Sink the Bismark

Johnny Horton
Language: English

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Sink the Bismark

"Sink the Bismark" (later "Sink the Bismarck") is a march song by country music singer Johnny Horton and songwriter Tillman Franks, based on the pursuit and eventual sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941, during World War II. Horton released this song through Columbia Records in 1960, when it reached #3 on the charts. As originally released, the record label used the common misspelling "Bismark"; this error was corrected for later releases of the song. It was inspired by the 1960 British war movie Sink the Bismarck! and was in fact (with the producer John Brabourne's approval) commissioned from Johnny Horton by 20th Century Fox who were worried about the subject's relative obscurity. While the song was used in U.S. theater trailers for the film, it was not used in the film itself.
In May 1941 the war had just begun
The Germans had the biggest ship that had the biggest guns
The Bismark was the fastest ship the ever sailed the sea
On her decks were guns as big as steers and shells as big as trees

Out of the cold and foggy night came the British ship the Hood
And every British seaman he knew and understood
They had to sink the Bismark the terror of the sea
Stop those guns as big as steers and those shells as big as trees
We'll find the German battleship that's makin' such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismark cause the world depends on us
Yeah hit the decks a runnin' boys and spin those guns around
When we find the Bismark we gotta cut her down

The Hood found the Bismark and on that fatal day
The Bismark started firing fifteen miles away
We gotta sink the Bismark was the battle sound
But when the smoke had cleared away the mighty Hood went down
For six long days and weary nights they tried to find her trail
Churchill told the people put every ship asail
Cause somewhere on that ocean I know she's gotta be
We gotta sink the Bismark to the bottom of the sea
We'll find the German battleship...

The fog was gone the seventh day and they saw the morning sun
Ten hours away from the homeland the Bismark made its run
The Admiral of the British fleet said turn those bows around
We found the German battleship and we're gonna cut her down
The British guns were aimed and the shells were coming fast
The first shot hit the Bismark they knew she couldn't last
That mighty German battleship is just a memory
Sink the Bismark was the battle cry that shook the seven seas
We found the German battleship t'was makin' such a fuss
We had to sink the Bismark cause the world depends on us
We hit the deck a runnin' and we spun those guns around
Yeah we found the mighty Bismark and then we cut her down
We found the German battleship...

Contributed by Jason Voorhes - 2010/11/10 - 06:47

What were "guns as big as steers"? Why was "steer" used
to describe a gun on a battleship?

George Hertz - 2019/2/19 - 21:59

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