Fred had gone we couldn't say But our witness was the FAA.
That night over a beer we thought of a way To salute Flying Fred's Memorial Day. Where that smoke bomb hit, now a marker stands, It says, "Boys, I was with you on your first ten-man!"
Got a ole P.C. Got my rig on my shoulder. Got nothing to lose when I hit the blues, jump bummin' around.
(Chorus:) Whenever people start buggin' me, I grab my rig, my Bell X-5, and head for the ole DZ. I ain't got a dime. Just spend it on jumpin'. I'm free as a breeze, and I do what I please, jump bummin' around.
Well, I've jumped in DeLand, Stone Mountain and Lakewood, Elsinore, and The Inn. I've made lots of friends, jump bummin' around.
Got a million friends, All over the country. Sometimes I get a DZ. Sometimes I land in a tree. Jump bummin' Around.
An old Skydiver went flying out one dark and windy day Upon the strut he waited as he flew along his way. When over top the exit point he pushed off hard and strong. And as he plunged on through the sky, he sang this happy song. Yippee-I-Oh, look out below. Skydiver on a delay. Five thousand feet on down he fell his arms and legs outspread. His back was arched and as he fell the wind roared past his head. When at two thousand feet he frogged and came in for the string. He groped along the harness fast and then began to sing. Yippee-I-Oh Where did it go? My ripcord can't be found. On down he fell the Earth grew large. His time was running out. He came in fast for his reserve and gave a dismal shout. The Sunday papers fluttered by and through his fevered brain Ran the awful certainty his hopes were down the drain. Yippee-I-Yah, at least let them say, Stable all the way. Now when the days are dark and cold, the sky is black with clouds. You'll see that lonely jumper fall struggling with his shrouds. He falls through space eternally to make this message clear. No matter how stable you are, your life hangs with your gear. Yippee-I-Oh, when he says go, Think of the gear you wear.
The jumpmaster is my shepherd I shall not want He maketh me to step out on the tire, He leadeth my hand to the wing strut He quieteth my panic; He leadeth me in the joys of jumping for his name's sake. Yea, though I jump into the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no malfunction; For thou art with me, Thy faith in my reserve - It comforteth me.
Thou preparest a back pack before me In the presence of my fellow students; Thou covereth my head with plastic; My knees knocketh together. Surely fortune and kindness shall follow me Every second of my delay, And I will dwell in the harness of the chute forever.
"Is everybody happy?" cried the Sergeant, looking up. Our hero feebly answered "yes" and then they stood him up. He leaped right out into the blast, his static line unhooked. He ain't gonna jump no more. Chorus:
Gory, Gory, what a helluva way to die, Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die Gory, gory what a helluva way to die He ain't going to jump no more.
He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock He felt the wind, he felt the clouds, he felt the awful drop; He jerked his cord, the silk spilled out and wrapped around his legs. He ain't gonna jump no more. Chorus (above)
The risers wrapped around his neck, connectors cracked his dome The lines were snarled and tied in knots around his skinny bones The canopy became his shroud, he hurtled to the ground He ain't gonna jump no more.
The days he'd lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind He thought about the girl below, the one he'd left behind He thought about the medico's and wondered what they'd find He ain't gonna jump no more.
The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild; The medics jumped and screamed with glee, they rolled their sleeves and smiled For it had been a week or more since last a chute had failed He ain't gonna jump no more.
He hit the ground,the sound was splat, his blood went spurting high; His comrades then were heard to say "A helluva way to die"; He lay there rolling 'round in the welter of his gore. He ain't gonna jump no more.
"There was blood upon the risers There were brains upon the chute Intestines were a dangling from this paratrooper's boots. They picked him up, still in his chute, and poured him from his boots. He ain't gonna jump no more!"
This is the tale of a daring young lad Who kept hearing reports of a brand new fad. Skydiving was the handle they gave this new game - A sure way to glory, perhaps even fame. He rushed to the bookstore and there on the shelf, A magazine glared, "Skydiving, How to do it yourself" He paid for the book and away he went, To the nearest airport, his footsteps hell-bent. He arrived at the field and told one and all I am here to make a one minute free fall. He put on a chute and climbed into a 182 And he and the pilot went into the blue. He opened the book and proceeded to read, Of proper spotting, its importance, its need. The book also told how to stand on the plane's landing gear See how easy!! There's nothing to fear. He kicked off the wheel and on his back he spun. The book said 'twas wrong even though it was fun. The book said, arch hard and over you'll fly To look at the ground and not at the sky So he tried it with gusto and lo and behold In a second it happened -- over he rolled He thought with wild glee, aint't this a scene? I'm doing tricks like a flying machine. The book then said "Let's try a turn to the right Bring your right arm in, but not too tight Now counter a little, you're showing great style. A glance at your panel shows you've fallen a mile." Our hero thought, this book's the McCoy Nothing I've done has provided such joy. I'm flying around with the greatest of ease Doing turns and backloops whenever I please. He read further on to continue his lesson He knew he was nearing the end of this session On the next page were the words, unhappily written "Continue instruction in next month's edition".
He jumped out at thirteen-five for a 60 plus delay. He had no way of knowing it was his fateful day. He did a left 360, and then he did a right. Burned on through his series, really racked it tight.
Then he did a barrel roll, and broke into a track. But when he pulled he pulled that ripcord, he was flat upon his back. His pilot chute did not come out. His main would not deploy. For he had not remembered what he learned as a boy.
The packing pins were in the cones. What a terrible mistake he'd made. He should have packed his parachute before "Cardinal Puff" was played. He looked at his altimeter. His teeth began to chatter. He'd have to throw out his reserve, or upon the ground he'll splatter.
He pulled that ripcord handle, and much to his surprise, out popped his girlfriend's living bra, right before his eyes. Twin canopies inflated, much to his delight. He knew that he'd be able, to play "Cardinal Puff" tonight.
There was a young maiden of age fifty-seven. Who drove a blank gore like you've never seen before. She drank and she cussed, and she smelled to high heaven. That's Francine Mc Filthy, the skydiver's whore.
We went to a jump meet in Carson, Nevada. The troops were all lined up at the Moonlight Ranch door. But out in the bushes, one went for a quarter. That's Francine Mc Filthy, the skydiver's whore.
Old Francine the queen of barnstorming banditos. Would punch out S.O.S. 'till her knuckles were sore. She'd make Pope and Bishop, in seventeen seconds, Then take on nine jumpers, that's skydivers whore.
Way back in the old barnstorming days, I flew an old jenny. The struts were all broken, the fabric was tore. And out on the jumpstep, stood Francine Mc Filthy. The pride of Milpitas, that skydiver's whore.
Francine was married to old Ernie Perkins; The wedding took place in the back of a store; The troops was all drinkin' and fightin' and yellin', And Ernie got cursed wid' a skydiving whore.
Old Francine looked lovely, she smiled at the preacher. I pioneer, jumpsuit, the gown that she wore. Behind her sweet back, she gave us the finger. That raunchy old bastard, that skydiver's whore.
The marriage was short lived, and so was old Ernie. He crashed through a church roof, and died on the floor. Francine missed the funeral, for a night jump at Chico. So what's more important to a skydiving whore.
Then one day it happened, her navy rig failed her. She tracked for Lake Merrit, but just made the shore. She closed bloodshot eyes, and smiled through her A.H... And that was the end of our skydiving whore.
So hang your head low boys and cry in your muscat. The pride of Milpitas is with us no more. And the noise that your hear at twelve-five is not thunder. But the voice of old Francine, our skydiving whore.
And now somewhere on that eternal drop zone. Stands one who hollers and beats on the door. Won't you break down and hand out a drink there St. Peter. To Francine Mc Filthy, the skydiver's whore.
One day while at the airport. With nothing to do. I saw a man come falling, streaming down from out of the blue. I knew this man was surely dead. i stood there frozen mute. 'Till heard the snap and the crack, of his openin' parachute.
(Chorus:) Don't worry about the airplane. You're leavin' it behind. Don't worry about the altitude, it's up there all the time. Don't worry about your parachute, it'll always stop tour fall. But if your slow, you're headed low, to a smashing, crashing fall.
His canopy was black and gold; great holes were showing through. He glided north, he glided south, he turned and stalled it too. He landed at the target, stood up so easily. I asked him hoe he did it, and this is what he said to me...
When your hear the engines fading, and dive out through the door, and your speed builds up to terminal, and you hear the wind's loud roar, then you're flying free, and life's carefree, 'till the earth comes rushing fast. Don't wait too long, 'till the ripcords gone, or this jump will be your last.
When you're reaching for your ripcord, you know your time is running out. You're headed down to eighteen hundred, and your burble's not shook out. Horizon's gone, you start to roll. You spiral and zap out. Unless you sprout some feathers, boy, you better whip it out.
Now all you men who drink a lot, have not a thing to fear. You jump on Sunday mornin' full of whiskey, gin, and beer. Pull out the chocks, load up the plane, let's hear that Nordsmen's call. And ride to the graveyard drop zone, in a smashing, crashing, fall.
(New chorus:) New worry about the airport, you're leavin' it behind. Don't worry about the lousy spot, you can't track back in time. Looking for the ripcords, you can't find them at all. The lake, the dump, the power lines; one will stop our fall.
First time at orange, get a welcome hand from Lew. Meet all the rest of his jolly good crew. Then just dress up, and chute up, and climb into the jumping ship. If you are a jumper, then we'll pray for you.
(Chorus:) Rib busting chest straps, ball busting leg straps. Leg busting landings may break up a few. But if God ain't a God, and Heaven ain't a place at all. Just worship jumping and we'll pray for you.
Up climb the jump ship, working for some altitude. Out goes the door when the DZ's in view. Then a hard right, a hard left, a couple dozen changes more. Terry-Oh's spotting, so we'll pray for you.
Out went Goyen waiting for a falling man. Third out was Gorgie, his chute full of dew. His main didn't open, his second did, but kinda low. If you're like Georgie, then we'll pray for you.
Back on the DZ, tummy says "it's dinner time". Head for the chow house and 'Norsemen Stew'. Just don't ask how it's made, anything that moves may be inside. Neva's the cook, so we'll pray for you.
If you're a novice, training isn't very long. Start in at one, and by four you're through. So you watch, and you listen, practice.
Take Me Out to the Drop Zone I'll be damned if I jump. Bring me some bandages and iodine. A case of beer and a bottle of wine. For it's "play it cool" at the drop zone. Were we'll be safe and sound. And watch all those heros jump out of the plane, and cream in...to...the ground.