Once Upon A Time (Tiru Version)
by Richard Murphy

We once rode under the seas in boats
And dazzled all the young ladies with all our quotes.
We would stay out all night ‘til the cows came home
In every exotic port we would roam.
We were wild and wooly, invincible young men
Bound into a Brotherhood by an odd looking little pin
Olongapo, Yokosuka, Bangkok and Singapore
These were just a few of our stops, we could have named many more
We sampled so many foreign cuisines, we didn’t know if they were a treat or a trick
But none of us will ever forget baloutes, kimchi or monkey meat on a stick
Remember back in ’55 when Santa came into Pearl on Christmas Day
And he used the old faithful Tiru for his reindeer and his sleigh
We had a run in with a reef one time somewhere off  of Freemantle
But it wasn’t anything that the Tiru crew found they couldn’t handle
Tiru came along just a little too late so our war record wasn’t large
But you’ve got to give us credit, on coming into Bangor, WA in ‘69, Bill Bolster sunk a barge
When we had seen all the sights that could be seen all around the Pacific
We were re-assigned to be an East Coast boat and were told it would be just terrific
So we hoisted anchor and steamed on out setting course for the Atlantic
And when word got out that we were on the way
It set the city of Charleston, SC completely into a panic
We had hardly got settled in Charleston and started having some fun
When NavBuPers cut us orders and we set off for a wild Med Run 
What we did in Lisbon, Naples and Mallorca we swore we would never tell
And the things we did seem to drift away in a fog of Ozo and good ole San Miguel
We pulled into old San Juan one night and hopped right off the sub
And spent every cent of a whole month’s pay at the Black Angus and Riveria Club
Our northern run up to Bergen gave the townsfolk quite a start
And when all the smoke had settled down, we were asked to soon depart
We all lived for the moment and danced right out on the edge
We were all like modern day pirates who ruled the briny brink
We acted on dare and impulse without caring what others might think
Our submarines have stood the test of time clear back to ‘41
When we stemmed the terrible invading tide from the Land of the Rising Sun
Fifty-two boats and their crews were so great a price to pay
But that was our cost of Liberty when we sailed off into Harm’s Way
But in truth, with time, we have slowed down, grown older, wiser and tame
And lost much of that craziness we proudly used to claim.
The days of wild abandon have all been mellowed down
All the times and places we used to tear around and rip
Have now all been replaced by Geritol and tubes of Poly-grip
The old times I remember seems so much like it was a dream
That I really served my Navy hitch onboard a submarine
The things we did in secret and the missions “Oh so bold”
Many of these can never or ever will be told
We hunted the Bear in his watery lair
And learned all the tricks of his trade
We stalked our foe in depths below and whatever sounds he made
Our boats were like ghosts that haunted Ivan’s coasts, keeping our enemy off guard.
Our missions were trying, right on the edge and sometimes really quite tough
But back then it was years before they came up with a name and called them “Blind Man’s Bluff”
When the Soviets threatened to turn up the heat as everybody knows
Our silent boats won us victory and brought the Cold War to a close
Tiru now lies asleep in the deep, a memory of a long gone past
And Capt “Buzz” Cobean has given us a solemn charge to make her memory last
So we’ll hold fast to our history and gather together every year
To share tall tales of escapades mingled with laughter and beer
Then was then and now is now
And our deeds should be passed on and told somehow
It’s our job to keep our stories true and pass our legacy on down to you
You who now wear the Dolphins on your chest
To those who have qualified and passed the test
You who have accepted our honored crown
You, who live by the phrase, “Take Her On Down”
So to you young lads we pass the baton. It’s up to you now to carry on.
Make us proud and keep us free as you navigate the depths of the seas
So whenever we get together and talk of boats and shipmates gone by
It’s OK to get that misty feeling that wells up from deep in your eye
Get up and look in the mirror and you’ll fully understand why
That age has come and caught up with us and technology has passed us by
So now whenever I raise my glass and toast each boat and their crew
I drink from both sides of my cup to honor each and every one of you
I drink deep to toast the future and I taste to remember the past
And I let my drink rest upon my tongue so my memories will forever last
Of Cracker Jack hat and bell-bottom blues and all the good times I hold of my past
One by one we’ll slip away and sail to another shore
Where we’ll meet again our Brothers all, who have gone on ahead before
The noise we’ll make and our welcome there, will raise up quite a din
For St. Peter will announce over Heaven’s 1MC there’s another submariner checking in.

As read by Richard Murphy IC3 (SS), at the 2006 Tiru Reunion

USS Lafayette SSBN 616

USS Tiru SS 416

used by permission.

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