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howardwhite

Skydiving songs

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Songs were a big deal in the 60s and maybe early 70s. They would be sung at the bar and around the bonfire -- "Francine McFilthy, the Skydiving Whore," and "Blood on the Risers."
What was the last time and place you heard/participated in songs?
(Of course I'm writing a story.):)

PM me or post.

HW

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I sing “Blood on the Risers” a couple of times a year after jumping with a bunch of knuckleheads who like to jump out of C-47’s. The WWII vets get a kick out of it. It’s best sung with a flask in your hand. It’s also fun to have a veteran come up and ask “What IS that thing?” after I jump a PC. I tell them it’s a new fangled parachute called the Paracommander.

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright,
He checked off his equipment and made sure his pack was tight;
He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,
"He ain't gonna jump no more!"
(CHORUS)
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
And he ain't gonna jump no more!
"Is everybody happy?" cried the Sergeant looking up,
Our Hero meekly answered "Yes," and then they stood him up;
He leaped right out into the blast, his static line unhooked,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock,
He felt the wind, he felt the cold, he felt the awful drop,
The silk from his reserve spilled out and wrapped around his legs,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The risers wrapped around his neck, connectors cracked his dome,
Suspension lines were tied in knots around his skinny bones;
The canopy became his shroud; he hurtled to the ground.
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The days he'd lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind,
He thought about the girl back home, the one he'd left behind;
He thought about the medics, and wondered what they'd find,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild,
The medics jumped and screamed with glee, rolled up their sleeves and smiled,
For it had been a week or more since the last a 'chute had failed,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
He hit the ground, the sound was "SPLAT" his blood went spurting high,
His comrades were all heard to say "A hell of a way to die!"
He lay there rolling round in the welter of his gore,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
(slowly, solemnly)
There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute,
Intestines were a'dangling from his Paratrooper suit,
He was a mess, they picked him up and poured him from his boots,
And he ain't gonna jump no more
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
And he ain't gonna jump no more!


ATW!
Cael

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Interesting. I haven't heard anyone sing things for a bunch of years, except at an old farts reunion a couple of years ago, when a couple of people joined in the Hustler song, about a canopy big in maybe 1962.
Keep it coming in. It's going to be a fun story. I'm not sure Parachutist will print it unless I cut out of the "racy" stuff. Will they go for "Cock Choir" and "Crack Chorus?"
If not, it's off to Blue Skies mag.

HW

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Yeah, that's about right. Seems that maybe Lost Prairie was the last holdout for songs. Hoping to hear from them.
Here's a chunk from a Lost Prairie song:
Quote

Is this the real life or is this Lost Prairie
I'm coming to skydive to escape from reality
just open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I'm just a floater, I need no sympathy
cause I'm leaving high, docking slow landing fast,
hooking low
Any way the wind blows
doesn't really matter to me to me.



HW

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SWhat was the last time and place you heard/participated in songs?



Does the SCR "hymn" count? My drop zone sings that one regularly.

And occasionally a couple of local bawdy / drinking songs, on the way to altitude.

None of the old traditional standards, though.

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The EAA Oshkosh show is the only demo we do where all 12 members on the team attend and jump together...(free DC-3 jumps!)...It's not a 'skydiving song' but it's a tradition for over 25 years to break out into Love Potion #9 during climb to altitude :D

Dates back to the early 80's, when their were only 3 of us on the team...most of the guys don't even know 'why'. :$










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Ah yeeessss, the SCR “Hymn”. That brings back memories of the days when the “Austin Skydivers” would come to Skydive Temple to terrorize the place and jump the Twinbo and when it came to town. My old asshole boss Lap, John Poteet (sp?) Doug and Eddie, Big Al and several others that are burned into my memory! Gawd what a crew!

Does the “Hey Asshole!” thing count as a song? Buhahahhaha!

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occasionally a couple of local bawdy / drinking songs, on the way to altitude.


What? Where? Never heard of that.



At Skydive Houston. They're usually instigated by one particular jumper, and I think he wrote the verses. I've never heard those anywhere else.

One is a bawdy song regarding a fictional woman from a local college.
And the other is sung to the tune of "do-re-mi", but it's about beer.

Then there's the "Count off!" cry, followed by everyone shouting "One!" simultaneously.
And in a similar vein, "Hey, asshole!" is followed by everyone shouting "What?" simultaneously.

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Hi Howard,
You want songs??? search the forums, there's a bunch.. Got the Skydivers song book that Poynter published years ago and a few local songs composed in a hurry. Now I have to go scour the archives!! Not a song but ya' can't write it down or record it!! is "Old Nell" ya' need Chester to do it justice!!....Later.
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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Believe me, I've got all the on-line songbooks and all the stuff here, as well as original copies of what I guess was the first printed one (Poynter's).
What I'm trying to figure out is when skydiving songs more or less stopped being part of the culture.
(And Cardinal Puff, but that's for another time.)

HW

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Believe me, I've got all the on-line songbooks and all the stuff here, as well as original copies of what I guess was the first printed one (Poynter's).
What I'm trying to figure out is when skydiving songs more or less stopped being part of the culture.
(And Cardinal Puff, but that's for another time.)

HW


Hi Howard,
Whoever said about the time that Tandem Rigs showed up, also the bemer set. Note that "Air Trash" carries on the tradition regularly....mememememoooohhhhwe'reabunchadirtybastards.........
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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I have a booklet with the following "Skydiving Songs" enclosed.

"Just One"
"Ghost Jumper In The Sky."
"Taunton Men."
"My Last Jump."
"I want a P.C."
"Pelican Song."
"Francine McFilthy."
"Red Roses For A Flat Lady."
"The Student Jumpers Psalm."
"Where I Must Go."
"By The Book."
"St James Infirmary."
"Big Wide Wonderful Bowl."
"Divers Of The Sky."
"Three Pins On My Ripcord."
"A Poem...........'Ode To The Diablo Skydivers."
"The Hermit."
"Take Me Out To The Drop Zone."
"Don't Worry About The Airplane."
"At The Fair."
"Norseman."
"Beautiful Streamer."
"No Word Of Farewell."
"Cardinal Puff Song."
"60 Plus Delay."
"Rocks And Tree Stumps."
"I Never Will Marry."
"Wind Gets In Your Eyes."
"The Hustler."
"The Sailwing Is The Chute To Jump."
"Blood On The Risers."
"Unsafe."
"Orange Prayer."
"Jump Bummin' Around."


I have had this little red booklet for a number of years and only now have I noticed that there is an entry in it that states.

"To Sara, a true friend. Thanks for helping me out at the Nationals. Sue."


I wonder who Sara and Sue were? Suzie Newman perhaps?
I don't care how many skydives you've got,
until you stepped into complete darkness at
800' wearing 95 lbs of equipment and 42 lbs
of parachute, son you are still a leg!

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Yeah, that's probably the original one. White cover? PO Box 172, Orange?
"Taunton Men" was about a MA DZ. Its author, Hank McCarrick, and three other jumpers died in the crash of his Mooney off the MA coast.
The "Big Wide Wonderful Bowl," "Orange Prayer," and the "Norseman" were Orange-specific.
The Hustler song was, I think, an artifact of the 62 World Meet, about a canopy being used in the competition. I last heard it sung at at old farts reunion in Nevada a few years ago, sung by Dick Fortenberry of the Golden Knights and B.T. Galloway.
There are a bunch of electronic versions on line. Some have some fairly new songs. I'm trying to establish a timeline.

HW

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Well, now I know where my collection of songs came from! I have 8 pages that must have been photocopied from a well-used copy of that booklet. The page numbers match well with the order of the songs you posted.

I got it around 1974 from Bob Clark, DZO at Littleton Airport, Colorado. We spent many evenings around a bonfire swilling beer and singing those songs.

Jeff

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UNSAFE
Anonymous To the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"
My helmet's a world war I relic.
My boots are three sizes too big.
I give everybody the willies
when I strap on my rusty old rug.
Chorus: Unsafe, unsafe, and unsafe jumper am I, am I,
Unsafe, unsafe, an unsafe jumper am I.
One day a nervous first jumper,
remarked at my great deal of nerve.
I told him that only a coward
would bother to wear a reserve.
(Chorus)
My capewells are very corroded.
My risers are frayed all to hell.
Because of the burns and blown panels,
my chute doesn't open too well.
(Chorus)
I do not believe in long freefalls.
Ten seconds, or so, is enough.
Up 500 feet when I exit; it's great, but the landings are rough.
(Chorus)

OK, would a current skydiver even think about singing, let alone writing this? Were there skydiving songs at Ghouledge, which was known for its attitude about death?
HW

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