Re: Jodies as resistance (long, with examples)

Mr. E (jackechs@EROLS.COM)
Sat, 17 Feb 1996 16:06:05 -0500

Oh yes ... familiar with all. Brings back memories of freezing my arse off
twice, for some reason only beknownst to the gawds I attend in the winter
months both times. I remember one:

I'm an airborne ranger
live a life of death and danger
if I die on the ole drop zone
box me up and send me home
if I die on the Russian front
bury me deep in a Russian c%$t

I've seen books and tapes that illustrate these very well.

At 12:33 PM 02/17/96 -0800, Judith M S Pine wrote:
>It seems to me that a lot of social commentary goes on in some Jodies.
>>From my own service (Army, 85-89), one that particularly comes to mind
>was a marching Jody that included the following:
>used to drive a Cadillac
>Now I pack it on my back
>used to drive a Chevrolet
>now I'm marching every day
>Mama, mama can't you see
>what the Army's done to me
>Used to wear my old blue jeans
>Now I'm wearing Army greens ...(memory fails here, but the "mama, mama
>refrain continues throughout)
>There was also a Jody with the refrain "Jody's got your girl and gone",
>referring to the stay behind enjoying all the things the soldier has
>lost. And another which comments on what you do have:
>They say that in the Army the pay is mighty fine
>they give you a hundred dollars, and take back 99
>oh lord I wanna go, but they won't let me go, oh lord I wanna go home
>They say that in the Army, the food is mighty fine
>a biscuit fell off the table and killed a friend of mine
>(alternatively "a chicken jumped off the table and started marking time")
>oh lord ....
> Sometimes, Jody is constructed as a bad influence, a civilian with whom
>the soldier still has contact. I have a rather vague recollection of a
>Jody in which the soldier confesses to having been down by the railroad
>tracks smoking dope or drinking whisky with Jody. Anyone out there
>remember that one?
> I'm familiar with the jodie about killing the little yellow bird, and a
>couple which are directed against/construct enemies. Some still in use
>about "commie Cong", despite being hopelessly out of date. The soldiers
>singing are fully aware of the dissonance between what they're singing
>and current reality, which in a lot of ways makes the continued
>popularity of these jodies scarier. Since I was doing most of this
>singing in a Combat Support unit, not an actual Combat Arms unit, the use
>of fight-and-kill sorts of jodies seems less about being able to do what
>you sing and more about being part of the overall organization. I think
>that most jodies are developed in Combat Arms units and then filter down
>to the CS and CSS units, where they are sometimes revised and adapted and
>sometimes simply sung as recieved.
>(For non-vets, the Army divides itself into three sorts of unit -- Combat
>Arms, which is the folks who actually fight; Combat Support, which
>are resources used to do this fighting, in my case that wonderful
>oxymoron Military Intelligence; and Combat Service Support, who
>provide the "beans and bullets", and other logistic support for the first
>two sorts of unit. Not a lot of space for "females" in the Combat Arms,
>which is also the place where promotion is fastest and goes farthest.)
> Finally, as I sit here in a damp and grey Seattle, I find myself
>thinking about a Jody with the line "In the early morning rain". Again,
>I can't produce the text, but the subject matter was the individual's
>experience of combat, and creates the sense of being trapped in the
>role of a killer. It seems to me that Jodies are a very complex
>discourse between soldiers and the service, and among soldiers themselves.
>They may have originated as a form of resistance, but they have been
>incorporated into daily life, and into standard training, and made
>acceptable. That does not mean that the subaltern have been silenced. I
>remember hearing about some "women's" versions of jodies, developed in
>response to some of the more explicit men's versions. Never got to sing them
>in a mixed unit, and I _know_ there are some men's versions I was never
>allowed to hear due to my gender. I imagine, though, that some of these
>jodies will gradually creep into general usage, and gradually shift the
>discourse to be more inclusive of women as soldiers, rather than just
> Gosh, I just wrote "just civilians", and I've been one for quite a bit
>now. Foucault know whereof he wrote, I have been shaped and molded.
>Still sing jodies to myself, especially when I run. From a functionalist
>perspective, jodies help me ignore the pain in my knees and shins, and I
>have a feeling a lot of soldiers use them this way.
>Forgive my rambling.
>Judy Pine
>Anth grad

thank you for your time and space ... respectfully submitted,

Anthony Dean Dauer

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly (1913-1973), Pogo

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