The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73808   Message #1284580
Posted By: Azizi
29-Sep-04 - 10:34 PM
Thread Name: Jody's children - kids' rhymes from military chant
Subject: RE: Jody's children - kids' rhymes from military chant
Thanks for sharing your memories.

I just realized that I had a "family" resource in my ex husband, Wade. Wade was in the Army {Vietnam} and is in the National Guard (Air force). He said that the words "Mama, mama can't you see" were used in cadences, although he couldn't really remember the rest of the words. Wade said that the words were often changed to reflect the division you were in.. so I guess "Airborne, Airborne" fits this pattern.

Artbrooks, do you remember anymore words to "Airborne, airborne have you heard"?

By the way, Wade also said that he doesn't recall these chants being called "Jodies", though he does remember "AIn't no use in goin home/Jody's got your girl and gone". He said that the chants were just called "cadences".

Re: "You're in the army now". Thanks for the info that it was chanted in World War II and in at least one movie. It wouldn't surprise me if that song and even "Sound off" were copyrighted... .

As to United States military cadences originating in African American {and other?}play songs...maybe...But, in addition to African American drill sargents, squad leaders etc, I would also suggest these other African/African American sources: traditional West African/Central African call & response chants "sung" during religious processionals, African America work songs; Kunnering {John Canoe} processionals; New Orleans Wild Indian chants; Joe D. Grinder songs & "rips". I also think that post Civil War African American mutual aid associations & Black secret societies and their youth & adult parade/drill groups were important incubators for the style if not for the actual cadences.

For instance, the Elks were known to have some of the best youth drill teams. In the mid 1950s or so, the Elks had a number of conventions in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At least for me, the best thing about their conventions was the different drill teams doin their thing as they paraded down Atlantic Avenue. Exciting!

But, now that I think of it, did they chant??? I can't remember.