I learned "Reuben James" from Wilfried Drygala way back in 1979 when we founded the Idle Fellows
together with Brian Kelly
. At that time it was a group favourite, one of our best songs and always went down well with our audiences. It is a heroic song about the USS Reuben James and its sinking in 1941. It is only very recently (January 1999) that I tracked down its source on the Internet and the song turns out to have been penned by Woodie Guthrie on the occasion of the sinking.
If, dear surfer, you are interested in the present-day ship, the ship sung about or the original Reuben James himself then you can do no better than check this very interesting site: USS Reuben James (DD-245)
, the ultimate source and an absolute must for Navy buffs.