Just across the ocean,
Cuba is the spot,
Where we are doomed to spend our time
In the land that God forgot.
Among the snakes and lizards
Out where a man gets blue,
Out in the middle of nowhere,
3,000 miles from you.
We sweat, we freeze and shiver
It’s more than a man can stand.
We’re just supposed to be convicts
Who defend our home land.
Yes, we’re men of the U.S. Navy
Earning our measly pay,
Guarding our country’s millions
For just two and a half a day.
We’re living with our memories,
And dreaming of our gals,
And hoping while we’re dreaming
That they won’t marry our pals.
Yes, no one knows we’re living,
And no one gives a damn—
At home we’re soon forgotten
For we belong to Uncle Sam.
For the time you spend in the Navy
And all the good times you’ve missed,
Don’t let the draft board get you,
And for God’s sake don’t enlist.
‘Cause when you pass the pearly gates,
You’ll hear Saint Peter yell,
"Fall in, all you Rankin boys,
You’ve served your time in hell!"
The words above were sent to us by Richard B. "Huey" Hughes, a Boilerman aboard USS Rankin from 5/59 to 12/62. They were given to him in ‘61 or ‘62 while cruising in the Caribbean. Huey is a guitar player who had a band on the ship, playing for the crew and in San Juan night clubs. "Cuba" in the song probably refers to Guantanamo Bay, a.k.a. GTMO.