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Take Her Deep (Submariner's CD  by Tommy Cox)

Song list from the CD, Take Her Deep
By Tommy Cox

1.  Big Black Submarine - The signature song of the album celebrates the dedication and commitment of submarine sailors to God, family, and patriotism and service to our great country. The reference to silver dolphins defines the singer as an enlisted man serving "Where no other human being can be found; Below the surface where it's dark and green; Down to the sea in a big black submarine."

2.   Scorpion - This was the first song written by the artist about the Submarine Service on May 29, 1968. This was when the loss of the USS Scorpion (SSN 589) was made public. A Lapon mission was delayed, while the Lapon was involved in the SAR (Search and Rescue). The lyrics were developed as a prayer, and the music was added later. This song more than any other goes to the heart of submariners and their loved ones, and the danger of tragedy in the Submarine Service is ever present.

3.   Ballad of Whitey Mack - "This story is about Captain Mack and his nuclear powered fast-attack . . ." the USS Lapon. According to the national best seller BLIND MAN'S BLUFF by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, the USS Lapon trailed a Soviet Yankee Class SSBN (Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine) during a period in 1969. This was an historic event, as it showed the U.S. Navy was up to the task of neutralizing this threat to national security. Captain Mack was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for a successful mission. A line from this song: "When the going got rough in this game of blind man's bluff. . ." contributed to the title of the Sontag-Drew book.

4.   The Sacrifice - This song expresses the difficulty of being apart from family and loved ones during a submarine deployment. Sung as a duet with Kathy Bowie, a dialogue between husband and wife is expressed. While the separation is a sacrifice to be endured, the call to duty is a noble obligation to be honored.

5.   Boomer Patrol - The Submarine Service refers to its missile firing submarines as "Boomers." This song is a celebration of the countless "nuclear deterrent patrols" executed by our nation's submariners. The fact that no ICBM (Inter-continental Ballistic Missile) needed to be fired in anger from the advent of the nuclear threat to today is testament that deterrence does work. These patrols provided the U.S. with a certain second strike capability which mitigated the wisdom of a first strike. This song was used in the DISCOVERY CHANNEL special LIFE ON A U.S. SUBMARINE - BOOMER PATROL.

6.   Gitmo Blues - This is the first Navy song written by the author who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Many diesel submariners visited Gitmo over the years. This song recalls memories of this historic event with a rock and roll beat.

7.   Seawolf - This song is a tribute to "The second boat to log it out: 'Underway on nuclear power'" and its Commanding Officer during the mid to late 1970's, Captain Charles MacVean. While this ship was the oldest commissioned nuclear submarine, after the Nautilus was decommissioned, Seawolf served her country proudly on missions critical to national security. The dedicated sailors who held this ship together and completed these missions were literally hand picked for all departments.

8.   Diesel Boats Forever - This is literally the rally song for the submariners' DBF (Diesel Boats Forever) movement. The advent of nuclear power was the death knell for the diesel boats; however, the diesel era including World War II was a great slice of naval history. Through the years it has become a badge of honor, for only "old salts" have served aboard diesel submarines.

9.   Long Separation - This is a second duet with Kathy Bowie and represents the separation of loved ones and sailors who go to sea. This song is not specific to submariners but sailors in general. 

10.  Freedom Patrol - More of family separation to carry out a submariner's duty to country.

11.  Tango Charlie - This is a tongue-in-cheek song about a submarine rider who comes aboard for special missions. A select few have concluded correctly just who Tango Charlie may be.

12.  Torpedo in the Water - This is a song which was written in response to a real-life situation where a torpedo was fired in the vicinity of own ship. This experience is also described in BLIND MAN'S BLUFF in the chapter entitled "Ballad of Whitey Mack." After it was over it could be treated comically, but while the "torpedo was in the water and closing fast" it was a very intense few moments which created a lasting memory.

13.  Sailor's Prayer - There was a plaque in the Radio Room aboard the USS Hammerhead which read: "Lord, my boat is so small and Thy sea is so vast." It served to remind us just who really was in control out there and inspired the musical prayer. This song is dedicated to the late A. J. Long, submarine radioman aboard Hammerhead.

Seventeen Songs
By Tommy Cox and Bobby Reed

"Brothers of the Dolphin" is a product of the Cold War.  It is the result of one of those rare events in life when two brothers are pulled together by a common bond - submarines. In the summer of 1999 Bobby Reed, a former boomer sailor and singer-songwriter,  purchased Tommy Cox's CD "Take Her Deep." Bobby loved this  album to the point that he took the liberty of transferring the title song to digital tape and adding additional guitar and back up vocal tracks. He sent a cassette to Tommy. He was very pleased with the enhancements  and ever since the two have been exchanging songs and ideas.

Bobby and Tommy finally met in the fall of 2000 when they attended  the USS G.W. Carver reunion in Groton, Connecticut. Bobby wrote a  song called "Brothers of the Dolphin" that he performed at Carver reunions. This tune became the basis for friendship and mutual  respect between the former submariners.

In early 2001 Tommy suggested to Bobby that they collaborate on a new album. "Brothers of the Dolphin" is the product of this effort.  They sing and perform the music they wrote individually and together.  This album features solos and tunes where they compliment each other with supporting backup vocals. They are truly brothers sharing their music with shipmates. "Dive" and "Emergency Surface" klaxon and  commands graciously provided by John Carcioppolo, RMCM(SS), USN, Ret., of SUBVETS, Groton Base.

1. Dive, Dive

2. Brothers of the Dolphin: When the USS G.W. Carver was planning its first reunion in 1995, we decided to include a Halfway Party as part of the festivities. I decided to write a song that describes my feelings  about the submarine service and the bond that makes us all brothers of  the 'phin. Bob Divitt (a long time singer and guitar playing buddy from the Carver days) and I performed this live at the first and third reunions. Tommy joins me in the chorus of this album version of the song. (Bobby)

3. Bring the Nautilus Home: Back in the early 80's Frank Sheetz initiated an effort to bring the USS Nautilus to Groton, Connecticut, and perpetuate her as a memorial to submarine sailors everywhere. This song was written and recorded to support that effort. The Nautilus is now a museum dedicated  to submariners. The lead guitar track was done by the late Master Chief James Corbett. This song is dedicated to him and Gerry Rucker who played  bass, guitar, and sang on this recording. They were the original Tommy Cox Band. Bobby joins in the chorus. (Tommy)

4. Kursk: This is a submariners' tribute to the Russian Oscar Class K-141 which was sunk in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000. Although we were  adversaries, the lost sailors are still submariners and brothers of the 'phin.  I sing this song in both English and Russian. (Tommy)

5. Lady of the Water: For me the USS Constitution symbolizes the values held by patriots of all ages. She is resilient, tenacious, and enduring.  Every 4th of July she fires a broadside as she comes about in Boston Harbor.  The thunder of her voice reminds me that she is still on watch and eager to protect the land that she loves. As I stroll the decks of this gracious lady I feel the American pride she has inspired for so many over the years.  In my heart she is truly the Lady of the Water. (Bobby)

6. Blind Man's Bluff: Tommy was the original author of this title.  He developed this line in a song on his first solo album.  Later it was picked up as the title of a best selling book and a History Channel program. As we neared the end of a very long recording session Tommy and I started kicking around some old memories related to this subject. We were convinced it deserved to be a song of its own. Tommy started  strumming his faithful guitar and I couldn't resist the opportunity to join him. As we jammed, ideas began to flow and before we knew it, we had captured the essence of what took place on those dangerous patrols - we were just high tech buccaneers. I join Tommy on the chorus of this rockin' tune. (Bobby)

7. I Can Hear Her Softly Calling: Ever since I saw the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea I have been fascinated by submarines.  This tune explores the inner voice that guided me to the boats and to become qualified in nuclear submarines. (Bobby)

8. Still on Patrol: Tommy pays tribute to many of the boats from WWII  that answered the ultimate call of duty and those still lurking in the depths and patrolling uncharted waters to protect the values we prize as Americans. I back him up in the chorus. (Bobby)

9. If I Could Only Change One Thing: War has a way of impacting life far beyond the trenches and the battlefields. WWII was no exception. As my father returned home in 1945 he found that the circumstances he was exposed to had changed his views on life and the way he interacted with his family.  This song pays tribute to him and all fathers who were transformed  by the winds of war. (Bobby)

10. State of Maine: Long patrols have the tendency to pull a sailor's heart home. On one, long, run aboard USS Guardfish in 1967, somewhere between the South China Sea and Pearl Harbor running deep at 20 knots to get home for Christmas, my mind drifted to my roots and my family in Maine. With guitar in hand, it wasn't long before those fond memories found their way into this song. (Tommy)

11. Sorrow Mixed With Joy: Seafaring sailors and cold warriors experienced many sacrifices while doing their duty. My son Bill made a great difference then and now. (Tommy)

12. Wishin': From the time I left on my first patrol, I have been continuously challenged by the seesaw of life - balancing time with my family and the call of duty. This song shares some of those inner feelings as I depart on any adventure. (Bobby)

13. Paybacks Are Hell: This is an anti-terrorist song written when terrorists attacked a Navy bus in Puerto Rico in 1979. It was on the flip side of the record "Bring the Nautilus Home." Corbett and Rucker provided the music. Bobby adds to the chorus. (Tommy)

14. Someone Haunting Me: This was one of the first songs I wrote.  Many suggested this song was perfect for Elvis, but somehow the connection was never established between the King and me. (Tommy)

15. If You Didn't Get Enough While in Navy Blue: Some of my friends were never mentally discharged from the Navy. If you're guilty by association, then this tune may offer a few solutions to help you withdraw. (Bobby)

16. Mighty Mine Dodgers: This song is a tribute to the historical Hydeman's  Hellcats and Operation Barney in the Sea of Japan during June of 1945.  Gladys Shelden, the widow of Jim (Jeep) Shelden of the USS Tinosa, suggested that I write this tune to memorialize this important event in submarine history. Research assistance was provided by Pat Householder, Dub Noble of the USS Sea Dog, Hydeman's boat, and Captain Bing Gillette (USN, Ret.) of the USS Lapon, the first boat into the Sea of Japan in WWII. (Tommy)

17. Every now and Then: Each time I'm lucky enough to stroll the decks of the USS Constitution I can't help but wonder where this elegant lady has been, what challenges she experienced, and what stories are trapped within her holds. Travel with me as we step on her quarterdeck and journey with the Lady of the Water. (Bobby)

18. These Eyes: The journey through life isn't always straightforward.  Sometimes expectations are set for us, sometimes we are required to face unusual and complex circumstances, and other times we ride the emotions of uncertainty. This tune explores a number of experiences through my uncharted waters. (Tommy)

19. Surface, Surface, Surface

To return to memories of the SSN 667, click here.
To return to the main page of the SSN 667, click here.