random thoughts on Jody

Maria Swora (mswo_ltd@UHURA.CC.ROCHESTER.EDU)
Sat, 17 Feb 1996 10:09:41 -0500

I am thoroughly enjoying the (now) multiple threads on dance and drill. I'd
like to offer some thoughts on the contents of Army cadence calls ("jodies")
for consideration.

>From what I understand, "Jody" is the name given to the guy that stays home
while the draftee is inducted and sent off to war; hence, the term "Jody"
for cadence calls. Jody takes advantage of the draftee's absence, getting
the girl and all that. One Jody I remember well goes:

Leader: Your mother was home when you left
Unit: You're right!
Leader: Your father was home when you left
Unit: You're right!
Leader: Jody was home when you left
Unit: You're right!

Many cadence calls are violent or sexual in context. There's one about
crushing a little yellow bird on a window sill (any vets remember this
one?). Another about napalm sticking to kids. Another one has the line
"Got me a Shi'ite in my sights" (I was in the service in the 1980s, when
Shi'ites were the bad guys). A double-time cadence that always troubled me
goes "I wanna rape, kill, pillage, and burn. I wanna rape kill pillage and

Other cadence calls are commentaries on military life:

Hey, little soldier
You better do your best
Before you find yourself
In the leanin' rest

"Leanin' rest" = push-up position. Push-ups are the favorite mode of
discipline for basic-trainees.

Although I have just about exhausted my memory and can't come up with any
examples, couldn't cadence calls or jodies provide rank and file soldiers
with opportunities for resistance?