52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 34 One of Our Submarines by Thomas Dolby

The way Dolby tells the story – apparently he had an Uncle who was a submariner during WWII and was killed during manuevers not in battle – making the story even more poignant.  So Dolby wrote this song and used the lost submarine as a metaphor for England’s fading empire.

The red lights flicker, sonar weak
Air valves hissing open
Half her pressure blown away
Flounder in the ocean

That’s clever and sad at the same time.

Dolby will always be remembered for his quirky tunes like she blinded me with science, but this is his best song.  It is haunting and catchy simultaneously – no small feat.

Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye
Tired illusion drown in the night

-cj cheetham

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