Ruben James Lyrics



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The Kingston Trio
Ruben James lyrics

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Ruben James*
The Kingston Trio

Did not chart, but they included it on their 1961 LP "Close Up"
Written by Alex Harvey and Barry Etris
NOT to be confused with a totally different song with the same title by Kenny
Rogers and the First Edition in 1969


Have you heard of the ship called "The Good Ruben James?"
Armed by hard-fighting men both of honor and of fame
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free
But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea


CHORUS
Oh, tell me what were their names?, tell me what were their names?
Did you have a friend on The Good Ruben James?
Oh, tell me what were their names?, tell me what were their names?
Did you have a friend on The Good Ruben James?


One hundred men went down to their dark and watery grave
When that good ship went down, only forty-four were saved
Was the last day of October, they saved forty-four
From the dark, icy waters of that cold Iceland shore

CHORUS

It was there in the dark of that cold and watery night
They watched for the U-boat and they waited for a fight
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion's roar
They laid the Ruben James on the cold ocean floor

CHORUS

Many years have passed since those brave men are gone
Those cold icy waters, they're still and they're calm
Many years have passed and still I wonder why
The worst of men must fight and the best of men must die

CHORUS

*TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: This is a true story. The Ruben James (sometimes
spelled "Reuben") was the first American ship lost in World War 2

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