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Lyr Add: We're in the Army Now (1917)

Jim Dixon 12 Nov 06 - 11:33 PM
Ferrara 13 Nov 06 - 12:33 AM
Lighter 13 Nov 06 - 07:55 AM
GUEST 13 Nov 06 - 08:54 AM
Lighter 13 Oct 18 - 07:25 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WE'RE IN THE ARMY NOW (1917)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 11:33 PM

From Indiana University Sheet Music Collections:

WE'RE IN THE ARMY NOW
"Sung by Every Soldier in the United States"
Words, Tell Taylor & Ole Olsen. Music, Isham Jones. 1917.

1. From the looks of things, we've got to join the army.
Uncle Sammy means to do just what he says.
It won't be long before we're in the trenches,
A-fighting for the dear old USA,
So when anything goes wrong,
We'll sing this little song:

CHORUS: We're in the army now.
We're not behind a plow.
We'll never get rich a-diggin' a ditch. *
We're in the army now.
We're in the army now.
Suppose you wonder how.
But don't you fear. You'll soon be here. *
We're in the army now.

2. Now you see the boys as they go marching by you,
In their uniforms and colors, they look grand.
To the tune of "Yankee Doodle he's a dandy,"
They're marching for the dear old Yankee land.
So when anything goes wrong,
We'll sing this little song: CHORUS

Extra Choruses:

[*Substitute these lines for the ones marked with asterisks above:]

2. We're glad we're here; that's why we cheer.
We'll fight for right with all our might.

3. The time has come to make things hum.
So come along and join our song.

4. A loyal heart can do his part
The world will know and we can show

5. The U-boat war has gone too far.
We'll do what's right. Of course we'll fight.

6. We'll eat pork and beans with appetites keen.
The grub is fair. Why should we care?

7. We'll do our share no matter where.
Our USA needs us today.

8. The time has come to make things hum.
We're going in to fight like sin.

9. We could sing all night. That wouldn't be right.
We're losin' our pipes for the Stars and Stripes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We're in the Army Now (1917)
From: Ferrara
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 12:33 AM

Yeah. My dad sang it in WWII. Only they sang, "You'll never get rich, you S- of a B- You're in the army now."

In civilian life Dad was an insurance agent. During basic training the guys were told to sign up for Army-provided insurance. Dad read the terms of the policy and complained that it was no bargain, in fact the terms were much less favorable than civilian policies. The sergeant implied that they "had to" get the insurance if they knew what was good for them. Dad didn't sign. Later one of the guys said, "Oh, you better sign up for it. You'll get in trouble." Dad's answer: "I'm already in the Army. What worse trouble can I get into?"

Thanks for posting the full song here.

Rita F


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We're in the Army Now (1917)
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 07:55 AM

I've checked the sheet music and find that the tune of the chorus is quite different from the familiar one.

The first five lines of the chorus are the only part of the song that's well known (as "You're in the Army Now.") Both the "digging a ditch" and "son of a bitch" versions were sung by Americans in WWI.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We're in the Army Now (1917)
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 08:54 AM

Christ, didn't know Status Quo were that old!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We're in the Army Now (1917)
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 07:25 PM

"We're in the Army Now, words by T. Taylor and Ole Olsen, music by Isham Jones," was deposited for copyright in the Library of Congress on Aug. 27, 1917.

This is the song cited above. As I mentioned above,
the tune of the refrain is not exactly the familiar tune that accompanies the familiar words.

It looks as though Taylor, Olsen, and Jones wrote a new, longer song around a few words and a tune that were already in circulation.

According to "The Seventh Regiment Gazette" (August, 1916 ), p. 336:

"With phonograph and mouth organ in M. Company street and the whole 12th Regiment band in the street behind us, all trying to play 'You're in the Army Now' in various keys, we are convinced that Sherman spoke only of the heat."

The Taylor, Olsen, & Jones song begins, "From the looks of things, we've got to join the Army." But nobody had to join in *1916* before the U.S. was in the war.

So where did the universally known tune come from? Unlike the usual words, it doesn't sound very "folk-like."


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