One Of Our Submarines
Thomas Dolby Lyrics


One of our submarines is missing tonight
Seems she ran aground on manoeuvres
One of our submarines

A hungry heart
To regulate their breathing
One more night
the Winter Boys are freezing in their spam time
The Baltic moon
Along the northern seaboard
And down below
The Winter Boys are waiting for the storm

Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Shallow water, channel and tide

And I can trace my history
Down one generation to my home
In one of our submarines
One of our submarines

The red light flicker, sonar weak
Air valves hissing open
Half her pressure blown away
Flounder in the ocean
See the Winter Boys
Drinking heavy water from a stone

Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Shallow water, channel and tide
Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Tired illusion drown in the night

And I can trace my history
Down one generation to my home
In one of our submarines
One of our submarines
One of our submarines

One of our submarines is missing tonight
Seems she ran aground on manoeuvres
One of our submarines

Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Grippo Marx

From Thomas on Facebook, February 2, 2018:
"In 1981 I wrote a song called ‘One Of Our Submarines.’ It was the B-side to the single ‘She Blinded Me With Science’, and the two songs were included on a reissue of my debut album ‘The Golden Age of Wireless’.

In interviews I often told the story of my uncle, Stephen Spring-Rice, who was 2nd in command of a British Navy WW2 submarine P48 when it sank, with the loss of all hands. In the song lyrics, his submarine 'ran aground on maneuvers.’ I imagined this took place off the coast of England in a non-combat situation, near Plymouth where she was stationed. This was the story as I remembered it in family folklore—or as I pictured it at the time. (I have often written lyrics that rhymed and scanned and used poetic license, without much solid research behind them!) In 1981 not much was known or published about Stephen’s U-boat, P48, other than a book by the same title that included a dedication to ‘Sprice.’

In the 35+ years since I wrote the song, a great deal more information about P48 has come to light. Certain naval records have become declassified. Commissioned in 1942, she had a short-lived but quite action-packed career... https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3555.html. In particular, it is now known that Stephen’s sub, P48, was actually lost off the coast of Tunisia. She was depth charged by an Italian motor torpedo boat Ardente on Christmas Day in 1942 at 37º15'N, 10º30’E, near to Zembre Island. She was tracking an important enemy ship convoy, one of which she may have destroyed. It is not clear whether she sank right away or survived initially only to perish elsewhere."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_P48_(1942)

In the last few months, a dive expedition off the North African coast believe they have located the wreck of the P48 submarine. In July 2018 they hope to dive to the wreck, which may reveal clearer a clearer picture of her sinking. Obviously, I’m very keen to follow their progress, and I will update the story I tell—though it’s a little too late to change the lyrics to ‘One Of Our Submarines.’



Doug Johnson

One of our submarines is missing tonight
Seems she ran aground on manoeuvres
One of our submarines

A hungry heart to regulate their breathing
One more night, the Winter Boys are freezing in their spam tin
A Baltic moon, along the Northern seaboard
And down below, the Winter Boys are waiting for the storm

Bye-bye Empire, Empire bye-bye
Shallow water, channel and tide
And I can trace my history down the generation
To my home in one of our submarines

The red light flicker, sonar weak, air valves hissing open
Half her pressure blown away, flounder in the ocean
See the Winter Boys drinking heavy water from a stone
Bye-bye Empire, Empire bye-bye
Shallow water, channel and tide
Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye

Tired illusion drown in the night
And I can trace my history
Down one generation to my home
In one of our submarines

One of our submarines is missing tonight
Seems she ran aground on manoeuvres
One of our submarines



Donna A Bartell

One of our submarines is missing tonight
Seems she ran aground on manoeuvres
One of our submarines

A hungry heart
To regulate their breathing
One more night
The Winter Boys are freezing in their spam tin
The Baltic moon
Along the northern seaboard
And down below
The Winter Boys are waiting for the storm

Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Shallow water - channel and tide

And I can trace my history
Down one generation to my home
In one of our submarines
One of our submarines

The red lights flicker, sonar weak
Air valves hissing open
Half her pressure blown away
Flounder in the ocean
See the Winter Boys
Drinking heavy water from a stone

Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Shallow water - channel and tide
Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Tired illusion drown in the night

And I can trace my history
Down one generation to my home
In one of our submarines
One of our submarines
One of our submarines

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Robertson Thomas Morgan



All comments from YouTube:

David Oesterle

I had this melody stuck in my head for over 15 years and could not remember what this song was. I listen to thousands of songs from the 80s trying to locate this song. One day driving home from out of state this song came on the XM Radio. I could not believe it, I knew in a moment this was the song and matching melody. Don't know what it is about this song, but something very unique

Retrovice City

I believe it is about a relative, maybe his uncle who went missing in WW2 in a submarine.
Isn't it a great feeling when that melody in ones head finds its name. Films as well as songs.

Julianna Smith

Just met Thomas Dolby tonight at a book signing in Baltimore. What a fascinating, intelligent, and likeable guy!

Betsy

Kids please correct me if Im wrong, but I'm pretty sure Thomas Dolby invented the application.
The app.
I'm like a cying Beatles fan about this guy's extra-temporal genius.
He was meta before even the physicists could catch up.

Betsy

I'm totally jealous.
His music saw me through high school years. Class of '84.

Esther Cerpa

One of our submarines Missing ! Want to know what happened hopefully not here us territory

Esther Cerpa

Awesome

Esther Cerpa

What happened to the China suberrmines

7 More Replies...

Grippo Marx

From Thomas on Facebook, February 2, 2018:
"In 1981 I wrote a song called ‘One Of Our Submarines.’ It was the B-side to the single ‘She Blinded Me With Science’, and the two songs were included on a reissue of my debut album ‘The Golden Age of Wireless’.

In interviews I often told the story of my uncle, Stephen Spring-Rice, who was 2nd in command of a British Navy WW2 submarine P48 when it sank, with the loss of all hands. In the song lyrics, his submarine 'ran aground on maneuvers.’ I imagined this took place off the coast of England in a non-combat situation, near Plymouth where she was stationed. This was the story as I remembered it in family folklore—or as I pictured it at the time. (I have often written lyrics that rhymed and scanned and used poetic license, without much solid research behind them!) In 1981 not much was known or published about Stephen’s U-boat, P48, other than a book by the same title that included a dedication to ‘Sprice.’

In the 35+ years since I wrote the song, a great deal more information about P48 has come to light. Certain naval records have become declassified. Commissioned in 1942, she had a short-lived but quite action-packed career... https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3555.html. In particular, it is now known that Stephen’s sub, P48, was actually lost off the coast of Tunisia. She was depth charged by an Italian motor torpedo boat Ardente on Christmas Day in 1942 at 37º15'N, 10º30’E, near to Zembre Island. She was tracking an important enemy ship convoy, one of which she may have destroyed. It is not clear whether she sank right away or survived initially only to perish elsewhere."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_P48_(1942)

In the last few months, a dive expedition off the North African coast believe they have located the wreck of the P48 submarine. In July 2018 they hope to dive to the wreck, which may reveal clearer a clearer picture of her sinking. Obviously, I’m very keen to follow their progress, and I will update the story I tell—though it’s a little too late to change the lyrics to ‘One Of Our Submarines.’

bruce richard

In Thomas Dolby’s Facebook post he admits to sometimes writing lyrics without solidly researching the subject, as is his right as an artist. In another interview he said when he wrote the beautiful song, “I Love You Goodbye”, which is set in the bayous of Southern Louisiana, he mentioned driving to the Everglades in a stolen Datsun with his girlfriend and crashing it in a big electric storm then listening to the bayou waves. He didn’t realize, until a fan pointed it out to him later, that the Everglades is located hundreds of miles away at the Southern tip of Florida. Again too late to change the lyrics but, like “One Of Our Submarines,” I don’t think it negatively affects the honesty, beauty, and meaning of this amazing song.

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