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Friday, March 23, 2012

Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone - Why Military Cadences Are Known As Jodies

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about the history of military cadences and how those chants came to be called "Jodies". This post also provides examples of songs, rhymes, and chants that the same tune and/or similar texts as certain military cadences.

WHY MILITARY CADENCES ARE KNOWN AS "JODIES"
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_cadence [Hereafter given as Wiki/Military Cadences]
"In the armed services, a military cadence or cadence call is a traditional call-and-response work song sung by military personnel while running or marching. In the United States, these cadences are sometimes called jody calls or jodies, after Jody, a recurring character who figures in some traditional cadences."

From http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/who-is-jody the character
"Jodie’s roots [are] in military and prison culture that evolved after 1939...

The songs get the name jody call or jody (also, jodie) from a recurring character, a civilian named "Jody" whose luxurious lifestyle is contrasted with military deprivations in a number of traditional calls. Jody is the person who stays at home, drives the soldier's car, and gets the soldier's sweetheart while the soldier is in recruit training or in country...Obscene, scatological, and offensively violent jody calls exist; their official use in formal training is now discouraged by the U.S. military, with an emphasis on "clean" versions of traditional jodies. The flexibility of jodies is nearly unlimited, and old jodies have always been retired or rewritten as times and wars change. Jody calls are a subset of work songs, and share in their rhythmic properties. Most jody calls have a call and response structure; one soldier initiates a line, and the remaining soldiers complete it...

So [radio station WFMU] pegs the origins of Jody to that first Blues tune [collected in 1939 in North Carolina by field collectors working with Alan Lomax] , but more probably, it is much older, like other legendary characters in the African American Oral tradition, Jody is a close cousin to Stagger Lee, The Signifying Monkey, Toledo Slim, Pisspot Pete, and many others. Characters who delivered parables, boasts, and toasts in language that was designed to be impenetrable to white ears and spoken in something other than white man's English. Because Black folks were highly discouraged from reading, the ability to tell a good story and a facility with the language was paramount. In my mind the tradition is carried on today by the best practitioners of hip hop."

-snip-

The author of the above mentioned nodepression post reminded his readers to be aware that the language in a number of songs about Jody is very “salty” (contains profanity and sexually explicit references).

"JODY" IN VARIOUS CHANTS, SONGS, AND RHYMES
Versions of the military chant "Sound Off" may include verses that mention "Jody". Here's an example from Wiki/Military Cadences:

You had a good home but you left / You're right
You had a good home but you left / You're right
Jody was there when you left / You're right
Your baby was there when you left / You're right
Sound off! / 1,2
Sound off! / 3,4
Cadence count! / 1,2,3,4,1,2...3,4!

Your baby was lonely, as lonely could be /
Til Jody provided the company
Ain't it great to have a pal /
Who works so hard just to keep up morale
Sound off! / 1,2
Sound off! / 3,4
Cadence count! / 1,2,3,4,1,2...3,4!

There ain't no use in going back /Jody's livin' it up in the shack / Jody's got somethin' you ain't got /
It's been so long I almost forgot / Sound off! /
1,2 / Sound off! / 3,4/ Cadence count!/ 1,2,3,4,1,2...3,4!

-snip-

The military cadence "Aint No Use In Looking Down" is a clean example of a military cadence which includes a reference to Jody. There are very clear similarities between that cadence and the 1972 R&B song "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone, but I'm not sure which composition came first.

US Army Cadence Aint No Use In Looking Down



usarmy, Uploaded on Aug 5, 2011

AIN'T NO USE IN LOOKIN DOWN
Chorus:
Leader-Woh oh oh oh
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Woh oh ohohohoh
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Wohoh oh oh
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Woh oh ohohohoh

Leader Ain’t no use in lookin down
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Ain’t no discharge on the ground
Others-(repeat above)

(Repeat entire verse 1x)
(Repeat chorus 2x)

Leader-Ain’t no use in lookin back
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Jodie’s got your cadillac
Others-(repeat above)

(Repeat entire verse 1x)
(Repeat chorus 2x)

Leader-I used to date a beauty queen
Others-Now I love my M16
Leader-I used to date a beauty queen
Others-Now I love my M16

(Repeat entire verse 1x)
(Repeat chorus 2x)

Leader- I used to drive a chevolet
Others-Now I’m humpin all the way
Leader- I used to drive a chevolet
Others-Now I’m humpin all the way

(Repeat entire verse 1x)

Leader- Woh ohohoh
Others-(repeat above)
Lead-Woh ohohohohoh
Others- (repeat above)
Leader- Woh ohohoh
Others-(repeat above)
Lead-Woh ohohohohoh
Others- (repeat above)

Leader-Misery misery
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Army life is killin me.
Others-(repeat above)

Leader-Misery oh misery
Others-(repeat above)
Leader-Army life is killin me.
Others-(repeat above)
-UnMotivated; July 06, 2008 (transcribed by Azizi Powell)
-snip-
This same tune and tempo is sung by men associated with the historically Black Greek lettered fraternity Omega Psi Phi, Inc. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/10/two-omega-psi-phi-fraternity-inc-songs.html

-snip-

The 1972 R&B song "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone" is based on the character "Joe The Grinder".

Johnnie Taylor - Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone (1972)



Uploaded by seezurefall on Oct 22, 2010

-snip-
The chorus of that song is "Aint no sense in going home / Jody's got your girl and gone."

Click http://www.lyrics007.com/Johnnie%20Taylor%20Lyrics/Jody's%20Got%20Your%20Girl%20And%20Gone%20Lyrics.html for the complete lyrics to that song.

-snip-
The handclap rhyme "Mama Mama Can't You See" has the same tune as "Jody Got Your Girl And Gone". However, the military cadence with the same title from which that handclap rhyme probably originates has a slightly different tune.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/mama-mama-cant-you-see-usmc-cadence.html for a post on "Mama Mama Can't You See".

It also can be noted that the Black Greek lettered fraternity chant "We Are The Men Of Q Psi Phi" has the same two line rhyming structure with the same "Whoa oh oh oh" refrain as "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone" and "Ain't No Use Looking Down". Furthermore, "We Are The Men Of Q Psi Phi" has similar lines as those compositions, for instance "kiss my girl and made her cry/cause I was pledgin Q Psi Phi". However, that chant doesn't use that same tune. Click http://cocojams.com/content/fraternity-and-sorority-chants for text examples of that chant.

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Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/08/three-songs-about-joe-grinder.html for a pancocojams' post about Joe The Grinder.

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My thanks to all those vocalists, musicians, and producers of this post's featured videos. My thanks also to these videos' uploaders.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

4 comments:

  1. Good work! I always like to leave comments whenever I see something unusual or impressive. I think we must appreciate those who do something especial. Keep it up, thanks
    David Mayer
    solglasögon

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome and thank you for your comment, Edward ingrray!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's a comment that was posted about a post in my cocojams website blog about this military cadence by David Whiteis:

    "Greetings --

    I came across your website by accident -- it's wonderful, and when I have a LOT of time, I'll be exploring it much more deeply!

    One or two thoughts on "Jody"/"Joe the Grinder" -- "Jody," of course, has come up in a lot of blues and soul-blues songs since Johnnie Taylor's hit (there's even a "Ms. Jody" performing on the Southern circuit these days). Johnnie Taylor himself confirmed that he got the idea for his song from the military cadence, "Ain't no use in going home / Jody's got your girl and gone." He also said he recorded it knowing that Afrcan-American soldiers during the Vietnam era would be familiar with it, and would immediately identify with it. I've heard it suggested that "Jody," in this case, may actually have been a kind of shortand for "Job Deferment" -- Jody, in other words, was that lucky guy who didn't get drafted because his job was considered essential to national defense or the economy . . . or simply because he had a "bossman" who could pull strings and keep him out of the army. The reference to "Joe the Grinder" might have been implied, but it might not have been the literal translation of the name.

    No doubt the "Jody" cadence was used primarily by African-American drill sergeants for Black soldiers in the days of the segregated miitary. But If author Richard Yates is to be believed, the "Jody" cadence was known to some white soldiers as well. Yates' short story "Jody Rolled the Bones," set in the '50s during the Korean War era, is about a redneck drill sergeant who led his [white] troops in boot camp with various versions of that same "Jody" cadence.

    Probably the best-known blues song after Johnnie Taylor's to invoke "Jody" is the late Marvin Sease's "I'm Mr. Jody"m from 2006. But I also know of at least one song by a white singer where "Joe the Grinder" comes up-- it's Merle Haggard's "The Old Man From the Mountain" -- he admonishes his woman to "get rid of Joe the Grinder, you'd better be there alone / The old man from the mountain's comin' home" . . .

    Again, I really like the website . . ."

    David Whiteis

    Chicago
    May 14, 2012

    ****
    David Whiteis is the author of Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories and Southern Soul-Blues, both published by University of Illinois Press. (Southern Soul-Blues, by the way, has a full-length chapter profile of the singer Ms. Jody.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's my response to David Whiteis' email:

      Greetings, David!

      ... I appreciate learning about Richard Yates's short story "Jody Rolled the Bones" that included a reference to White soldiers chanting Jody cadences.

      I've read on other websites such as the Mudcat Folk & Blues forum that "Jodies" were known to some White soldiers as well as Black soldiers. One commenter on this particular Mudcat thread http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=2915#467279 whose name happened to be Jody
      gave an example of a "Jody got your girl and gone" cadence and wrote that it was "the only one I remember that had my name in it was from basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Tex in the winter of 1947-48"...

      I was a very active blogger on that forum & I know that blogger is White as are the other bloggers who are members of that forum who shared their rememberances of Jodies.

      Then again that blogger didn't say that he chanted that cadence. He said that he remembered that cadence and he also shared another example of a cadence that he remembered hearing Black soldiers chant. But ther bloggers on that discussion thread and on other Mudcat discussion threads also shared examples of various Jodies that they either heard or chanted. It would be interesting to know if Jodies are still being chanted in todays integrated armed services.

      Thanks also David for the information about Jody in Merle Haggard's "The Old Man From the Mountain".

      With regard to the idea that Jody might have stood for "Job Deferment", the earliest examples of stories that feature that character, the name "Joe The Grinder" was given as "Joe De Grinder", with "de" being a way of pronouncing and spelling "the". However, I agree that over time there may have been a characterization of Jody as "that lucky guy who didn't get drafted because his job was considered essential to national defense or the economy . . . or simply because he had a "bossman" who could pull strings and keep him out of the army." Therefore the meaning "Job Deferment" could have been grafted onto the name "Jody".

      Thanks again David, for your comments and your compliment about my cocojams website.

      Delete