Bless 'Em All
DESCRIPTION: Verses can be on any subject, though usually military and often obscene. Many units had their own versions. The conclusion, either "Bless 'em all" or "Fuck 'em all," is diagnostic
AUTHOR: F. Godfrey?
EARLIEST DATE: 1916
KEYWORDS: soldier war technology bawdy flying
FOUND IN: Britain(England) US(SW) Canada
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Cray-EroticMuse, pp. 386-391, "Fuck 'Em All" (3 texts plus floating stanzas, 1 tune)
Hopkins-SongsFromTheFrontAndRead, pp. 105-106, "Bless 'Em All" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 107, "Bless 'Em All -- Corvettes" (1 verse); p. 107, "Bless 'Em All -- Lancasters" (1 verse); p. 108, "Bless 'Em All -- Wellingtons" (1 verse)
Tawney-GreyFunnelLines-RoyalNavy, p. 107, "Sod 'em All" (1 text, tune referenced -- a version whih uses only the chorus portion, not the verse)
DT, BLSSALL1* BLSSALL2* BLSSALL3* BLSSALL4* BLSSALL5* BLSSALL6* BLSSALL7* BLSSALL8* BLSSALL9* BLSSAL10*
ADDITIONAL: Reginald Nettel, _Seven Centuries of Popular Song_, Phoenix House, 1956, p. 232, "(no title)" (1 short text)
HMS Exeter Song (File: Tawn066)
NOTES [155 words]: Ed Cray notes, "It was a poor unit during the Second World War that didn't have at least one version of this classic...." It probably originated in World War I, and has been credited to "F. Godbey." A copyright version appeared in 1940; this is probably the cleanest version that has ever existed. Curiously, it is not attributed to Godfrey/Godbey; the copyright in Hopkins-SongsFromTheFrontAndRead lists wordy and music by Jimmy Hughes, Frank Lake, and Al Stillman.
It is not immediately evident which of the two basic titles ("Bless" or "Fuck") is more common.
Many different services apparently had their own versions, as shown by the texts in Hopkins. Often these weapons systems have their own songs as well. E.g., for the Lancaster bomber, see "Flying Fortresses." For the corvettes, which were just as uncomfortable as the song implies, see "Beneath the Barber Pole."
For the Wellington bomber, see "Ops in a Wimpey." - RBW
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