Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Satirical song attacks (Canada) government for failure to replace Sea Kings(choppers)
Ottawa Citizen ^ | November 20, 2002 | David Pugliese

Posted on 11/20/2002 8:06:36 AM PST by Loyalist

'Goodbye papa, please pray for me...'

CREDIT: Halifax Chronicle-Herald

A Sea King helicopter sits in a bog in April 2000, after a transmission leak forced it to make an emergency landing on a small island off Nova Scotia. None of the five-member crew was injured.

It may not go to the top of the charts in Defence Minister John McCallum's household,, but the latest underground hit in the Canadian Forces is a satirical ditty detailing the government's failure to replace the aging Sea King helicopter.

Sung to the tune of the Terry Jacks hit Seasons in the Sun, the song is now making the rounds via the Internet. The lyrics cynically underscore safety and maintenance concerns Canadian Forces personnel have about flying the 40-year-old Sea Kings.

"Goodbye papa it's hard to fly," sings the anonymous military musician. "When my airframe is cracking in the sky. For every hour in the air it takes them 30 to repair. We fly these things on a dare."

"We've had joy, we've had fun, we've had Sea Kings in the sun. But the engines are on fire and the Sea Kings must retire."

The song was leaked to Esprit de Corps military magazine.

The tune is the second such jab within as many weeks against the Liberal government for failing to purchase new maritime helicopters. Earlier in the month, the Citizen ran a series of fake recruiting posters that were circulating within the Canadian Forces. Produced by Sea King crews, the posters highlighted the dangers of flying the aging choppers.

One poster featured a Sea King crashed on its side with the promotional line, "It's more than a career, it's an adventure." The poster advised potential recruits to check the Yellow Pages under "Lucky" for further information about joining the military.

The recruiting ads prompted an angry response from Mr. McCallum, who criticized the Sea King crews for producing the posters.

"I think it's a serious business," he told journalists. "I think that humour is not in very good taste when one thinks of the men and women of the Canadian Forces who fly in those helicopters, and their families."

Shane Diaczuk, a spokesman for the minister's office, said he has not heard the satirical Sea King tune. But he said any suggestion the Sea Kings are unsafe to fly is inaccurate. "The minister is working as hard as he can" to ensure the Canadian Forces receive a new maritime helicopter, added Mr. Diaczuk.

It has been nine years since Prime Minister Jean Chrétien cancelled the program to buy a fleet of modern EH-101 helicopters that were to take the place of the 1960s-era Sea Kings. The government, however, has yet to announce the purchase of a replacement chopper.

The government was supposed to give aerospace companies the final details on what it needs for a new helicopter and officially call for bids in July, but that never happened. Department of National Defence officials say they have no idea when the bids will be accepted and some aerospace industry executives are suggesting the program is now stalled at the political level.

Mr. McCallum, however, said the delay resulted when helicopter companies made more than 1,000 technical suggestions and recommendations to the Defence Department about the chopper replacement program.

The Sea King replacement has turned into what many in the military community believe is the longest running defence procurement program in Canadian history. The Canadian Forces started the process of replacing the choppers in the early 1980s.

But Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Raymond Henault has said in the past he is confident the first of the new helicopters will be delivered in 2005. Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison also told a Commons committee he is happy with the way the project is proceeding.

But some defence analysts question whether the Canadian Forces will see a new chopper as long as Mr. Chrétien remains prime minister. Mr. Chrétien scored political points in the 1993 federal election, which brought him to power by suggesting a Tory program to buy the EH-101 helicopter was too expensive. He cancelled that project and the military had to restart the process to buy a Sea King replacement.

In August 2000, then defence minister Art Eggleton and public works minister Alfonso Gagliano announced the government was officially proceeding with the replacement program, but it didn't take long for it to miss its deadlines.

The timetable called for the chopper contract to be awarded in August of this year, with deliveries of the aircraft by 2005. That was revised a short time later, with government officials saying a request for proposals from the aerospace industry for a new chopper would be issued in July 2002. That also didn't happen.

The Sea Kings are supposed to be retired in 2005. The Canadian Forces has spent more than $50 million replacing engines and key parts on the machines to keep them flying safely.

Sea Kings in the Sun

(Sung to the tune of Seasons in the Sun)

Goodbye papa please pray for me

My helicopter's crashing in the sea

I honestly don't mean to pout,

but my future is in doubt,

My co-pilot just fell out.

Goodbye papa it's hard to fly,

When my airframe is cracking in the sky,

For every hour in the air,

it takes them 30 to repair,

We fly these things on a dare.

We've had joy, we've had fun,

We've had Sea Kings in the sun,

But the engines are on fire,

and the Sea Kings must retire,

Goodbye Chrétien my stingy one,

You could have bought the


Instead you blew 500 mil,

Just to cancel out the bill,

Now I need an airsick pill.

We've had joy, we've had fun,

We've had Sea Kings in the sun

We'll be lucky if we reach,

a crash landing on the beach.

TOPICS: Canada; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: armedforces; canada; defense; eh101; helicopter; seaking
Sea Kings in the Sun performed by an unknown airman
1 posted on 11/20/2002 8:06:37 AM PST by Loyalist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: doug from upland
song parody ping
2 posted on 11/20/2002 8:09:36 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Loyalist
My aunts ex-husband is a Sea king tech, he said to me once "Yeah I'll fix'em but there is no way in hell I would fly in one"...It's the same situation with the Labrador search and rescue helo's, I remeber a few times when they had to put them down into Johnston Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland, they towed one to a local boat ramp then trailored the helo to the local airbase. It's a sad state of affairs in the Canadian Armed Forces...
3 posted on 11/20/2002 8:11:18 AM PST by MD_Willington_1976
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MD_Willington_1976
It's the same situation with the Labrador search and rescue helo

"To Kill a Whopping Bird" bump!

A Canadian Forces safety flick featuring a fatal Lab crash, for those of you who haven't seen it. Good stuff for the genre - I'd say only "Trial by Fire" and "Man from LOX" are better.

4 posted on 11/20/2002 9:42:31 AM PST by Denver Ditdat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Loyalist
Real deal is Canadians are cheap bast**ds when it comes to their military. Plenty of multi culti leeches and garbage get their funding but the military is left to risk their lives on board defective helocopters.
5 posted on 11/20/2002 9:51:59 AM PST by dennisw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dennisw
What do you expect of a socialist nation like the Great White? Canadians live in their little protective shell that their government provides in feeding, clothing,housing, educating, medicating, and helping them EXCEPT to protect them from foreign agression.
6 posted on 11/20/2002 9:58:34 AM PST by texson66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Gunrunner2; VaBthang4
Hey GunRunner, maybe you should give the Canadians a visit!
7 posted on 11/20/2002 12:23:18 PM PST by spetznaz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
8 posted on 11/20/2002 12:25:40 PM PST by VaBthang4
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Loyalist; Clive
9 posted on 11/20/2002 12:26:26 PM PST by Ryle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz
Yup. . .have I got a deal for them. . .easy terms and creative financing. . .
10 posted on 11/20/2002 12:31:20 PM PST by Gunrunner2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Loyalist
This should be a hoot. I'm going to download this and add it to the directory with Gerhard Schroeder's "Tax Song" and that Russian chick band singing "I Want Someone Like Putin."
11 posted on 11/20/2002 1:13:03 PM PST by struwwelpeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: struwwelpeter
Let's get Nader up there to 'fix' the situation: Sea Kings, unsafe at any height!
12 posted on 11/20/2002 2:40:18 PM PST by WileyC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson