Johnny Horton / (Photo credit: Youtube)
If you fell in love with Johnny Horton‘s “Battle of New Orleans,” you’ll surely like his “Sink the Bismarck” hit. And, if ever you’ve watched the movie that inspired this song, you could probably relate to it. “Sink the Bismarck” is one among the many country songs about war, more specifically, those combats on the seas. Its lyrics, which Horton co-wrote with songwriter Tillman Franks, narrate the story of Germany’s gigantic and world-class battleship, Bismarck. In particular, the song centers on its voyage, battle, feat, and eventual defeat during the second world war in May 1941.
Perhaps the two most interesting parts of the song were the chase down of Bismarck and its ultimate fall. According to the lyrics, Bismarck disappeared from the war zone after defeating the British warship named Hood. It took six long days for the British troopers to locate Bismarck. On the seventh day, they finally found Bismarck and wasted no time. Using all of their war crafts and weapons, the British warriors have succeeded on their mission – to sink the Bismarck.
Additional Info About the Song
Similar to many other songs of Horton, this marching song was based on actual events in history. Columbia Records released it in 1960 on Horton’s album Johnny Horton Makes History (1960). It became Horton’s second highest chart hit peaking at No. 3 on the country chart. A movie of the same title which was released also on the same year inspired the song. In Germany, the film was better-known being a British war film. Moreover, the movie was based on C.S. Forester’s novel entitled The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck.
Below is a music video of Horton’s “Sink the Bismarck.”
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C.S. Forester, Johnny Horton, Johnny Horton Makes History (1960), Sink the Bismarck, Tillman Franks