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BLESS 'EM ALL

We're all familiar with the tune "Bless 'Em All," aren't we? Aren't we? Well, if we're not, Bless 'Em All was a neat little ditty sung in Air Force officers' clubs and bars from World War II on, probably into Vietnam. I don't know if it has been sung since. It's a neat little ditty to be sung when you've had a few too many and beyond. That is, if in this fanatically puritanical society we live in, pilots still drink. Anyhow, assuming a few do, if you're looking for a tune to carry between swigs, Bless 'Em All is perfect. There are as many variations on the lyrics as there are people singing, and new lyrics were constantly being written. If you don't know how the tune goes, click here (this will take you to YouTube for a video). If you have your own version, feel free to send it to me here. I'd like to know if there's a contemporary version out there, but something tells me that in any case I'll have to write the C-130 version myself!

Okay, now that you know how the song goes, here are the first iterations:

 

Bless 'Em All (USAF Version, probably Korean War era)

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all
The long and the short and the tall
Bless old man Lockheed for building this jet
But l know a guy who is cursing him yet
For he tried to go over the wall
With tiptanks and tailpipes and all
The needles did cross and the wings did come off
So cheer up my lads. bless 'em all.

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all
The needle the airspeed and ball
Bless the instructors who taught us to fly
Sent us to solo and left us to die
Now if ever your engine should stall
You're in for a hell of a fall
No lilies or violets for dead fighter pilots
So cheer up my lads, bless 'em all.

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all
The scenery they scrawl on the wall
Bless all the posters with beautiful scenes
We were to see if we'd joined the Marines
But we're giving our eye to them all
As out to our airplanes we crawl
No ice cream and cookies
For flat-footed rookies
So cheer up my lads, bless 'em all

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all
The long and the short and the tall
Bless all the generals and their stupid sons
Bless all the colonels, the fat-headed ones
But we're saying goodbye to them all
The long and the short and the tall
Here's to you and the others
You can shove it up brothers
We're going back home in the fall.

 

 

Bless 'Em All (Civil Air Patrol version)

(Courtesy of CAP friend of mine who shall remain nameless)


Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
The long and the short and the tall
Bless all the parents and all the cadets
They meet every week and they have no regrets
For it's on the parade ground they march
With their BDUs stiff from the starch
Pilot training they'll get
And they'll solo their jet
With the seniors still learning to march

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
For any mission at all
Bless the alerters for ending my sleep
The hour's so early they just make me weep
But it's into my flight suit I zip
While asking my boss for this trip
There'll be no promotion with all this commotion
So full speed ahead bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
The IC's in charge of it all
Bless all the briefers who sent me to fly
Sent me to Podunk but I don't ask why
For it's out to the Airvan we crawl
With camera and laptop and all
No great destination just bleak desolation
So cheer up my lads bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
The comm guys at Search Base we call
Bless every zap, every spark and each arc
For these operators can work, day or dark
And they never get into our hair
For they're always at work on the air
But once in the airplane
They tune in the Mets game
So full speed ahead bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
The observers and scanners we haul
Bless all the barf bags, the gum and the Cokes
For it's nothing but fun that we have with these folks
But if ever you find yourself lost
It's at your disposal they're tossed
Just don't flip your lid
When they ask "Where's the grid?"
So cheer up my lads bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
The airplanes we fly, big and small
Bless old man Cessna for building this plane
But after my landing it won't be the same
For it's off of the runway I stalk
As away from my landing I walk
It's a good one they say
If you're walking away
So full speed ahead bless 'em all

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all
Those who fly any jet large, or small
Bless anything with with an engine and wings
For we're mighty happy they give us those things
But it's down in the weeds we do fly
Destined never to ever fly high
They give us propellers
No jets for us fellers
So cheer up my lads bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
Their rule books and regs like a wall
Bless form two-A, one-oh-eight, and form five
Without all that paper we'd not be alive
And if ever your hard drive should crash
We'll all have a heck of a bash
With so little complyin'
We'll all do more flyin'
So cheer up my lads bless 'em all

Bless 'em all
Bless 'em all
With TV cameras and all
Bless talking heads with no words or no clue
While we try to rest up they ask where we flew
But the PIO knows what to say
As out to the pool we go play
There's no seventh heaven
Just film at eleven
So cheer up my lads bless 'em all

 

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