Biggles' Philosophy

Songs and poetry relating to the RFC and RAF or aviation in general

Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Simon Templar » 30 Mar 2014, 15:38

This poem is by no means exclusive to airmen. Although Biggles fans know it as being in the foreword to Spitfire Parade, ti existed prior to that amongst soldiers too -though obviously, the word 'soldier' replacing 'pilot'

Don't worry - Anonymous

When You are a pilot you can be in one of two places:
A dangerous place or a safe place
If you are in a safe place, don't worry.

If you are in a dangerous place you can be one of two things:
One is wounded and one is not.
If you are not wounded, then don't worry.

If you are wounded it can be dangerous or slight:
If it's slight, don't worry.

If it's dangerous, then one of two things will happen:
You'll die or you'll recover.

If you recover, then don't worry.
If you die, you can't worry.

In these circumstances a pilot never worries.
Those that live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I went to the museum and saw a Van Gogh painting. Underneath it said "Loaned anonymously."
I went to the front desk and said, "I’d like my Van Gogh back now, please."
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby AusterAutocrat » 30 Mar 2014, 16:53

Intriguing! All sadly true, of course. So we don't know who 'Anon' is?


(Btw, ST, I do like your signature!)
‘Is Algy back?’
‘Yes; he was in the Mess having his dinner when I came out. He said something about not letting stray Huns interfere with his meals.’
‘He wouldn’t,’ replied Biggles bitterly.
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Lycaea » 30 Mar 2014, 17:34

Not exactly the same version I have in my copy of Spitfire parade. It has a line about ”either you will crash or you will not crash”.

Actually, I have two different versions… The other one – I don’t remember where I got that from – also has ”either you are flying straight or you are turning over”.

Only one of them uses the word die at the end ;)
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Spitfire666 » 30 Mar 2014, 18:31

Simon Templar wrote:This poem is by no means exclusive to airmen. Although Biggles fans know it as being in the foreword to Spitfire Parade, ti existed prior to that amongst soldiers too -though obviously, the word 'soldier' replacing 'pilot'

Did you actually take it from a copy of Spitfire Parade, ST? I have a 1951 Oxford reprint and mine is different. My copy has more flow to it. Maybe WEJ wrote his own version? This one sounds more like Johns to me:

WEJ wrote:When you are flying, everything is all right or it is not all right. If it is all right there is no need to worry. If it is not all right one of two things will happen. Either you will crash or you will not crash.
If you do not crash there is no need to worry. If you do crash one of two things is certain. Either you will be injured or you will not be injured.
If you are not injured there is no need to worry. If you are injured one of two things is certain. Either you will recover or you will not recover.
If you recover there is no need to worry. If you don't recover you can't worry.
If there's one thing certain in this uncertain world it is that Algy won't go home without us.

http://wejas.org.uk
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby SaintedAunt » 30 Mar 2014, 23:05

Spitfire666 wrote:Did you actually take it from a copy of Spitfire Parade, ST? I have a 1951 Oxford reprint and mine is different. My copy has more flow to it. Maybe WEJ wrote his own version?

I always did think that WEJ had seen 'the philosophy' somewhere and that it wasn't entirely original. I do like his version much better than the one at the start of this thread. We did discuss Biggles' phosophy before didn't we, not that long ago… somewhere in the forum jungle… :lol:
The corners of Biggles' mouth twitched. "It's a sad thing to grow old without learning a thing or two." [Biggles Hunts Big Game]
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 31 Mar 2014, 12:45

SaintedAunt wrote:
Spitfire666 wrote:Did you actually take it from a copy of Spitfire Parade, ST? I have a 1951 Oxford reprint and mine is different. My copy has more flow to it. Maybe WEJ wrote his own version?

I always did think that WEJ had seen 'the philosophy' somewhere and that it wasn't entirely original. I do like his version much better than the one at the start of this thread. We did discuss Biggles' phosophy before didn't we, not that long ago… somewhere in the forum jungle… :lol:


Yes, I think we discussed this in Aug. 2013, without any resolution as to who actually wrote it, other than WEJ of course, or perhaps 'Anonymous', lol:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=292&p=3809&hilit=philosophy#p3809
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Tommy Smith » 31 Mar 2014, 13:18

I thought it was 'Only hang out with rich/competent/reliable people'.
"Spare my days! Who wants to be true to life? Why read about what you can see going on around you any day of the week?"
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Fairblue » 31 Mar 2014, 13:23

Tommy Smith wrote:I thought it was 'Only hang out with rich/competent/reliable people'.

I wish I could manage that myself, TS.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Simon Templar » 31 Mar 2014, 22:00

[quote=(Btw, ST, I do like your signature!)[/quote]

ah, thanks!
Those that live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I went to the museum and saw a Van Gogh painting. Underneath it said "Loaned anonymously."
I went to the front desk and said, "I’d like my Van Gogh back now, please."
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby AusterAutocrat » 31 Mar 2014, 22:27

Though I also liked your last one about the BBQ :D

Can't actually say I 'dislike' anyone's signatures. I definitely love mine the best...
‘Is Algy back?’
‘Yes; he was in the Mess having his dinner when I came out. He said something about not letting stray Huns interfere with his meals.’
‘He wouldn’t,’ replied Biggles bitterly.
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby Simon Templar » 06 Apr 2014, 23:44

AusterAutocrat wrote:Though I also liked your last one about the BBQ :D

Can't actually say I 'dislike' anyone's signatures. I definitely love mine the best...


Tyger Tyger Burning Bright...on my barbecue tuesday night?

Thanks! But I thought before Blake began to turn in his grave that I had better change it!
Those that live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I went to the museum and saw a Van Gogh painting. Underneath it said "Loaned anonymously."
I went to the front desk and said, "I’d like my Van Gogh back now, please."
Simon Templar
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Re: Biggles' Philosophy

Postby tiffinata » 06 Apr 2014, 23:47

My husband's great uncle used to repeat a similar one. He was in the army ww2. He used to add something rather rude to the end.
'....you cannot flout Nature with impunity. Treat Nature with respect, and she will tolerate you, even encourage you; but treat her with contempt, and your days are numbered.' Hits the Trail
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