An Unusual Request

I’ve always been terrible at correctly hearing song lyrics. I’m so glad that there are thousands of websites for just that purpose: finding out correct lyrics.

Unfortunately, when it comes to obscure songs from 1930, it may be impossible to find the lyrics. This is where I need help.

A couple weeks ago, I found this clip online of Clara Bow (as in, the silent film star) singing a song called “True to the Navy” in a film called Paramount on Parade. (From the information I’ve gathered online, it looked like a showcase that the studio assembled to demonstrate how they were using the new “talkie” technology.) Clara was also in a film called True to the Navy, but I guess the song isn’t in the movie, as far as I know.

. . .

I MUST KNOW THE LYRICS. I can catch some of them, but not all of them. I know the video quality is less than optimal, but I would be immensely grateful if anyone out there would be able to listen to this whole thing and figure out all the lyrics with some degree of certainty (though I concede that the certainty may not be 100%). Alternately, if anyone can tell me where they’re pretty sure I could find/request the lyrics, I’d also appreciate that.

7 thoughts on “An Unusual Request

  1. Okay, so this is what I’ve got so far:

    Sailing, sailing!
    We’ll have a whirl, we know
    that mowfilly gob
    would fall for this slob
    Introducing Clara Bow!

    My mother always said to me
    “Beware the man who wanders.
    He’ll never be home; forever he’ll roam!
    The traveler always plunders.”

    So I began to concentrate
    on college boys, clerks, and palers [erm…presumably people who set up fences?]
    Then the fleet flew in,
    and now I begin
    to see what the girls like about sailors.

    I can’t bear a rich man, [this part is probably not right]
    a poor man, a rich man
    but I’m true to the Navy now.
    So the lads have the mutes up, [shrug?]
    not two mild or too rough –
    Oh! did I meet the fleet and how!

    So I’ve met a few men,
    And I thought that I knew men…
    I don’t mind telling you that when I’m rocked
    in the cradle
    Of a soft hunk of hanker
    to heave to an anchor –
    oh, I ‘m true to the Navy now!

    [Then the sailors have a verse and I have no clue what they’re saying or if they just keep rhyming “go” with “Bow.”]

    Now there’s Jack from the flagship
    and I give you this tip,
    as a sweetie
    oh, their oars go wow [whaaaat manner of euphemism is this o_O]
    and to the Wyoming
    My thoughts go a’roaming
    ‘cause I still have the [chills real now.]
    Now there’s kids from Chicago
    off the old Colorado,
    Also George from the U-pop [?]
    But I can’t put a label on the
    dark pair of [have kissed]
    or ships that I have missed
    but I’m true to the Navy now!

    [Then the men sing some more but all I can get is that they spell out her name]

    …pffft, is that any more words than you heard thus far?

  2. Now there’s Jack from the flagship
    and I give you this tip,
    as a sweetie –
    [oh! There’s boys, oh wow!]
    And to the Wyoming
    My thoughts go a’roaming
    [‘Cause Nate still had the chills real now ]

    Now there’s Dick from Chicago
    off the old Colorado,
    Also George from the Utah
    But I can’t put a label on the
    [dark set of half-lips]
    [gulf of the halfship]
    or ships that I have missed
    but I’m true to the Navy now!

  3. All I can decipher from the sailor’s chorus is: “Sailing, sailing, at every port we call, Wherever we go we (unintelligible) But we (unintelligible) and no one can say that the fleet’s not true to you.”

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