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Song Parodies -> "We Didn't Sink the Bismarck"

Original Song Title:

"We Didn't Start the Fire"

Original Performer:

Billy Joel

Parody Song Title:

"We Didn't Sink the Bismarck"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

There is an ongoing debate whether RN did sink the German battleship Bismarck or was she scuttled by her own crew to prevent it from captured. The truth is that HMS King George V and HMS Rodney battered her into smithereens, and scuttling the ship is a normal procedure in such circumstances. But had the Germans not scutted her, the torpedo of HMS Dorsetshire, which hit her on stern and broke it off, would have done the job. I did some research, and this is how it turned out. Thanks for Tommy Turtle for a good idea!
Munich crisis, Ribbentrop, Hitler's greed just wouldn't stop
Attack into Poland and the Phoney War
Stormtroopers, Blitzkrieg, goose-stepping, Heil! Sieg!
Q-ships and cruisers, U-boats near and far!

Athenia and Courageous, launching of Illustrious
Royal Oak got torpedoed at the Scapa Flow
Germans waging tonnage war, U-boats keeping up the score
Hipper, Scheer and Graf Spee, cruisers too are go!

We didn't sink the Bismarck
She was shot to pieces
and it wasn't easy
We didn't sink the Bismarck
They just opened scuttles
and ended were her battles

Weserübung, Glorious, Günther Lütjens, Scharnhorst
Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, Bismarck's ready now
Rheinübung is now on due, Royal Navy got the clue
Commerce raiding, Bismarck - must be stopped somehow

Norfolk and Suffolk - shadowing, a radar stalk
Home Fleet alerted and sailing out with force
Clash of the heavyweights, Battle of the Denmark Strait
Mighty Hood exploding, Prince of Wales did get some scores

We didn't sink the Bismarck
She was shot to pieces
and it wasn't easy
We didn't sink the Bismarck
They just opened scuttles
and ended were her battles

Churchill is furious: "Send in Victorious!"
Sheffield and KGV, Prinz Eugen disappeared
Swordfish with torpedoes, Somerville is on the go
Shadowers now lost the touch as Ark Royal neared

Tovey, Fraser, Somerville, Wake-Walker, Churchill
Sea lords and admirals, Hood must be avenged -
White Ensign, Home Fleet, German's gonna get a treat
Sink the Bismarck! Brits are now - a little bit deranged

We didn't sink the Bismarck
She was shot to pieces
and it wasn't easy
We didn't sink the Bismarck
They just opened scuttles
and ended were her battles

Catalina got a touch, Ark Royal Swordfish launched
Bismarck got a hit and her port rudder jammed
Mighty ship is turning now, her fuel is getting low
KGV and Rodney come, Bismarck's getting slammed

Fourteen-inchers pouring in, last battle will begin
Bismarck gives an answer with her three-eighty guns
Sixteen inch by Rodney, direct score on bridge indeed
Paralyzing Bismarck and doomed are now the Huns

We didn't sink the Bismarck
She was shot to pieces
and it wasn't easy
We didn't sink the Bismarck
They just opened scuttles
and ended were her battles

Shells are raining on her deck, Bismarck is but flaming wreck
Lindemann and Lütjens and most her crew are dead
Ramillies is closing here, Norfolk and the Dorsetshire
Renown, Tribals, cruisers, RN comes ahead

Situation's hopeless now, RN closes "T" at bow
Kingston cocks are open now as all the hope is gone
Dorsetshire launch torpedoes, scores three hits and stern off goes
Seawater's pouring in and Bismarck's going down

We didn't sink the Bismarck
It was shot to pieces
and it wasn't easy
We didn't sink the Bismarck
They just opened scuttles
and ended were her battles

We didn't sink the Bismarck
But when she is gone
Legend will live on, and on, and on, and on...

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Voting Results

Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 11

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   11

User Comments

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Rob Arndt - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
True, Bismarck was not sunk but scuttled by the Germans- Ballard's underwater robots proved that as the inner bulkheads were warped but not penetrated; however, she was a flaming wreck on the deck anyway from some many hits.
Patrick - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Several years ago I got to meet Bruno Rzonca, the only survivor of the Bismarck living in the United States. I like your description of the sinking of this ship, learned a few things. This is not an easy melody to work with. Well done.
Wild Child JIN - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Even though I know nothing about the TOC, I know that "We Didn't Start The Fire" is a very hard song to parody, not to mention pace, so I will give you credit of three 5's for that! :-)
Rob Arndt - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
On a side note, Hitler never put much faith in the surface fleet. But in 1945, what was left of it evacuated 2.2 million Germans from E Prussia. If the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940 was a miracle for rescuing 330,000 across the Channel, then what does that make the German evacuation all along the Baltic???
Andy Primus - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
A very well researched & entertaining parody. I have enjoyed your history lesson.
Susanna Viljanen - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Actually it is very difficult to sink any battleship with gunnery alone. About the only case where it succeeds is a direct hit on either ammunition dump or powder chamber, in which case the ship will go up like a Roman candle. HMS Hood was extremely unlucky enough to get such a hit by Bismarck - the expected result at the Battle of Denmark Strait would have been both sides having fought themselves seriously damaged and then one side breaking off with another being unable to follow up. I would be surprised if KGV or Rodney had been able to score a hit which had hit Bismarck under the waterline or penetrated her from top to bottom. Gunnery can turn a warship into a floating junkyard in minutes, but seldom sink her. The same happened later with USS Washington and USS South Dakota versus Kirishima - once the American battleships had battered the Kirishima beyond recognition, the Japanese survivors scuttled her.
Susanna Viljanen - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Tommy Turtle gave me a good idea for a song to spoof, and I thought I could cram in there some of the issues which led to WWII and the war at sea. I tried to follow the time scale as closely as I could. Robert: The Hela Peninsula evacuations were one of the unsung heroic deeds in WWII. It is incredible how Kriegsmarine managed to do it with so few casualties. I made some time ago "Wreck of Wilhelm Gustloff" to the tune of "Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald" a song over the greatest maritime catastrophe ever. This shipwreck is little known outside Baltic, but well known here in North.
Wendy Christopher - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
If I had a hat, I'd be taking it off to you right now - this is an awesome job on a monster OS (I know, because, coincidentally, I've been trying to write a parody on it myself for the last week, and it's still whupping my posterior for now!) All this and history too - 555 for sure!
Patrick - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Just looked up an article on the Wilhelm Gustloff. Apparently the Soviet sub commander later sunk another refugee ship, the Steuben, with the loss of over 3000 lives, a toll far higher than Titanic, and with even less public awareness than Gustloff.
Tommy Turtle - May 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Thanks for the shout-out, Susanna. Work is running late as usual, and I'm starving, but I do intend to come back some time after dinner and read this when I have time to savor it properly. You're probably already asleep anyway, so there should be a comment when you get up (tomorrow here, today there). Thanks again!
Tommy Turtle The Movie - May 18, 2011 - Report this comment
Little-known fact, only recently declassified: Grandpa Turtle was a covert saboteur of U-boats for the Allies, because turtles can hold their breath for three hours, and dive deeper than the submarines of that era could -- and silently, with none of the "pinging", engine noise, propeller turns, etc. GT attached a few mines and swam away, softening up the Bismarck so all those ships you mentioned could do the easy part. :-D   ;-)   ;-0

Also, that "Fourteen-incher" was Grandpa Turtle's as well, and it's, uh (cough) "hereditary" (cough). ;)

Seriously: Nice history, Susanna, but I wish you had used the melody of the original "Sink The Bismarck" (or its parody), because I DKTOS and so missed a lot. Would have added some fun to it, also. 555 for very fine retelling (even if incomplete, LOL).

Still think you'd find interesting:

"Winston Churchill told King George VI: "It was thanks to Ultra that we won the war." F. W. Winterbotham quoted the western Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, at war's end describing Ultra as having been "decisive" to Allied victory.Sir Harry Hinsley, official historian of British Intelligence in World War II, made a similar assessment about Ultra, saying that it shortened the war "by not less than two years and probably by four years"; moreover, in the absence of Ultra, it is uncertain how the war would have ended."

The Allies were not just "lucky" to have shot down Admiral Yamamoto; it was a planned assassination:
          "A JN-25 decrypt of 14 April 1943 provided details of Admiral Yamamoto's forthcoming visit to Balalae Island, and on 18 April his aircraft was shot down, killing this man who was regarded as irreplaceable."

Probably the single individual most responsible for the Allied victory was Alan Turing.

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