"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" as written by and Frank Loesser....
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
And we'll all stay free

Praise the Lord and swing into position
Can't afford to be a politician
Praise the Lord, we're all between perdition
And the deep blue sea

Yes the sky pilot said it
Ya gotta give him credit
For a sonofagun of a gunner was he

Shouting Praise the Lord, we're on a mighty mission
All aboard, we ain't a-goin' fishin'
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
And we'll all stay free

Praise the Lord (Praise the Lord) and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord (Praise the Lord) and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord (Praise the Lord) and pass the ammunition
And we'll all stay free

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
And we'll all stay free


Lyrics submitted by sillybunny

"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!" as written by Frank Loesser

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition"; was written by Frank Loesser. According to the song a chaplain ("sky pilot") was with some fighting men who were being attacked by an enemy. (Generally given at the time to be the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.) He was asked to say a prayer for the men who were engaged in the firing at the on-coming Japanese planes. The chaplain; the song went on to infer, put down his bible, manned one of the ship's gun turrets and begin firing back, saying, "Praise The Lord and pass the ammunition".

    Now; however, there are now facts available setting the story straight.

    According to the writer, Jack S. McDowall, through the years the lyrics of the song have generally credited "a chaplain" manning the gun turrets of a ship, while under attack. "This was not true". says, McDowell.

    For some time, long after the attack at Pearl Harbor, stories and reports continued to pop-up about the incident, involving a chaplain who was to have uttered the now famous words, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."

    These stories eventually made their way through the servicemen back to the press. The press, as McDowell noted, . . . led some writers erroneously to identify other chaplains as authors of the phrase.

    Nonetheless, the real Chaplain, Howell Forgy, aboard the U.S.S. New Orleans; during the Japanese attack, was that Chaplain. He was a Lieutenant (j.g.) on that Sunday morning in December, 1941.

    Another Lieutenant who had been in charge of an ammunition line on the USS New Orleans during the attack remembered.

    "I heard a voice behind me saying, Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. I turned and saw Chaplain Forgy walking toward me along the line of men. He was patting the men on the back and making that remark to cheer them and keep them going. I know it helped me a lot, too", he said.

    Another Lieutenant j.g. said, the men aboard the USS New Orleans would thereafter kid Chaplain Forgy about the role he played whenever they heard the song that had been written. They also encouraged him to set the record straight as to who actually said what. According to that same Lieutenant the Chaplain would decline saying he felt "the episode should remain a legend rather than be associated with any particular person."

    Author McDowell said that press reporters were eventually permitted to interview men of the USS New Orleans involved in the "ammunition" story. Chaplain Forgy's superior officers set up a meeting with some of the press and; at last, the real story of the wonderful song and the wonderful man who had inspired it was finally confirmed.

    The preceding information was provided by Henry Wristen, President of the U.S.S New Orleans (CA-32) Reunion Association
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn 1942, a recording by The Merry Macs reached number 8 on the Billboard chart the previous year when. The 1943 version by Kay Kyser and His Orchestra reached number 1.

    Loesser donated his royalties for sale of the song to the Navy Relief Society.

    Some accounts attribute the phrase to Chaplain Howell M. Forgy, aboard the USS New Orleans. However, most versions suggest that the chaplain in question wished to remain anonymous so the story would pass into legend.
    [Wikipedia]
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment[THE FALLOUT: Turning Revolution Into Money from Maximum Rocknroll August 2004]

    They even do a version of (and I’m not even sure they’ve heard of IMPATIENT YOUTH) "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" and finish the whole thing off with, as a hidden track, an impeccable cover of the JAM’s (this is) The Modern World with the great line "I don’t give two fucks about your review!" Brilliant! (AD)
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPraise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    Need a little bit more of that sweet salvation
    They may take me with my feet draggin'
    But I'll fly away on a sin wagon
    I'll fly away on a sin wagon
    [from Sin Wagon by the Dixie Chicks]

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    That familiar chorus line from the Dixie Chicks' song has been coined by an ever-growing segment of the video game playing community...

    They are turning the tables on video game violence with a new high-caliber shoot-'em-up that puts you on the firing-line of good. Rather than posing you as a gangster thug like such as games as "Grand Theft Auto" you're now saving people not ravaging them.
    [UGN InfoManager]
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother story about the song is that Kay Kyser recorded it on one day’s notice as a result of a telephone call from Loesser, who sang it long distance. Kyser liked it and put an arranger on the phone to write down the words and melody as Loesser sang. The band rehearsed and recorded it in Hollywood the next day—July 31, 1942 (the same date they recorded the equally popular and irreverent “Strip Polka”)—at the last Kyser recording session before the musicians’ union prohibition against instrumental recordings took effect. The story seems plausible, as the Library of Congress did not receive Loesser’s music until August 21. Kay Kyser’s dance band had risen to national prominence after first appearing at Chicago’s Blackhawk Hotel in 1934. His musical quiz show, the College of Musical Knowledge, remained topflight radio entertainment for years.
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs your parents or grandparents will remember, this was a popular song of World War II, written by composer/lyricist Frank Loesser, whose works later included the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The last – at least the title – really ought to be our national anthem now.

    But that isn’t what Loesser had in mind. His song purportedly sprang from the actions of a Navy chaplain, William Maguire, who “left his altar” during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and – “in the unholy roar of that torrent of bombs” – manned a gun station for his wounded flock, blasting away at the “Nips” and crying, “I just got one of them!! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!!”

    According to the official Frank Loesser website (frankloesser.com), “Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition” sold more than two million records and one million copies of sheet music while the war endured: “The Office of War Information restricted its performance over the airwaves to once every four hours, lest the public tire of it.”
    [Peter Kurth]
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust curious. Does it seem plausible to praise a god and still pass the ammunition—still kill people rather than settle differences without the firearms?
    If the god is a war god, then yes.
    Do you think that Christ can hum a few bars to the Ares war anthem?
    You talk funny—I’m laughing. It’s possible that the one god became the concentration of Ares, Zeus, Venus, Loki, Hathor, Freya, Athena, Neptune, and lord knows who else. I mean what these many gods ruled became the jurisdiction of the one god—maybe. I’m just guessing …
    So how does Christ decide which way to lean when people cart out the guns with the words “Thou shalt not kill” still echoing in their heads?
    I think most people would prefer that such questions not be asked.
    Probably but let’s say you walk through a wrinkle in perspective and find yourself a peace goddess. Oh just pretend for the hell of it. I’m more interested in your answer than whether or not you can see yourself as this.
    Um… what was the question?
    Oh—you find you’re a peace goddess and you’re happily gushing peace …
    Gushing?
    It’s my daydream … you’re gushing peace and a crowd rushes up and tucks a gun in your hands. What do you do?
    Wish myself off the planet? I’m seeing anarchy here. In anarchy, I might grab the gun just for self defense.
    You’re not in a movie. It’s anarchy. Can you shoot?
    I’m a weird sort. My guess is, to defend myself, maybe not. To defend someone I love, I could be capable. I’m a fierce lover …
    Then where does it all end?
    Not with abolishing guns, I see. It could be a mind thing. At some time in history, someone said, wow! Look what I just made! Think I’ll use it. Whoops! He ain’t moving anymore. Neither is she! What gives? But we got used to it. I think when we want to—we’ll just change our minds and settle our differences without guns.
    Like when?
    Haven’t a clue … maybe never … People think there is no way that we will ever destroy our planet so we’re free to play with as many weapons as we can dream up but I tend to think—seeing how life can be capricious and surprising—the joke could well be on us.
    And what will you do?
    Well, nothing. I won’t exist anymore. I mean, I might but I don’t know that for sure so I don’t count on it.
    sillybunnyon September 29, 2006   Link

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