Pop Cultural Elements of Military Cadences

“HUT, TWO, THREE, FOUR… HUT, TWO, THREE, FOUR… ” What do a bunch of grunts calling out raunchy marching cadences have to do with pop culture? There’s more to the cadence then just keeping soldiers in step, there is a deep sense of pride, patriotism, unity, motivation, and nostalgia, which can be found within these songs. The Military cadence is used to motivate, inspire, and foster company cohesiveness while keeping soldiers steps in time and hands down the rich oral traditions of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air force.

The cadence is a song sung when marching or running and the songs require a caller, who normally sets the pace and leads the formation. Like robots, the soldiers echoed their leader’s sing-song” Jody Call” in beat to their pounding footsteps. The way a unit sounds while running or marching tends to reflect on that unit’s morale and leadership. This paper will illustrate the similarities that cadences share with pop culture music through lyrical examples. As you will see, the lyrics of these cadences are expressions of individual feelings, goals, and fears, and are quite similar to the themes of other popular culture musical genres.

The theories of subculture, appropriation and improvisation that have been proposed in lecture will be reviewed and illustrated within cadences. The military cadence as a subcultures oral tradition will be examined, through analyzing the theories of popular music which can be applied to the genres’ history, structure, and socio-political influences. History & Earlier Music The cadence in America can be traced as far back as the American Revolution with Yankee Doodle. Historically it finds its roots in ancient armies marching to battles across foreign lands.

The most significant song in this genra was created in May, 1944, by Pvt. Willie Duckworth, an African American soldier. This chant that we know today as the “Duckworth Chant” or “Sound Off”, 1-2 sound off 3-4 is the most recognizable to the average person from its usages in movies and P. E. classes. The cadence has historical links to the field holler and work songs. Slaves sang about their oppressive environment while working tirelessly in the cotton fields. Similarly, the majority of cadences are reflective to the environment and training, which soldiers endure.

These cadences share the themes of physical exertion, physical pain, and physical pleasure in the military atmosphere. Example: Early one morning in the pouring rain, First Sergeant said it was time for pain, He said, “Grab your rock and follow me! Its time we do some rough P. T.! ” We jogged nine miles and then ran three, The First Sergeant’s yelling,”Follow me! ” Then we walked two miles and ran eight! Oh, Airborne P. T. sure is great! Subculture The article “Audiences” a study of subcultures, defines a subculture as an individual’s social experience and cultural activities, shaped by gender, ethnicity, age and class.

The military is a subculture of its own; its personnel come from the greater American culture with all its subcultures. The Military is organized unlike the rest of American society, with many smaller subcultures depending on branch; Army, Navy, Air force, Marines with smaller divisions, such as airborne rangers, navy seals, and the Special Forces. There is much competition between these branches and a deep sense of pride of being part of a particular branch. Therefore cadences reflect these branch partitions and traditions while fostering a “we are better than them” morale.

The Army, in turn, is a subculture of the greater military subculture, and each Army installation offers a microcosm of the Army culture that can be reflected in cadences. For instance one might be biased and believe that the Army is the most diverse, effective, and hardcore of all the branches. While the Army is getting down and dirty on the ground, the wimpy Navy is playing battleship, the dumb marines are pumping iron, and the prissy Air force is prancing around pushing buttons. And the same holds true for the other branches with different conceptions about each other.

Therefore, a cadence might be made to reflect this branch differentiation, carrying this legacy of prejudice on. However, there is a common understanding and respect for each branches capabilities and how they contribute to a strategic battle plan and the defense of the United States as a member of the military subculture. Follow Me! OH! Soldier! Combat soldier! Pick up your weapon and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry Hey they’re Airborne! Head-in-the-clouds Airborne! Wrap up your ‘chute and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Hey their Air Assault!

Rotor-head Air Assault! Pick up your rope and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Hey their Light Fight! Freeze at night Light Fight! Strap on your boots and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Hey Marine Corps! Bullet-sponge Marine Corps! Pick up your rifle and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Hey they’re Navy! Water logged navy! Jump in your sub and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry Hey they’re Air Force! Don’t shoot! I’m friendly- Air Force! Hop in your plane and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Oh Soldier! Combat Soldier!

Jump in your track and follow me! I am Mechanized Infantry! Example: They say that in the Army the coffee’s mighty fine. Who said that? They say that in the Army the coffee’s mighty fine. It looks like muddy water and tastes like turpentine! (Chorus) Oh Mom, I want to go home! But they won’t let me go home! Ohhhhhhhh OHHHHHHHH Ohhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh OHHHHHHHH Ohhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh HEY! They say that in the Army the chow mighty fine. Who said that? They say that in the Army the chow mighty fine. A chicken jumped off the table and started markin time!

(Chorus) They say that in the Army the pay mighty fine. Who said that? They say that in the Army the pay mighty fine. They give a hundred dollars and take back ninety-nine! (Chorus) Politics In the reading “Popular Music and the Civil Rights Movement” Reebee Garofalo, explains the socio phenomenon of how popular music in the civil rights movement was used as an indicator of socio-political struggle. The music raised consciousness through the changes in the lyrics content and energized activist of the movement’s day-to-day political work.

Cadence reflect the political views of the day songs about political leaders in which the US was at war with, Charlie in Vietnam, Saddam in the Gulf war, and now about Osama bin Laden, They are based on the premise of seeking and destroying the enemy and criticizing the administration that sent them to war. Example Iraqi Blues Send the troops before it’s too late, Saddam has invaded Kuwait Grab your rifle and get a tan You can scratch a rotation plan President Bush was talkin’ tough We didn’t know it would get that rough Thought Saddam was a man of reason Now we’ve got ? em for rape and treason.

America’s become divided as such They dont like that war crap much Cussin’ and a-picketing thats the scoop Throw rocks at me, but you support our troops? People are starting to understand Saddam Hussein’s one crazy man Gasses his people and tortures them too SADDAM THIS CLUSTER BOMBS FOR YOU! Burning oil and acid rain, Scud missiles desert terrain Shipped my ass straight overseas, Who cut down the goddamn trees? 1-2-3 and 4 Sometimes to get peace ya’ gotta make some war. If we dont nuke em’ till they glow We’ll die for more than Texaco. Stormin’ Norman made a plan Now we’re gonna kill who’s in command.

When we’re through kickin’ his ass We’ll pay 25 cents for a gallon of gas This is my story and it is true I call this song “The Iraqi Blues” Saddam act stupid and I wont refuse To put your ass on the 10 O’Clock news! Al- Qaida See Al- Qaida dressed in black, with my e-tool in his back, I’m the one he did not see, Airborne Ranger Infantry See Al-Qaida dressed in red, with a 5. 56 in his head, I’m the one he did not see, Airborne Ranger Infantry See Al-Qaida dressed in white, now he’s got me in his sight, he’s the one I did not see, Airborne Ranger Infantry Mama, mama don’t you cry, your baby fought hard and died.

Mama, mama can’t you see, I’m the one who keeps you free! The Appropriation of the Cadence Appropriation is defined as to take possession of or make use of exclusively for oneself, often without permission. Popular music had continued to evolve due to appropriation and creating new pieces mirrored off the old. Appropriation is often used in cadences because it allows soldiers who share a common upbringing to come together in a new environment and sing about it. Appropriation also makes cadences memorable and easy to learn because of the familiarity with the original.

Appropriation can be found in many cadences, which have changed the lyrics around to fit their lifestyles and working environment and are often based on popular songs. Surprisingly those tough boot stomping soldiers have even appropriated cadences from nursery songs. These Boots These boots were made for walkin’ And that’s just what they’ll do If all you’re doing is markin’ time They’ll walk all over you. These guns were made for shootin’ And that’s just what they’ll do And if we get a mission We’ll drill a hole in you. This Army’s trained for fightin’ And that’s just what we’ll do

If you pick a fight with us We’ll walk all over you. Old King Cole Old King Cole was a merry old soul, a merry old soul was he. He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl and he called for his Privates three. Beer! Beer! Beer! Said the Privates. (Chorus) What merry men are we! but none so fair that we can compare to the Airborne Infantry! Old King Cole was a merry old soul, a merry old soul was he. He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl and he called for his Generals three. Keep those Privates straight! Said the Generals When can I play golf? Said the Colonel.

I need a bigger desk said the major. Who’s gonna drive my Hummer? Said the Captain. What do I do now? Said the El Tee. Left right left said the Sergeant. I need a three day pass said the Corporal Beer! Beer! Beer! Said the Privates. (chorus) (chorus) The Cadence & Blues Relationship The Military Cadence also shares connections with Blues a vocal and instrumental musical form from African American spirituals, shouts, work songs and chants. Lyrically, verses of early blues songs consist usually of a single line of four-bars repeated twice, with a third rhyming line.

This is very similar to cadences rhythmic composition and lyric content. Another example of the connection of the lyric style between blues and the cadence is Louis Jordan’s, blues song, “My Feet are Killing Me, Marching in the infantry. ” Blues Woke up this morning with the blues all in my bed Yes, I woke up this morning with the blues all in my bed Fixed my breakfast, the blues was all in my bread Cadence Wake up to mortar attack Hit the ground, I’m out of the rack My sergeant rushes me off to chow But I don’t eat it anyhow My Feet are Killing Me, Marching in the infantry.

” I got those “gee my feet are killing’ me, since I’m in the infantry” blues I got those “gee my feet are killing’ me, since I’m in the infantry” blues I walked so doggone much; I can’t get my poor feet out of my shoes Race & Gender The similarities of the military cadence to the music produced in the civil rights movement with the fact that cadence lyrics reflect the era in which they emerge, social and political views, and cadences have been cleaned up of sexist and racial tones to reflect that of the equal opportunity military of today.

There are also homophobic cadence which didn’t comply with the “don’t ask don’t tell policy,” however you can still get away with singing it were as singing a sexist cadence will get a solider reprimanded. “EENIE, MEENIE, MINIE, MOE… ” “CATCH A VIRGIN BY THE TOE… ” “IF SHE HOLLERS, LET HER GO… ” ON THE OTHER HAND… HELL, NO! ” I DON’T KNOW BUTI BEEN TOLD “AIR FORCE BABES ARE BOUGHT AND SOLD… ” “I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S BEEN SAID… ” “NAVY BABES ARE WICKED IN BED… ” Airborne Barbie Airborne Barbie Rollin down the strip With a pink parachute and some red lipstick How she got here I don’t know.

With her high heels on, baby’s ready to roll Stand up buckle up, shuffle to the door Don’t mess with her, or you’ll hit the floor What makes her motivated, what makes her true? She says she fights for the red, white and blue Where is she from, who does she know I saw her jump the CO Look out son; I’d watch your back Good luck getting her in your rack Pink Beret Whose that man in the Pink Beret I don’t know but I think he’s gay Oh that’s not the life for me Homosexuality Improvisation & Performance The lecture on the band “Grateful dead” discussed the virtuosity of turn taking improvisation in bluegrass.

In Bluegrass there was also a break down between audience and performer because the people who are making the music are also the people enjoying the music. This is also similar to cadence calling were every one in a running or marching element takes turns in calling a cadence and sings along with others cadence callers. This method is essential in getting every one to participate in motivation and teambuilding. It is the cadence caller’s duty to entertain the element and keep the formation in step while it is the audience’s duty to actively participate through sings a response.

Drip, drop The roof started leaking and the rain fell on my head Drip, drop, drip pity drop, drop I said the roof started leaking and the rain fell on my head Drip, drop, drippity drop, drop Well, my baby done left me, I might as well be dead Drip, drop, drippity drop, drop Well, I’m sittin’ here drinkin’, thinkin’ what I’m gonna do Drip, drop, drippity drop, drop Yeah, I’m sittin’ here drinkin’, thinkin’ what I’m gonna do Drip, drop, drippity drop, drop My baby’s gone and left me, I’m feelin’ mighty blue Drip, drop, drippity drop, drop Subculture Style & Icons.

In the Grateful Dead lecture, the lecture discussed how symbols, such as skulls and roses, skull and lightning, the dancing bear became associated with the band. This hel, helped the subculture of “dead heads” identify with each other as belonging to the same subculture, by stickers on cars or t-shirts. In the military to today the support out troops yellow or flag stickers help to identify members of the military and having a common bond and sharing a collection of cadences and all wear dog tags. The military is probably the most identifiable subculture style.

It’s members wear uniforms making them recognizable to all outsiders who and what they are. There is link of status and achievements that comes with the uniform of rank, metals and patches. These accomplishments are noted in majority of cadences, about having an airborne, rangers, or Special Forces patch for example. R is for rough and tough A is for all the way N is for never quit G is for gung-ho E is for excellence R is for Ranger Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ Oh how my _____ is (are) swollen (ankles, feet, legs, knees, etc. ) Don’t let your dog tags dangle in the mud Pickup your dog tags, give it to your bud.

… Nostalgic Expression The songs also highlight the death and darkness that war brings. The soldier’s sorrow, a controversial a form of protest from the soldier’s point of view is also highlighted in these kinds of songs. There are cadences, which sing about death, the wounded, and the sadness of being away from home and wanting to go home. The lecture on Hip Hop, discussed the nostalgic themes in hip-hop music, looking to another time and experiences. Nostalgia is also a theme in many cadences which address wanting to go home and missing the life they left behind.

.Momma, momma, can’t you see what the Army’s done to me Momma, momma, can’t you see what the Army’s done to me They took away my faded jeans Now I’m wearing Army greens They put me in a barber’s chair I turned around, I had no hair I used to date a beauty queen Now I hug my M-16 I used to drive a Cadillac Now I hump it on my back Chorus: Boy, I want to go But they want let me go Home, oh home, oh hommme Personal Shout Out I decided to write about the Army Cadence for this essay assignment because of my familiarity and association with the genre.

This past summer I completed training as a cadet, at Ft. Lewis, Washington. During “Warrior Forge,” the cadence was a very important part of our everyday routine. They were sung to motivate us during morning physical training runs, while marching to chow, or being transported to training on cattle cars. We also just sang them to be silly and show up other platoons as we marched by. I have never sung so much in my life or in front of so many strangers, nevertheless I gained confidence-calling cadences while marching with my platoon and company and it strengthened my singing voice.

Singing a cadence was about the only form of entertainment we got and it became a popular pastime to think up new ones that made fun of our cadre or the other platoons. You were seen as someone important if you had a knack for it. However, the cadence isn’t just about singing a song, there is much more of a psychological aspect to it. It is a form of leadership that can only be learned by doing. How is someone going to be able to shout commands and lead other soldiers in to battle if they are afraid of being in front of them or open there mouth and take control of the situation.

Therefore, the call and response method of cadences is essential to the leader/follower relationship. This emphasizes the command structure of the military and promotes unity building. The cadence is a sink or swim method because for many singing in front of strangers is the most terrifying and self-revealing form of communication. At the beginning of this class Professor Attrep, announced that any one caught talking or reading the newspaper in lecture would be made to stand up and sing in front of the entire class. This was such a threat and a way to reprimand the class, that now one this quarter has made the offence.

I assure you this tactic of fear would not have worked in a military school where students are used to being but on the spot and taking control. Therefore scrubbing the lecture hall with a toothbrush would be a better punishment. I had no problem with complying with the professors orders and thought of what I would sing to entertain the class, I decided on one of my favorite marching cadences in which I would have the entire class repeat after me in a demonstration of camaraderie and entertainment. A Yellow Ribbon Around her head she wore a yellow ribbon.

She wore it in the springtime and in the month of May. And if you ask her why the hell she wore it. She wore it for that soldier who was far, far away. (Chorus) Far Away Far Away. She wore it for that soldier who was far, far away. HEY! Around the block she pushed the baby carriage. She pushed it in the springtime and in the month of May. And if you ask her why the hell she pushed it. She pushed it for that soldier who was far, far away. (Chorus) Above the door, her daddy kept a shotgun. He kept it in the springtime and in the month of May.

And if you ask him why the hell he kept it. He kept it for that soldier who was far, far away. Oral Tradition Military music is an open source community in which cadences are shared and passed on orally. Learning and knowing cadences is reinforced by your commanding officers and peers, therefore passing down the rich oral traditions of the United States Military. There is really no personal ownership to a cadence, the person who wrote it can be recognized, however if the cadence becomes popular enough it essentially goes under the ownership of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.

Today there are many cadence compilations CD’s representing different branches, which can be purchased online. Lyrics can also easily be found military websites. If you like a cadence you can write it down and then sing it to your soldiers. This type of copycatting is encouraged, however it would be rude to sing the same cadence song by a solider in your unit to the unit, because it is deemed as their cadence for the time being. Last Shout Out Hopefully a quick glimpse in to the world of the military cadence has made you want to shout a little “Jodie” call of your own or at least a few of the lyrics put a smile on your face.

Cadence like all music types can inspire many different emotions, they can be comical, patriotic, sad, or spirited. The many lyrical examples, with in this essay illustrate how cadences are a relatively simple form of music making. The only instrument needed is the voice and the accompaniment of boots stomping or hands clapping. A little creativity also goes a long way. Surprisingly such a unique genre of music has many similarities with pop culture music such as Blues, Rock, and Hip-Hop through its historical influences, content, and tone.

Cadences demonstrate social political views, sexist and homophonic slurs, elements of nostalgia, and subculture symbolism. The cultural theories of appropriation and improvising are essential to the creation of the military cadence, making this subculture’s music a dynamic and appreciated genre. What is critical to the livelihood of the cadence and other forms of pop cultural music is that it borrows form something that came before within a specific social and cultural context.

The cadence is very unique compared to the popular music heard in class particularly because it is hidden within a subculture. The Military cadence’s place is not on mainstream radio waves or on MTV. The cadence is alive on the training grounds of military instillations and in the hearts and minds of soldiers as they run, march, and become future warriors, carrying the legacy and oral traditions of the US Military in to the 21st century. All Cadence Examples Courtesy of US ARMY Marching and RUNING CADENCES http://cadence. armystudyguide. com/list/index. html.