Jodies are the songs sung in cadence when groups of soldiers are running or marching together. They were long a tradition in the military, but became famous during and after World War II when millions experienced them and movies such as Battleground
put them in front of the public for the first time.
World War II GIs sing while undergoing training at Fort Meade, MD.
Today in WW II: 19 Mar 1941 99th Pursuit Squadron activated at Chanute Field in Rantoul, IL, the unit that became the Tuskegee Airmen. More↓
Jodies today are no less important than in World War II. Jodies can be heard any day at any military base during road march, training run or other PT. The main difference is that jodies have changed to meet cultural norms. In World War II many of the lyrics were off-color or worse. They were for men working among men in tough circumstances. Today's circumstances are no less tough, but men and women mix in the military and racial, sexual, or ethnic "humor" is off-limits. Lyrics have been cleaned up to suit the modern standards.
Abbreviated sample, from Battleground
... As Sgt. Kinnie pulls what's left of the platoon together and marches them off:
You had a good home when you left. You're Right!
Jodie was there when you left. You're Right! ...
Now she's somebody else's wife,
and you'll be march'n for the rest of your life!
Sound off: 1-2
Sound off: 3-4
Cadence count: 1-2-3-4, 1-2..3-4.
PT run, 1st Battalion 295th Infantry Regiment of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard.
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