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Monday, November 11, 2013

"Fired Up! Feels Good" Military Cadence (Examples & Comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases examples of the United States Marine Corps cadence "Fired Up! Feels Good" (also known as "Fired Up! Feeling Good").

Particular attention in this post is paid to the subject of the African American cultural influence on drill cadences in general, and the "Fired Up! Feeling Good" cadence in particular.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

WARNING: The examples of military cadences in this post are "clean" ("family friendly").

However, many other examples of military cadences & many comments about military cadences that are found in the website links given below (particularly in the Wikipedia page on cadences and in many YouTube viewer comment threads), as well as in many other websites/blogs about military cadences often contain profanity, explicit sexual references, excessive violence, and other content which isn't suitable for children.

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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MILITARY CADENCES
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_cadence
"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.

...Many cadences have a call and response structure of which one soldier initiates a line, and the remaining soldiers complete it... The cadence calls move to the beat and rhythm of the normal speed (quick time) march or running-in-formation (double time) march. This serves the purpose of keeping soldiers "dressed", moving in step as a unit and in formation, while maintaining the correct beat or cadence."
-snip-
For more information about & examples of military cadences, including information about the meaning of the character "Jody" click this link to a page of my cocojams website: http://cocojams.com/content/military-cadences-other-cadences

EDITOR'S COMMENT ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICAN INFLUENCES ON UNITED STATES MILITARY CADENCES:
This comment is reposted with minor word changes from http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=2915&messages=131 "Military Jodies?"

"Pardon me if this is too serious a comment for this thread. But I feel the need to get right down to the real nitty gritty...

With regard to the article whose link I provided*, that author wrote that cadence calls "takes lyrical fragments of social history and sets them to riffs and patterns hot-rodded from blues and rock & roll, and more distantly, the call-and-response of gospel and African music".

Given that the genres of blues, and rock & roll, and gospel, and African music" [as a broad brush generic category] all originate from Black folks [at least the type of gospel I believe the author is talking about] and given that Willie Duckworth [whose 1944 Sound Off chant is rightly considered the beginning of modern military cadence calls] is African American, and further given the fact that the other name for military cadence calls is "jodies" and the name "jodies" came from the African American literary character "Joe de organ grinder", given all this plus the call & response pattern and sexual braggadocio features of military cadence calls, it seems to me that it would be correct and proper to consider the genre of "cadence calls" as a part of African American cultural heritage. And if that goes too far, at the very least, it seems to me that it would be correct and proper to acknowledge that cadence calls are heavily influenced by African American cultural heritage.

It also seems to me that people think that they have to tip toe around the mention of race or be considered racist. One consequence of this is that recognition of the accomplishments of African Americans and other people of color is often hidden.

Previously, recognition of Black accomplishments were discounted, trivilized, hidden, or claimed by others because the powers that be were indeed racist. And that beat is still going on today a lot of times and in a lot of places...

For a number of reasons, I don't think it's a good thing to discount, trivilize, or hide Black accomplishments and the influences Black people have had on specific music genres and other parts of history and cultures.

For a number of reasons, I don't think it's a good thing that African American accomplishments & influences are claimed by others. I also don't think that it's a good thing that no acknowlegment of the racial background of folks is given at all since in this "White is the default race" world, many people will automatically think that White people were the creators of the primary influencers of whatever it is that folks are talking or reading about.

This is not to say that people of other races and cultures have had no part in the creation of blues, rock & roll, gospel, or military cadence calls. But, if truth were told, all of those genres have been and are now most heavily influenced by African American cultures and other Black cultures.

I just needed to say that.

You can take all of it or some of it or leave it all behind."
-Ms. Azizi Powell; June 24, 2007
*The link is no longer viable to an article on the military cadence "Airborne Ranger".
-snip-
Comments about the African American influence on the "Fired Up! Feeling Good" cadence in particular are posted below.

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FEATURED VIDEOS & LYRICS
(These videos are presented in chronological order with the videos with the oldest dates posted first.)

Example #1: U.S Marines ''Fired Up - Feel Good'' with footage



zoomscooper81 Uploaded on Jun 23, 2008

Tribute to the United States Marines. If you like, please subscribe.
-snip-
Like other military cadences, there are multiple versions of "Fired Up! Feeling Good". Here's a version of this cadence that was published on http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/archive/index.php/t-22848.html:

A-lo righta lay-eft, A-lo righta lay-eft.
A-Lefty righta lay-eft, A-Lefty righta lay-eft.
A-Lo right lay-eft, A-Lo right lay-eft.
A-Left right lay-eft, A-Left right lay-eft.
A-Lo righta lay-eft, A-Lo righta lay-eft.
I love to double time, I love to double time.

Feels good, Feels good.
Sounds good, Sounds good.
Fired up, Fired up.
Fired up, Fired up.
47, 47.
Fired up, Fired up.
Here we go, Here we go.
On the Road, On the Road.
47, 47.
Fired up, Fired up.
-winchman, 02-14-2007, 03:34 AM
-snip-
Commenters on that discussion thread provide several explanations for the number "47". One of those explanations is also given on http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101113162136AAaxcPV "Signifance of 27 in Marine Song Fired Up Feels Good"?"
" Many of those official USMC cadences were recorded during drill instructor school. The 27 is most likely a class number. There are no units in the USMC with a "27" in them"
-Future Jarheads, 2010
-snip-
The tune used for "Fired Up! Feels Good" is the same tune as the African American Old Time Music songs "Hush Little Baby" and "Hambone".

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Example #2: The Unit theme song - fired up feel good



erabaretaLazyPROD, Uploaded on Jun 21, 2010

music and pictures : The Unit
-snip
Here's information about "The Unit" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unit
" 'The Unit' is an American action-drama television series that focused on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life U.S. Army special operations unit commonly known as Delta Force. The series originally aired on CBS from March 7, 2006 to May 10, 2009"....
-snip-
Here's a comment from that video's comment thread:
Jomskylark - 2011
"... the cadence itself is a USMC cadence, but the characters depicted in the television series are soldiers (Army, specifically Delta Force). It's weird why the composer chose to use a USMC cadence for an Army series, but whatever..."

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Example #3: Fired up



northshore054, Published on May 7, 2012
-snip-
The following lyrics were found in this video's summary, but are reformatted for this post.

FIRED UP! FEELING GOOD
A-Where we gonna go when we get back, A-Where we gonna go when we get back
I take the shower and hit the rack, I take the shower and hit the rack
A-No way; No way.
Gotta Run, Gotta Run
PT; PT
A-Lots o' fun, Lots o' fun

A-lo righta lay-eft, A-lo righta lay-eft
A-Lefty righta lay-eft, A-Lefty righta lay-eft
A-Lo right lay-eft, A-lo righta lay-eft
A-Left right lay-eft, A-Lefty righta lay-eft
A-Lo righta lay-eft , A-lo righta lay-eft
I love to double time. I love to double time.

Feels good, Feels good
Sounds good, Sounds good
Fired up, Fired up
Fired up, Fired up
47, 47
Fired up, Fired up
Here we go, Here we go
On the Road, On the Road
Fired up, Fired up
47, 47
Fired up, Fired up

Hey bobba reeba, Hey bobba reeba
Hey bobba reeba, Hey bobba reeba
I wish old lady, I wish old lady
Uuuh-Uuuh, Uuuh-Uuuh
Feels Good, Feels Good
Hey bobba reeba, Hey bobba reeba
-snip-
[cadence continues with words already given]
-snip-

Note that this transcription explanation applies to the above lyrics:
From http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?10271-Cadence-time!!!/page7&p=221834#post221834
"Words in italics are the unit response to the DI's call.
The notation "A-" or "a-" denotes the chopped DI sound similar to "uh" making it more of a run-on to the following word, thus the reason for the hyphen.
-snip-
Among many African Americans, in informal usage, the word "a" is usually pronounced "ah"."
-snip-
"Hey bobba reeba" is from the Lionel Hampton's 1946 Jazz song "Hey Ba Ba Ree Ba". Click http://cocojams.com/content/hey-ba-ba-re-bop-videos-lyrics-precusor-songs-analysis for that post.

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Example #4: Fired Up! military cadence



armedfitnessusa, Published on Dec 24, 2012
Armed Fitness USA track "Fired Up," will get you fired up for your military workout.
-snip-
Transcription of "FIRED UP! FEELIN GOOD"*
[The group repeats each line, sometimes leaving off the beginning word such as "I" or "You" or "A".]

Fired up
Feelin good
Motivated
Dedicated
Well alright
Alright
Out of sight
I’m dynomite
Dynomite
Doin it right
Wanna jump
From a bird
All right
Everybody
Fired up
Everybody
Dedicated
Motivated
Everybody
Packin heat
Old man

Feelin good
Gonna ride
Doin this song
Lean and mean
A green machine
Airborne
I am
Lean and mean
Rough and tough
I know my stuff
I can run
All day
I can fight
All night
Let me be
Infantry
Airborne
Silver wings
Fired up
Fired up
All right
Everybody
Clap your hands
Everybody
Clap your hands
Everybody
Sound off
Everybody
Let them know
Who you are
All right
Dynamite
Everybody
Clap your hands
We gonna boogie
Boogie Woogie
Boogalu
Me and you
Airborne
All right
We’re gonna rock
Everybody
I gonna be
Airborne
I’m gonna be
Lean and mean
A green machine
I’m airborne
All the way
You got the feelings
In your legs
Pick them up
And put them down
You got the feelings
In your hands
You gonna clap
Airborne
You got the feeling
In your heart
Sound off
Everybody
We gonna rock
All right
Hey Hey
Every day
I’m motivated
I’m dedicated
I can run
I can jump
A Paratrooper
A superdooper
A Paratrooper
All right
Hey hey
Everybody
How ya feel
Feelin good
How ya feel
Feelin good
All right
[Group leads] How ya lookin
Lead: Lookin good
Group-Lookin good
Lead- Hollywood [returns to regular pattern]
All right
You’re dynomite
Hey hey
Everybody
Feelin good
I’m Fired up
I’m motivated
Dedicated

[ends with rhythmic hand clapping]
-snip-
*Transcription by Azizi Powell. Italics mean that I'm not sure about that transcription. Additions and corrections welcome.
-snip-
The African American influences in this example of "Fired Up! "Feelin Good" include
1. its call & response structure [Also note the alternative call & response structure in which the Group voice starts and the Lead responds to the Group.]

2. its use of African American Vernacular English pronunciation such as "feelin" instead of "feeling", "ya" instead of "you", and "gonna" instead of "going to".

3. its use of African American vernacular sayings such as "Fired up! [meaning "Be energized"; "Be excited"], "We’re gonna rock" ("We're going to do very well"), "Out of sight" (meaning "great", "superlative"), and "Dynomite!" ("very good", a saying that was popularized by the character of J.J. in the 1970s American sitcom "Good Times. That situation comedy featured an African American family living in a working class housing development.)

Notice the very close similarity between the exclamation "Fired up! Feels good" and the "Fired up. Ready To Go" saying that was used in the 2008 and [to a lesser extent] 2012 Presidental campaign of United States President Barack Obama.

4. its repeated use of certain rhyming lyrics such as
"All right/ Hey Hey/ Every day"

5. its inclusion of the African American dance/music references "boogie woogie", and the Affican American/Latino reference "Boogalu".

6. its inclusion of the "clap your hands" command and its ending with the rhythmic hand clapping segment.
-snip-
Furthermore, the African American cultural influence of this particular example of "Fired Up! Feelin Good" is suggested because some of the lines in this example appear to be improvisational. [All of its lyrics aren't fixed. Some of its lyrics were probably made up "on the spot".]

And because all of its lyrics aren't fixed, there' no fixed length of this cadences [or of most cadences]*. The cadence continues as long as the situation dictated.

*Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/13-weeks-of-misery-usmc-cadence-with.html for an example of a USMC cadence entitled "13 Weeks Of Misery" that appears to have little or no variants, but has a story line which appears to be recited in its entirety.

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Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube and those who I quoted in this post. And thanks to the dedicated and motivated members of the United States armed services.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

1 comment:

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