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Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)

DigiTrad:
INTO THE AIR
INTO THE AIR, JUNIOR BIRDMEN


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Into the Air, Junior Birdmen (29)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Into the Air, Junior Birdmen [Philip Egner] (Original tune: On, Brave Old Army Team
(West Point fight song) -JRO-)



GUEST,RonU 08 Feb 00 - 11:59 AM
wysiwyg 08 Feb 00 - 12:42 PM
wysiwyg 08 Feb 00 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 08 Feb 00 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 08 Feb 00 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,RonU 08 Feb 00 - 01:05 PM
katlaughing 08 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,dick greenhaus 08 Feb 00 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,RonU 08 Feb 00 - 11:34 PM
Troll 08 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 02 - 03:50 PM
Mark Clark 03 Oct 02 - 05:03 PM
Alice 03 Oct 02 - 06:24 PM
Mudlark 03 Oct 02 - 10:54 PM
Alice 03 Oct 02 - 11:12 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 02 - 02:50 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 02 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 06:00 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 06:07 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 02 - 06:14 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 02 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Vanilla Tooth 24 Apr 05 - 01:34 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 11 Jun 08 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Guest 03 Aug 08 - 09:50 PM
Jeri 03 Aug 08 - 09:58 PM
Joe_F 03 Aug 08 - 10:35 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Aug 08 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,Marymac90 04 Aug 08 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Peg W. 29 Dec 08 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 Dec 08 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Peg W. 29 Dec 08 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,GUEST, LeslieP 26 Nov 09 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,GH from the Midwest 50's 23 Jul 10 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,deb sweeney 03 Aug 10 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Sheila 22 Oct 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST 05 Nov 13 - 12:23 AM
GUEST 31 Jan 18 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Gerry 31 Jan 18 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 01 Feb 18 - 07:25 AM
Jeri 01 Feb 18 - 09:37 AM
Joe Offer 03 Feb 18 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Feb 18 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Feb 18 - 09:51 PM
meself 03 Feb 18 - 10:58 PM
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Subject: Into the air
From: GUEST,RonU
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 11:59 AM

I know this is foolish but, the first line of a silly song, probably from the early 50's keeps popping into my head. Was it actually a song or something someone made up locally?? 'Twas: "Into the air junior birdmen"


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 12:42 PM

I don't know but if you keep letting it run in your head you may get the next line and the next.

Was it a Korean War recruitment song?


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 12:45 PM

Veteran Mudcatters seem to know how to finda song in the DigiTrad and make a blue clicky link to it, but I don't so I copied and pasted it for you.

Welcome to Mudcat!

INTO THE AIR, JUNIOR BIRDMEN

Into the air, junior birdmen Into the air, upside down; Into the air, junior birdmen Keep your nose up in the brown; And when you see all those birdmen With their shiny wings of tin Then you will know the junior birdmen Have sent their boxtops in!

@parody @airplane @soldier filename[ INTOAIR2 RG


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 12:53 PM

I can't remember the rest of the words but the campfire songsters may remember it, we did it in the Scouts with some actions, including making a pair of aviator goggles with our fingers. (Didn't we know how to have a good time before gameboys and tv?!).The boy who came to school in a real or pseudo leather flying helmet in those years after WW2 was the object of much envy! We all wanted to be "Biggles" or "Braddock"
RtS


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Subject: ADD Version: Junior Birdmen
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 01:05 PM

Our version (upstate NY) was:

[Up] into the air, junior birdmen
[up] into the air upside down
[up] into the air, junior birdmen
with your noses to the ground.

For when you hear the junior birdmen
have got their wings of tin
then you will know the junior birdmen
have sent their boxtops in.

For it takes:
five boxtops,
four bottle-bottoms,
three wrappers,
two labels,
and one thin dime.

T.


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: GUEST,RonU
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 01:05 PM

Praise and Roger, Righto - it seems clearer now that you mention Boy Scouts. One of my scouting friends during the 40's/50's was the one that always sang it out- usually at inappropriate moments, which made it even funnier. BTW, did you find it in the database - I thought I had made an adequate search. I've only been lurking on the Mudcat for the past year or so. This response makes me want to get back in, again.

Very quick comeback -- thanks.

RonU


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM

Hi, RonU, hope you do keep coming back, always nice to see a new *face*.

The song is in the DT. If you go up and do an alphabetical search, by clicking on the letter "i", you will find it here.

All the best,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: GUEST,dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 08:15 PM

What's less widely known than the song is that it's a parody. Try a search for INTOAIR* and see 'em both. I suspect that this song came out of the period between Worled War I and II.


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: GUEST,RonU
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 11:34 PM

Thanks Dick, Seems like I remember the "US Air Force" song from those old WWII period movies. RonUp


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Subject: RE: Into the air
From: Troll
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM

Okiemockbird's version is the one I remeber with an additional cheer at the end:

Birdmen! Birdmen! Rah! Rah! Rah! Varooom!

troll


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Subject: ADD Version: Into the Air/Spirit of the Air Corps
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM

I found a version of the original "Into the Air" that expands on what we have in the Digital Tradition. MMario sent me an e-mail and said he thinks the tune is the Air Force Hymn (Into the Wild Blue Yonder), but I can't agree with that. It just doesn't scan - does it?
The Online Digital Tradition has a link to a tune, but it doesn't work.
Can anybody find the tune and e-mail it to me?
-Joe Offer-


Spirit of the Air Corps

Into the air, Army Air Corps,
Give 'er the gun, Pilots true,
Into the air, Army Air Corps,
Hold your nose up in the blue.
And when you hear our engines singing,
And our steel props start to whine,
You can bet the Army Air Corps
Is along the firing line.

We have our hands on the throttles
As we all wait for the nod,
And we will meet them half way, men,
We will drive them to the sod.
And then when our last flight is over,
And we meet our Flying Boss,
You can bet the air is clear, men,
From Orion to the Cross.


Source: http://www.401bg.com/forum/show_msg.asp?ID=146&Page=9

For comparison, here's the version in the Digital Tradition: (click)

INTO THE AIR

Into the air, U.S. Air Force*
Into the air, pilots true
Into the air, U.S. Air Force
Keep your nose up in the blue;
And when you hear the engines roaring
And the steel props start to whine
Then you can bet the U. S. Air Force
ls on lhe fighting line!

*originally Army Air Corps (until 1942 or 1943, I think) RG

Note: this is the seldom-encountered original. For better-known
paroTUNE FILE: INTOAIR2
CLICK TO PLAY

@war @airplane
filename[ INTOAIR
RG



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.


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Subject: ZDTStudy: Into the Air, Junior Birdmen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 03:50 PM

And here's the DT version of "Junior Birdmen."

-Joe Offer-

INTO THE AIR, JUNIOR BIRDMEN

Into the air, junior birdmen
Into the air, upside down;
Into the air, junior birdmen
Keep your nose up in the brown;
And when you see all those birdmen
With their shiny wings of tin
Then you will know the junior birdmen
Have sent their boxtops in!

@parody @airplane @soldier
filename[ INTOAIR2
RG


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 05:03 PM

As a boy, I came into possession of a military songbook and used to sing all the songs. One of them went sorta like:

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Sailing high into the sun,
Down they go, spouting a flame from under,
Down with one helluva roar,
We live in fame or go down in flame,
Nothing can stop the Army Air Corp.


The “Junior Birdmen” parody was set to the same tune as this song and, I believe, originally was from a ninteen fifties movie in which fun loving guys from one branch of the service were poking fun at the guys from another branch.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: Alice
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 06:24 PM

I think it was in the Audie Murphy movie, To Hell And Back.


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: Mudlark
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 10:54 PM

Thanks for all this good info. I always wondered where that came from. I remember just the first line was used a lot, to indicate someone doing something dorky or off the wall. And the gesture of hand goggles that invariably went with it was always the same...make circles w/thumb and first finger, then put them to eyes with hands upside down, so rest of fingers face in and point downward.


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: Alice
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 11:12 PM

I did more 'net searching on this and one version I found said "into the air feathers down". www.dogpile.com returns results from many search engines.


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Subject: ADD Version: Junior Birdmen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 02:50 PM

Ah, finally I found somebody else who sings the lyrics the way I sing 'em. Also, this site (click) seems to indicate that in 1935, the Junior Birdmen of America was an official program of the United States Bureau of Air Commerce.
Note the name of the tune - takes us one step closer to finding it. Click for the original "Army Team". "Junior Bridmen" is a simplified version of the chorus of this West Point fight song.
Click here for a great choral recording of "Army Team."
-Joe Offer-


Junior Birdmen
[Tune: On Brave Old Army Team]

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen; up in the air, upside down,
Up in the air, Junior Birdmen; with your noses to the ground.
And when you hear the grand announcement: that your wings are made of tin.
Well, then you know, Junior Birdmen, it's time to send your box tops in.

For it takes: 5 box tops, 4 bottle bottoms, 3 coupons, 2 wrappers, and one thin dime!

Actions:
Make a face mask each time you sing the words, "Junior Birdmen" by lacing your fingers. Then, with thumbs under the chin, twist your hands outwards so that you make goggles for the eyes.
On "Upside down,"perform a jet plane swoop outstretched arms.
On "Ground," bring the swooping arms as near to the ground as possible.


Source: http://home.twcny.rr.com/uncleted/onondaga/program/songs.pdf


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Subject: ADD: On, Brave Old Army Team
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 03:47 PM

On, Brave Old Army Team

Words and Music by: Philip Egner

The Army team's the pride and dream
Of every heart in gray.
The Army line you'll ever find
A terror in the fray.
And when the team is fighting
For the Black and Gray and Gold,
We're always near with song and cheer
And this is the tale we're told: *
The Army team

    (Band or whistle accompaniment)
Rah! Rah! Rah! Boom!
    Chorus:
    On, brave old Army team!
    On to the fray.
    Fight on to victory
    For that's the fearless Army way.
(Whistle chorus)
(Repeat chorus)


* And this is the thing we're told: (from the 1921 edition of West Point Songs and the 1910 Howitzer)
* To "sound off" strong and bold: (from the 1935 edition of West Point Songs)

From the liner notes of the West Point Music record album (courtesy Lew Higinbotham '62):
Drawing inspiration from valorous cadet football teams, Lieutenant Egner wrote On Brave Old Army Team in 1910. Legend tells us that he conceived the tune while walking home one day and jotted the notes on his stiffly starched cuff, lest he forget them. Since then, this has become the singing trademark of athletics at West Point and at U.S. Army installations throughout the world.


Source:http://www.west-point.org/users/usma1981/38405/west_point/songs/armyteam.htm


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:00 PM

What are all the words to the song posted by Mark Clark? At odd times, lines still come into my head, unheralded and unwanted. A Google search brought them up. here they are for Mark Clark and all grey-haired wonders.

OFF WE GO, INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder
Climbing high, into the sun.
Here they come, zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, giv'er the gun!
(background echo- the gun! the gun! the gun!)
Down we dive, spouting our flames from under,
Off with one hell-uv-a-roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame,
Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps!

Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high, into the blue.
Hands of mem blasted the world asunder,
How they live(d), God only knew!
Souls of men, dreaming of skies to conquer,
Gave us wings, ever to soar.
With scouts before, and bombers galore,
Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps!

Here's a toast- to the host- of those who love the vastness of the sky.
To a friend- we send- the message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold!
Off we go, into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true!

If you live to be a gray-haired wonder,
Keep your nose out of the blue!
Flying men guarding our nation's borders,
We'll be there! Followed by more!
In echelon, we carry on!
Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps!

I have changed the version given in the website to read "Army Air Corps," which rhymes, and was the original, from the now politically correct "US Air Force." The website has a Freudian slip in the last verse- "Flying men guarding our nation's boarders."
Off We Go

Don't know the history, dates or original composer (culprit). I will try to fill this in if someone doesn't find it before I get around to it.


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:07 PM

Website: http://www.lilesnet.com/patriotic/music/off_we_go.htm
Try again: Off We Go


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:14 PM

Written by Capt. Robert Crawford, 1939. Can't get the clickie to work.


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 08:06 PM

OK, so here's the first part of the tune for "Junior Birdmen." I have posted the tune at Mudcat MIDIs.
-Joe Offer-

Click to play


ABC format:

X:1
T:Junior Birdmen
M:2/2
Q:1/4=120
K:G
D13/2EF/2|G4D2E2|B,2B,4D/2EF/2|G4E2G2|F6D/2EF/2|
G4D2E2|B,2B,4B,C|D2B,2A,2A,2|G,11/2||


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: GUEST,Vanilla Tooth
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 01:34 PM

Joe Offer, your midi is exactly how I remember it. We sang it at Camp Nokomis in Mahopac, NY, in the 1940-50's. Great thread everyone--I thought it was only me!


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Subject: RE: Into the Air
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 11:09 PM

I must have been half-asleep when I wrote my post of 8 Feb 2000. The second stanza, as we sang it in Upstate New York in the mid-1970s, was

For when you hear the grand announcement
that your wings are made of tin
then you will know the junior birdmen
have sent their boxtops in.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 09:50 PM

We did the motions the same, as I remember, but our (camp) version went thus:

Up in the air Junior Birdmen,
Up in the air, upside down (yeeown!)
Up in the air, Junior Birdmen,
And keep your noses off the G-R-O-U-N-D ground.

When you hear the mailman's whistle,
And you see their wings of tin (eeyown!)
Then you will know the Junior Birdmen
Have sent their box tops in, tra la,
Have sent their box tops in, tra la,
Have
sent
    their
       box
          tops
             in!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 09:58 PM

Some Army people I met liked to sing this to Air Force people. They called us 'zoomies' too. Jealous, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 10:35 PM

The Army Air Force was so called until 1947, when the U.S. Air Force as a separate service was established.

The song beginning "Off we go" is distinct from the one beginning "Into the air", both in words and in music.

Incidentally, from my childhood during W.W. II, I remembered the third line of the former as "Up we go, ready to mete out thunder". Later in life, I was amused by the sudden change in register between "mete out" & "attaboy". But recently I looked up the matter on Google & concluded that "mete out" must have been my imagination.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 10:45 PM

To me, an interesting detail is that when the Army Air Corps became the Army Air force, and then later The U.S. Air Force, nobody bothered to fix the now-not-rhyming last line to each verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Marymac90
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 01:07 AM

I'm glad posters corrected the date of coversion from Air
Corps to Air Force, from 1943 to 1947. My dad was in the
Army Air Corps during World War II, so I know 1943 couldn't
have marked the end of the Corps.

I knew the Birdmen song as starting "Up in the air...". I
also knew it with the chant or cheer at the end about
boxtops, bottle caps, etc. At the very end, we would go
"And one - thin - di-i-ime, TEN CENTS!" The last two words
were yelled, not sung.


I had another thought related to the actual Air Force song, transcribed above. When I was a kid in the 50's, I had=
recordings of all the service songs, probably on 78's. It
was the Cold War, and a time of much anxiety about possible
atomic warfare. We'd have air raid drills at school where
we'd get under our desks, like we were supposed to do if
there actually was an atomic attack. There were propaganda
films that taught us to "Duck - and Cover" so we'd be safe
from atomic attack!!! Anyway, my kid's brain interpreted
what we saw transcribed above as "At-em, boys" into "Atom
Boys".

May there always be blue skies...

Marymac


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Peg W.
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 11:31 AM

The official song of the U.S. Army Air Corps was written By Robert MacArthur Crawford in 1939, winning a contest to compose an official song. He was a pilot himself. This is the song known as "Off we go into the wild blue yonder." "Into the air junior birdmen" is set to the West Point fight song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 05:38 PM

Can anyone who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area during the 1950's recall whether the former DJ and announcer Red Blanchard ever used this as a part of his broadcasts? It sounds very familiar. Coincidentally, Red is still alive and kicking and living north of me in Escondido, CA.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Peg W.
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 06:10 PM

I should have said in my previous post that the West Point song was "On brave old Army team...." I was seven when WWII broke out and my friends and I learned the words to all the military songs. My favorite was "The Marine Hymn" which may have been an omen - I ended up marrying a Navy corpsman who was in the the Fleet Marine Force, attached to the 3rd Marine Division in the Battle of Iwo Jima. When we sing the hymn at various Marine Corps League functions I never need the "cheat sheet." I still remember all three stanzas and it still brings tears to my eyes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,GUEST, LeslieP
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 03:17 PM

THis is the version I recall:

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen,
Up in the air and upside dow-ow-own
Up in the air, Junior Birdmen,
Keep your noses to the ground.

And when you hear the grand announcement
That they've won their wings of ti-i-in,
THen you know the Junior Birdmen
Have sent all their boxtops in.

It takes 5 boxtops,
4 bottom-bottoms
3 wrappers,
2 labels,
And one, just one, thin di-i-ime!

I learned it in the 50's in Southcentral PA.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,GH from the Midwest 50's
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 08:19 AM

I was born in 1957, in Peoria, Illinois. One of my earliest childhood memories is my mother singing this version of the song:

_____

Into the air, junior birdman
Into the air, upside down
Into the air, junior birdman
But keep your eyes upon the ground.

And when you see junior birdmen
Flying high, flapping their wings
Then you will know the junior birdmen
Have sent their boxtops in.
______

Many of the other editions posted earlier are richer and more sensical in both story and rhyme, but I think this short simple version also has its charm, especially for youngsters. Indisputably a catchy tune! And, as others have remarked, nice to learn it is widely known and remembered.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,deb sweeney
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 10:10 AM

Wow, I love the internet. I learned this at Silver Bay camp in upstate NY in the 1970w from a delightful old man named George Manos.

Up in the air, junior birdmen
Up in the air, upside down
Up in the air junior birdmen
And keep your noses off the grond

Oh when you hear the doorbell ringing (ring!)
And you receive your wings of tin (flap flap)
Then you will know the junior birdmen
Have sent their box tops in

It takes
5 box tops
4 bottle caps
3 labels
2 wrappers and
one thin dime!

Don't be a glutton get your Captain Marvel button!
Whoosh!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 09:33 AM

My father served in the US Army in World War II. These are the lyrics of the song he taught us, which he said that Army guys sang to poke fun at Air Corps / Air Force guys:

Up in the air, junior bird men
Up in the air, upside down!
Up in the air, junior bird men
Keep your eyes upon the ground, upon the ground!

And when you hear the doorbell ringing,
And you get your wings of tin,
You can bet those junior bird men
Have sent their boxtops in!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 12:23 AM

That was a standing feud between the regular infantry and the Army Air Corps during WWII. The regular infantry used to mock the Air Corps guys in their nice clean uniforms and the way they would go to the clubs and brag about how hard they were fighting in the war. I would say that it was largely earned since a great majority of the men of the Army Air Corps never saw the war at ground level. They might as well had a 9 to 5 job.....go to the office, drop a few bombs, fly back home. The few times that I have ever heard of aircrews seeing what their day's work did on ground level, were really disturbed by it. They never took for granted what they were doing or ever made light of what the guys on the ground went through.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:17 AM

Don?t be s glutton get your captain marvel button!

Is this referring to captain America?


Captain Marvel (click) (from Joe Offer, Mudcat Music Editor)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:32 PM

Until seeing this discussion, the only time I had ever come across "Into the Air, Junior Birdmen" was in Tom Lehrer's spoken introduction to his song, It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier:

I have only comparatively recently emerged from the United States Army so
that I'm now, of course, in the radioactive reserve. And, the usual
jokes about the Army aside, one of the many fine things one has to admit, is
the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its
logical conclusion, in the sense that not only do they prohibit
discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color but also on the
grounds of ability. Be that as it may, some of you may recall the publicity
a few years ago attendant upon the Army's search for an
official Army song to be
the counterpart of the Navy's "Anchors Aweigh" and the Air Forces "Up In
The Air, Junior Birdman" and so on. I was in basic training at the time
and I recall our platoon sergeant, who was an unfrocked Marine.
(Actually the change of service had come as particular blow to him because it
meant that he had to memorize a new serial number which took up most of his
time.) Anyway, I recall this sergeant's informing me and my roommates
of this rather deplorable fact that the Army didn't have any official
... excuse me... didn't have no official song and suggested that we work
on this in our copious free time. Well, I submitted the following song which
is called "It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier" which, I think,
demonstrates the proper spirit, you'll agree. However, the fact that it
did not win the contest I can ascribe only to blatant favoritism on part of
the judges.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 07:25 AM

The "official" non-parody version.

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen
(Junior Birdmen of America Song, Traditional)

Up in the air, Junior Birdman
Flying so high off the ground
is it a bird, plane or Superman,

(shout) No!

(sing) It's Junior Birdman upside down.
And when you hear the doorbell ring.
When you see that badge of tin.
Then you will know that Junior Birdman
has turned his box tops in.


The "box tops" were from the officially "approved" airplane, and later rocket, modeling kits.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:37 AM

Here's the song on YouTube
Here's a Wiki about it

I entered the Air Force long enough ago for people to hit me with this song and the accompanying gesture. Mostly it was Army grunts, who preceded their performance with "Hey, zoomie!" The gesture is good for limbering up the hands.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 04:10 AM

Jeri's Wikipedia link says The Junior Birdmen of America was a national organization for boys and girls interested in aviation and model plane building, founded (ca. 1934) and promoted by the Hearst newspaper chain, with the cooperation of the U.S. Bureau of Air Commerce.

I hadn't known of the Hearst connection. So, this was all a promo for Hearst's newspapers?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 09:42 PM

Don't be a modock Joe. Publishers gonna publish.

Hearst caught his first ride at the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet he co-sponsored, first in America.

Hooked he was. After that Hearst papers ran regular aviation columns, prizes and promotions like the U.S. Transcontinental and the Graf LZ-127's Weltrundfahrt.

One can never know with such things but think it almost certain he was grandfathered into Ye Anciente and Secret Order of the Quiet Birdmen.


More birdmania: Prof. Charles Colby (of Yellow Bird &c.) appears in one of those wiki LA Meet images and the modock is a relative of the oozlum, or so the story goes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 09:51 PM

RE: The AAC, AAF &c history and names.

The U.S. military air forces began as a flying circus, well, ballooning circus anywho. It all started when an Illinois Central brakeman named Thomas Scott Baldwin decided to turn circus stuntman.

He was the first to descend from a balloon by parachute and wound up managing the U.S. Army's balloon and dirigible programs. Baldwin ordered a custom engine for one early prototype from Glenn H. Curtiss. Within a month Curtiss was all in.

In 1910, Chutes Park, Los Angeles, Charles Colby's & Baldwin's home aerodrome founded the first lighter-than-air National Guard unit. Colby was their test pilot.

In 1911, Curtiss founded the first fixed wing Air National Guard unit in San Francisco.

Billy Mitchell was a T.S. Baldwin student. Henry "Hap" Arnold & Carl "Tooey" Spaatz also came up through the U.S. Signal Corps' Aviation Section, to mention a few.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Into the Air (Junior Birdmen)
From: meself
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 10:58 PM

I don't see this above, though I might have missed it: When I was a kid at summer camp in Ontario, we sang the 'five boxtops, four bottle-bottoms' bit, and after 'one thin di-i-ime!' would call out in unison, "Oh my goodness, oh my soul - I'm a member of the Bird Patrol! Caw, caw, caw!"

I tell you this not by way of boast, but for historical accuracy.


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