"Submarines" is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), and set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1917, as the third of a set of four war-related songs on nautical subjects for which he chose the title "The Fringes of the Fleet".
Like the others in the cycle, is intended for four baritone voices. It was originally written with orchestral accompaniment, but it was later published to be sung with piano accompaniment.
The composer does not make clear which sections of the song, if any, are to be sung solo or in chorus.
The poem was titled by Kipling "Tin Fish".
- The ships destroy us above
- And ensnare us beneath,
- We arise, we lie down, and we move
- In the belly of Death.
- The ships have a thousand eyes
- To mark where we come...
- But the mirth of a seaport dies
- When our blow gets home.
The musical setting repeats the first stanza.
- Michael Kennedy, Portrait of Elgar (Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 0-19-315414-5
- Sea Warfare - The Fringes of the Fleet Notes by Alastair Wilson