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Marching song/Cadence Count

07 Jan 99 - 05:14 PM (#52604)
Subject: Marching song
From: David

Does anyone know the title or lyrics to a marching song/chant that goes something like this:

Left, left, left my wife & 49 kids ......

Right, right, right from the country where I came from ..

Thanks, David


07 Jan 99 - 05:51 PM (#52616)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Barry Finn

Had a good job & I left
You're, I left
I left

There was a thread a good while back, I think titled Jodies (Click here), you might check the search forum for more info. Barry


07 Jan 99 - 05:53 PM (#52618)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Barry Finn

Sorry, that should've read "You're right, I left". Barry


07 Jan 99 - 07:15 PM (#52635)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Susan of DT

Left, left, left my wife with 48 kids
Right, right, right in th middle of the kitchen floor
left...


07 Jan 99 - 08:19 PM (#52655)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Allan S.

WE called it Jodie says Tho somewhere I heard it referred to as "Duckworth chant" I am sure that was something else

If I die on the Russian front bury me in a Russian Cunt
Sound off one two, Sound off three four
Break it on down one, two,three, four
one two {Pause} three four {Together}

1953-1955 Korea


08 Nov 06 - 07:31 AM (#1878966)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,britnee from charleston

hey i like these songs because i am in the airfoce jrotc and i like them a hole lot keep righting


08 Nov 06 - 10:23 PM (#1879828)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: NH Dave

Immortalia.com is back on the 'net, and has a lot of military, rugby, and hash hound songs.

Dave


17 Mar 07 - 06:14 PM (#1999745)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Military Kid

I learned the I left my wife thing at cadet camp last year in Vernon.

I remeber it as:

I left my wife with 42 kids in the pit of salvation with only on burger
I left
I left
I left
right Left


17 Mar 07 - 07:08 PM (#1999773)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Irish sergeant

Several varients are out there including what I always called the NAvy prayer although what it's real title is I have no clue. It goes:
Now I lay me down to sea,
To teach te Russians democracy.
If I should die before I berth,
Nuke the bastards off the Earth.

Hey, it was the Cold War Era. What can I say? Neil


23 Mar 07 - 09:13 AM (#2004916)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Felts

Its this one cadence I reall enjoy cant remember lyric:


Mama mama cant you see what the Marine Corps done to me

Please help cause I want to call that one at pt


25 Mar 07 - 01:07 PM (#2006743)
Subject: sing song
From: GUEST


29 Apr 07 - 09:47 PM (#2039109)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,SrgMj.Burdue

I use to have a girl in a mississippy town
Marine Corps life was getin her down
She said it was eather her or the corps
I dont go back to mississippy no more!


18 May 07 - 10:17 AM (#2055509)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST

Momma Momma cant you see what this place has done to me
Took away my baggy jeans
now i'm wearign army greens
momma momma cant you see what this place has done to me
put me in a barbaers chair
look momma i got no hair


30 Jul 07 - 10:55 AM (#2114745)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Meerkat58

The way I learned it was:

Left, Left,
I had a good home and I left,
Left my wife and 48 children
at home and in bed in starving condition
with nothing to eat but gingerbread.
Left, Left.

I'm not sure where the breaks go, and it may have been cleaned up.

I'm looking for Roman marching songs in Latin, real ones, not one's like Kipling's that were made up later.


30 Jul 07 - 11:05 AM (#2114753)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Meerkat58

Oh, I just remembered the next two lines:

Right, Right, you were Right to leave
when you Left. Left, Left.

The cadence isn't quite right though. I always had to do a little skip or hop in there to make it come out right.


30 Jul 07 - 03:50 PM (#2114973)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Little Robyn

We use something like this to get a little old man moving - he has alzheimer's and has almost forgotten how to walk but if we start marching and say the left, left, left right left, thing he takes off!

I had a good job but I left,
I had a good job but I left,
I had a good job for 35 bob
I kicked the manager in the gob and I
Left, I left, I left, right, left.

He forgets that he can't walk and he's away marching.
Robyn


17 Oct 07 - 03:41 PM (#2173130)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,scouse sgt

i left,
i left,
i had a good job an i left,
i left because i thought it was right,
an now im sorry i left


04 Dec 07 - 11:18 PM (#2208833)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Jason

Heres one called crackbaby:

sound cadence, delay cadence, count cadence count!
ahhh 1
can I hear you now
2
now your on your own
3
better do your best
4
before your in the leaning rest
1,2,3,4
you cant count to five
1,2,3,4
cause your brain is fried
1,2,3,4
its that crack, and dope, and all that stuff you smoke,
CRACK BABY!


21 Dec 07 - 06:52 PM (#2220574)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST

I had a good job and I left. I had a good job and I left. I had a good job, for 35 bob and I left, right, left, right.

Serves me jolly well right. Serves me jolly well right. I had a good job, for 35 bob, and I left.

(The second verse keeps you on your toes, but it eats up the distance.)


05 Feb 08 - 09:55 PM (#2254691)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST

momma and papa were lyin in bed
momma rolled over and this is wut she said
give me some of that devil dog,
that rough that tough that devil dog

USMC(marine corps)running cadence


06 Feb 08 - 12:00 AM (#2254760)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Melissa

I learned it as:

I left my wife and 49 children
at home in the kitchen in starving condition
without any gingerbread left, left, left-right-left


20 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM (#2267236)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Frances

The one I know goes:

Left, left,
Left a wife and twenty four kids, an old grey mare and a peanut stand.
Did I do right? Right.
Right from the country where I came from, hayfoot, strawfoot, skip da doodle, Left, left.

And then go back to the beginning.
You have to shuffle and skip on the hayfoot strawfoot skip da doodle bit - I always trip over my feet.
It really makes you walk fast!


02 Apr 08 - 01:02 PM (#2304606)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,gheust

left right left kill 1shot 1kill 2shot2kill 263 shot i see dead people


18 Apr 08 - 11:00 PM (#2319789)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,charley

In 14 hundred and 92
   a sailor from napoli
walked along the streets of spain tellin a helluva story
he said the world was roundo
he said it couldnt be flato
that eagotistical masterbatin son of a bitch columbo


06 May 08 - 07:50 PM (#2334456)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,kara from nyma

if you like your pork fried ricew, stomp with your left and drag your right.
** stomp drag stomp drag**
sound off"1,2"
sound off"3,4"
"1,2,3,4"


let me here the sound of your left,*stomp*
the sound of y our right*stomp*
the sound of em both*stomp stomp*
one more time*stomp stomp*
bring it all down *stomp stomp stomp stomp*
LEFT, YOUR LEFT, YOUR LEFT RIGHT, (SHOUT YOUR COMPANY) FOXTROT!!


27 May 08 - 12:24 AM (#2349810)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST

left left left right left i left my wife with 42 children with nothing but bread was i right right left right left


19 Jul 08 - 06:15 PM (#2393102)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Guest 101383

left left left i left my wife and 49 on bridge of starvasion without any gingerbread i thought it was right right right for my country wupsido thats how i learnd it on our trek


31 Oct 08 - 03:11 AM (#2480567)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,L

Left, Left
I left my wife with 48 children
at home and in bed in starving condition
with nothing to eat but gingerbread.

But I thought it was
Right, Right,
Right for my country
Wupsido


04 May 09 - 04:36 PM (#2624138)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,s8ntjohn

I LEFT my wife and 49 children without any gingerbread did I do
RIGHT


05 May 09 - 09:35 AM (#2624579)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Uncle_DaveO

GUEST, at 3:11 a.m., had it almost right, but here's the official version, as we chanted it almost seventy years ago:

Left!
Left!
Left my wife and forty-nine children
Home in the kitchen,
In starving condition
With nothing but gingerbread
Left!
Left!
(etc., etc., ad nauseam

Dave Oesterreich


05 May 09 - 10:13 AM (#2624605)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: Uncle_DaveO

I should explain my "official" comment.

This form (besides being the one I grew up with, of course) has the right scansion to maintain a proper marching cadence, which the "to eat", "pony", and "peanut" forms don't. And it circles around to the direction/remainder pun on "left".

In reviewing my post and thinking back to my childhood, I have to revise what I wrote just a little. It was "forty-five" children back then. Big deal!

Dave Oesterreich


20 May 09 - 01:34 PM (#2636730)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST

Left right left right
I left my wife
at home in the kitchen
with 46 children
in starving condition
and nothing but ginger and
left right left right......

who can give me the other 4 paragraphs ??
Inge


09 Jun 09 - 08:19 PM (#2652763)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,bailey

left, left left right left
i had a good home and i left
left right left
i left my wife and 48 children
at home in the kitchen
in starvin condition
without any gingerbread left left ....




does anyone else know tha rest????
i probaby wont come back to this website so if you know the rest please send it to baybayblondie13@comcast.net thanks!!


24 Aug 09 - 10:50 PM (#2707810)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Anne

LOVE this one. IN CAPS are words that the LEFT foot is on. All of the 'right' words are with the right foot.


I LEFT my wife with FORTY-EIGHT kids withOUT any gingerbread
LEFT -          - LEFT -      - I LEFT my wife with FORTY-EIGHT kids beCAUSE I thought that IT was right, right, right to LEAVE my wife with FORTY-EIGHT kids withOUT any gingerbread LEFT LEFT


18 Sep 09 - 10:00 PM (#2726422)
Subject: RE: Marching song
From: GUEST,Gueft

My recollection records:

"Left! Left! Left my wife and seventeen kids, an old grey mare, a peanut stand and I was right! Right! Right from the country, hay for straw, skip and a jingle and I was left! Left! Left my wife..." (as before, until we reached our uncle's farm a quarter of a mile away).


21 Sep 09 - 03:08 AM (#2727822)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Michael

I learned it from my Grandmother (b. Madison, Wisconsin, 1904):

Right,
Right,
Right by my country I had a good job,
By jiggers, I left!

Left,
Left,
Left my wife and 49 children,
At home in starvation,
Without any ginger!
Did I do right?
Right,
Right, ett

(Love you, Grandma, RIP)


08 Oct 09 - 01:48 AM (#2740970)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,STAR-MAN0

DOES ANYONE THIS SONG FROM MONARCH OF THE GLEN:

LEFT LEFT i HAD A GOOD JOB BUT I LEFT IT!


02 Nov 09 - 04:12 PM (#2758172)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

i know it different..

I left my wife with 48 children,
cause i was on a mission without persmission

thought i was right, right right in the middle of Wupsidoo
left, left, left my wife with 48 children.. etc etc..

cheers from holland


03 Dec 09 - 01:21 AM (#2779209)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

i left my wife and all our 9 children in starving conditions
did i do right, right
right for my country wrong to my family
will i be left left left right left
my pants too tight my balls unite they're swinging so hard from left to right
left left left right left


30 Mar 10 - 02:00 PM (#2875789)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

I left my wife and 49 children
left them to starve with nothing but gingerbread
did i do right?
right
I write(right) to my country
by golly i had a good job
but i left
left


19 Apr 10 - 08:09 PM (#2890251)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Navy

One more hour and we'll be through.
I won't have to look at you.
Ugly, ugly, ugly you.
One more hour and we'll be through
You won't have to look at me.
Pretty, pretty, pretty me.

Short marching one my Platoon leader liked to use, hope you find it as funny as we did


25 Apr 10 - 09:32 AM (#2893967)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

Left
left
left my wife with 48 kids
in a starving condition
without any gingerbread
did i do right?
no
right
no
right for my country?
whoops see do!


22 May 10 - 08:45 PM (#2912270)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

This is how I we always did it as school kids in 1953...

LEFT.
LEFT.
LEFT my wife and 48 kids on the brink of starvation without any gingerbread
Did I do RIGHT?
RIGHT.
RIGHT for my country and me by gosh that's why I LEFT.
LEFT.
LEFT my wife and 48 kids on the brink of starvation without any gingerbread ....
   repeat, repeat, repeat
It was easy and no need to skip. The feet just fall perfectly in place.


03 Jul 10 - 01:32 PM (#2939211)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Scott

A-Left, A-left, A-Left/Right/left, I left my wife and 48 children at home and in bed in starving condition, do you think I did Right. Right A-left/right/left


15 Aug 10 - 10:27 AM (#2965652)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

who's that man in the blue red blue??
not quite sure but his breath stinks too
drills shit hot but he and that hard
thanks because he's a coldstream guard.

who's that man in the maroon beret??
not quite sure but I think he's gay
fucks his boyfriend by the hour
thats because he's a fucking para.

who's that man in the green beret??
fights for his country and for his queen
that because he's a royal marine!!

British army royal marine commandos my cousin told me it a while back its all one thing but can be said as three small ones or added in to others.


09 Sep 10 - 07:45 PM (#2983531)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Woodsider

I had a good job but I left, left, left, left

I knew I was right, I knew I was right, I knew I was right, I knew I was right

I had a good job but I left      etc etc


05 Jan 11 - 02:25 PM (#3067887)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Jodie

We learned it this way at GS Camp Scott when we hiked to the lake to go canoeing:

left left left my wife and 49 kids to starve on gingerbread
did I do right right
right by my country I had a good job and I left left
left my wife...

etc.


26 Jan 11 - 08:05 PM (#3083056)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,guest

it is...

Left left, i left my wife and 49 kids the old grey mare and the penut stand. Do you think i did right? right?

Right from the country where i come from hayfenstrofbenshiftbygolly ( hay.fen.strof.ben.shift.by.golly)left left

over and over


08 Mar 11 - 04:00 PM (#3109874)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Annoymous

I'm trying to learn it since I forgot it... I remember this much: left left i left my wife and 49 children to die by starvation with nothing to eat but gingerbread did i do right right...


16 Mar 11 - 02:01 PM (#3115088)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,babe

Left, left, I left my wife with 49 kids on the verge of starvation without any ration. Think I did right? right? right?
But I can't remember the rest. Sorry.


22 Mar 11 - 06:20 PM (#3119330)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,cvp101

I left my wife & 46 kids without any ginger bread left, left, left, right, left.


10 May 11 - 11:03 AM (#3151436)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,sjrdgoode

Left, Left, Left my wife and 49 kids and an old gray mare and a peanut stand, but I did Right, Right, right from the state where I came from. Hay foot Straw foot, shift by jingo....(shift feet (skip) and repeat


01 Jun 11 - 01:50 AM (#3163531)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Bhel-Elryss

My dad taught it to me:

Left! Left! Left, right, left!
I left my wife and forty-two
Kids on the verge of starvation
With only one hamburger left!
Left! Left, right, left!

...He can't remember the rest though...


29 Jun 11 - 11:59 PM (#3178849)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,mark

left left left my whif with 48 kids at the end of salvation with out any gingerbread did i do right right for my god my country i had a good job but i left left left


17 Sep 11 - 01:37 PM (#3224737)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,flor

The "Jodie calls." Almost infinite variations, but originally attributed to Army Private Willie Duckworth, an African-American who in a column of fatigued infantrymen returning from a long march began to chant impromptu and the chant was picked up, as well the step of the men. It wasn't long before the Army and brother services also picked up on "Jodie."


30 Sep 11 - 05:38 AM (#3231538)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Cody Robinson

Left Left Left Right Left
I left with 17 children to die of starvation with only one johnny
Did I do right? Right
Right in the middle of the kitchen floor left foot right foot skip once more.


09 Nov 11 - 08:05 PM (#3253985)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

It's
Left, left, left right left, left, left right i left my country and forty-eight kids on the brink of starvation i thought it was RIGHT, right, right for my country and whoop de do!


20 Dec 11 - 04:58 PM (#3277359)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Paul V. Partington

I left my wife with 14 kids and on old grey mare in a peanut shell
Hay foot, straw foot,belly full of bean soup,
Johnny get your clothes on, left


20 Feb 12 - 06:49 PM (#3311389)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

hey


19 Mar 12 - 09:12 PM (#3325468)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

Left, left, I left my wife and 49 kids on the verge of starvation without any gingerbread. did I do right? right? right from the country by jingo! I had a good wife and I left, left, left my wife....


29 Apr 12 - 06:41 PM (#3344971)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,mark

I left my wife with 44 kids
with nothing to eat but gingerbread
left. left. left. left.

That's all. You've got it.

These cadences are all sad for a reason.


06 May 12 - 12:24 AM (#3347349)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,guest, Bon

Left, left, I had a good job and I left.
I left my wife and 15 kids, an old gray mare and a peanut stand.
Did I do right, right.
Right for my country, hayfoot, strawfoot, skip by jingle.
Left, left, I had a good job and I left.
etc.


19 Sep 12 - 01:58 AM (#3407162)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,jo

left, left, I left my wife and my 48 kids in starving condition without any gingerbread.
Did I do right, right, right for my country 'tis of thee, woopsidoo and tirolilee


18 Nov 12 - 12:23 AM (#3438038)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

I heard it...

I left, I left, I left my wife and twenty-four kids at home in bed with nothing to eat, I left, I left


18 Dec 12 - 02:04 AM (#3453627)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

Left. Left, I left my wife and 48 children
At home in the kitchen in starving condition
With nothing but gingerbread left,

Left, Left, etc.


24 Jan 13 - 08:13 PM (#3470996)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Carol

Left, left, left my wife and 48 kids
An old grey mare and a peanut farm
Did I do right? right?
Right from the country that I came from
Hey there, Hi there, shift-by-jingo...

(skip during the "shift-by-jingo" to get back on the left foot)

Left, left, left my wife and 48 kids....


10 Feb 13 - 02:06 AM (#3477756)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Scotty

learned from my grandmother (b. 1908, Virginia)

Left my wife and 46 children, Old gray mare by peanut stand
Went to town and there I found that I was right, right
Hayfoot, strawfoot, shift by jingle, left, left


09 Apr 13 - 04:36 PM (#3501095)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Military Brat

LEFT, LEFT, LEFT my wife and 49 kids on the verge of starvation without any gingerbread
Did I do RIGHT, RIGHT, write (RIGHT) to my country, write (RIGHT) to my country, tell them how sorry I am that I

LEFT, LEFT, LEFT my wife and 48 kids, etc. (repeat, counting down as you go)


28 Jun 13 - 09:55 PM (#3531531)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,jlf

Left. Left. Left my wife and forty-nine children in starving condition without any gingerbread.

Did I do right, right, right by jingo by jove, I had a good job but I left, left

(ad nauseum)


12 Mar 14 - 07:50 PM (#3609251)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

I left my wife with 46 children, the old gray mare and the peanut stand.
Did I do right, right?
Right from the country where I came from, Hakeem, jakem, shift my nakem.


13 Mar 14 - 10:31 AM (#3609390)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

Sin, sin, sin dex sin...


14 Mar 14 - 02:17 AM (#3609542)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: JohnInKansas

In recent (100 years?) usage in the US Army, the name used for this routine is "Sound Off."

About the only thing "standardized" is effectively a "chorus:"

Drill Master: SOUND OFF
Troop: ONE TWO
DM: SOUND OFF
Troop: THREE FOUR
DM: CADENCE COUNT
Troop: ONE TWO THREE FOUR,
Troop: ONE TWO (one-step pause) THREE-FOUR

(Some may omit the "skip-step" in the last line, and do the count in regular left-right-left-right sync.)

Although there are many common "verses" a majority of them are (claimed as) unique to a particular squad, company, or post (or sometimes a local barroom). Quite probably more than half of the better known ones are blatantly OBSCENE, RUDE, AND OFFENSIVE (intentionally).

This CADENCE (it's proper name, it's not a song here) is most generally used on military installations only during the first week of a "boot camp" since it seldom takes the CO's wife more than a week to complain about the obscene shouting and the CO orders the troops to "don't do that anymore" (at least stateside). Occasionally the order will be "don't do that while in the housing area," and one was known to have said "where my wife can hear it."

ARMY lore claims that the AIR FARCE uses "Little Willies" as their usual CADENCE verses, often retaining the "Sound Off" call and response as chorus, since they're "just too nice." This rumor is unconfirmed by my experience. (They may not need marching cadences much, since they usually get a bus to take them to and from where they keep their toys?)

Scouting and other "pickups" on the CADENCE are likely to be badly corrupted, but are mostly harmless and sometimes good for a giggle.

John


01 Apr 14 - 12:40 AM (#3614176)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,shayes

I learned it like this:

Left, left, I left my wife and 48 kids in a house all alone with nothing but gingerbread;

Did I do right, right, right by my country, by jingo, I had a good job, but I left, left (and back to beginning)


01 Apr 14 - 10:57 AM (#3614260)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Lighter

I once spent a couple of years reading many, many American memoirs of World War I, both books and magazine articles.

There were plenty of references to drill sergeants chanting "hup, two, three, four" (and phonetic variants), and to troops singing both polite and bawdy songs on the march, but not one example of the modern "Sound off!"

That routine, however, was certainly popular in World War II, possibly only after the 1944 appearance at Ft. Slocum, N.Y., of Pvt. Willie Duckworth's "Duckworth Chant," in which the syncopated sound-off countdown figures prominently.

A 1945 recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6bhv4i8qso

The 1952 movie "What Price Glory" has World War I marines doing something similar. But they *don't* do it in the 1924 Broadway play that the movie's based on.


17 Jun 14 - 12:39 AM (#3633776)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Desert Dancer

SOUND OFF (CADENCE COUNT) (DUCKWORTH CHANT) in the DT has the "Duckworth" name originating from Ft. Duckworth:
In WWII, black troops were, apparently, given more freedom
of self-expression than were white troops. Fancy drill
teams, particularly from Fort Duckworth, Alabama, toured and
popularized jazzier cadence counts. There was a pop record
in the early 50s that wound up on the hit parade. RG

However, others above and elsewhere cite Pvt. Willie Duckworth. (The Missouri Folklore Society has this page about it (discussed in the Folklore: jodies thread here.)

Today on NPR's All Things Considered they had an article, "Sound Off: Where The Military's Rhythm Came From
by Frannie Kelley
June 16, 2014

Think about all of those Hollywood depictions of the American military, from Stripes to Full Metal Jacket to Cadence. In almost every one, a bunch of guys will jog past the camera at some point, singing and stepping in unison.

The first time that happened was in 1944, when a particular rhythm infiltrated the segregated Army. The cadence was credited to a soldier named Willie Duckworth. As told on a V-Disc, one of the inspirational recordings made during WWII by the U.S. military and sent to troops overseas, Duckworth was "chanting to build up the spirits of his weary comrades."

Until just this spring, Bobby Gerhardt served in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He says he's spent more than nine years marching to, running to and calling cadence. His favorite to call follows the rhythm of Duckworth's now 70-year-old composition, though with updated lyrics.

"When I joined I had no idea how anything worked. Everything was brand new," Gerhardt says. "For me, hearing that first cadence the very first time was awesome. Because you always wanted to hear what the next verse was. So you always wanted to keep up so that you could hear the person calling the cadence so you knew what to say back to them."

The infectious appeal of cadences is used to motivate and coordinate people who might not have anything else in common. But they also do something more fundamental.

"The main purpose that I was always taught with staying in step and keeping up with the cadence, was that it would help your breathing and help your cardio if you could run and sing and manage your breath at the same time," Gerhardt says.

Cadences get a group of people doing that in unison. They rely on the call and response action of work songs, so they come from a long tradition. Richard Rath, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii, and author of the book How Early America Sounded, says slaves brought work songs here, and they developed to help deal with dangerous jobs.

"Like pounding rice in a mortar and pestle, where one person has to scoop the rice out and two other people are pounding with big pestles if somebody messes up, they get scrunched," Rath says.

But a little deviation, lyrically or rhythmically, can make the cadence more effective. Bobby Gerhardt cites one cadence in particular, that appeared in the 1960 Elvis Presley movie G.I. Blues.

"It's kind of off-step. And it's kind of in-between a step, but once you have a group of people marching to that cadence, it puts a big smile on your face because it's a cadence that no one's calling around the rest of the base," he says.

It's not the march-like one-two of the standard military cadence. It's syncopated the emphasis is on the offbeat. And that can put a spring in a soldier's step or help a worker move faster. Richard Rath says syncopation and complex rhythms made music more useful to workers than the bosses realized. Say you're rowing a boat on a rice plantation and singing to pace yourself.

"If you're rowing on the twos and the planter says speed up, you speed up the song and then row on the threes," Rath says.

It's resistance through rhythm.

Private Willie Duckworth, raised by his sharecropper grandparents in Jim Crow Georgia, knew something about that. And the concept isn't foreign to Gerhardt.

"I had a couple of 'em that I'd always call, because they kind of pushed the envelope of what we were allowed to call," he says.

The aim of cadences might be to control people. But they don't always work that way.

A YouTube video of the story, posted by Michael Cavenaugh July 2013 is linked: Duckworth Chant Ft Slocum 1945 VDisc TSgt Felice Intro & Ma.... It's got a relatively long text summary (that I can't copy), but it does say that Col. Bernard Lentz copyrighted the Duckworth chant, and the royalties are split to this day between the Lentz and Duckworth families.

~ Becky in Long Beach


17 Jun 14 - 08:15 AM (#3633872)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Lighter

Just as a point of information, there's never been a "Fort Duckworth."


17 Jun 14 - 12:20 PM (#3633954)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Desert Dancer

Yeah, looks like it needs a DT Corrections/Updates post.


06 Oct 14 - 02:34 PM (#3666689)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,stacey

I left my wife and 44 kids in a starving condition
with nothing but Johnny bread think I did right,
Right, right by my country
by golly I had a good job and I left,
left, left....(repeat from the top)


08 Dec 14 - 09:52 PM (#3683743)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Laura

I learned it from my Grandmother as...

Left, left, left my wife and 49 kids and old grey mare and a peanut stand.(march)
I do right, right, right by the Country I do stand.(march)
Hay foot - straw foot - shift by jingle foot.(shift feet - kinda jump)

I'm dying to know - does anyone know the origin?


09 Dec 14 - 09:41 PM (#3684079)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Rapparee

We did several cadences at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO back in 1963. I was in Charlie (C) Company, Second Battalion, Second Training Regiment (Basic) or C-2-2. One went like this:

SGT: Count cadence delayed cadence count cadence count! (left footfall on the first word)

PLT: ONE!
      TWO!
      THREE!
      FOUR!    (left footfall on each word)
      ONE TWO THREE FOUR (a footfall on each word, with the left foot being the odd numbers)
      CHARLIE
      CHARLIE
      CHARLIE TWO TWO!!   (left foot on first and second Charlie, left-right-left on the last phrase).

One of the most difficult things was to keep step during the "march past" after JFK's assassination was announced to us. When you are used to 120 steps per minute going to half that makes you stumble around -- especially when no one had ever done that before. Trying to tote an M-1 rifle at reverse arms at the same time made it bloody difficult and even the band couldn't help.


10 Dec 14 - 07:13 AM (#3684186)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Rahere

Noisy bastards! Some of us learned silence is golden - because we can hear you lot coming a hundred miles away, and that gives us plenty of time to prepare the welcome party...
As a drill or route march practice, this chanting harms the sense of listening to what your platoon is doing. That sense is essential in combat, because that tuning keeps you clued up to them.
As far as the slow march is concerned, the technique us Brits used to use is to teach it as a step and a stop. You place your front foot and bring the other up to it, outside of the foot going down first, change balance, step with the other and bring the first up to it, change balance...


22 May 15 - 11:39 PM (#3711081)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Laura

Left Left Left my wife with 48 kids without any gingerbread you think I was right right right to my country by jingle by george I had a good job and I left left left...........that all I remember from growing up on Fort Rucker Alabama back in the 70's.


01 Jun 15 - 04:49 PM (#3713751)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

Left, Left, left right left,
I LEFT my wife and 42 kids
in a starving condition
without any gingerbread LEFT
left, left right left
ect.


04 Oct 15 - 07:22 PM (#3741818)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

all I remember of this song my mother taught me, and I just cant remember the rest is               
Left, left, left my wife and 24 children a peanut stand and an ole grey mare and did I do right, right, right from the country that I came from ..... hay ? scotch something scotch, pick a bale o' cotton......? she is no longer around to ask!   sorry, Does that help at all?


08 Oct 15 - 05:08 PM (#3742529)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Asterix

This is what I was taught as a kid:

Left, left, left my wife and 49 kids
and a bucket of beans in New Orleans
thinkin'-I-was (
Right, right, right by my country
by jingo I had a good home but I

Left ... etc.


07 Nov 15 - 01:00 PM (#3749091)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Cindie

Here's what I learned from my mom:

Left, left, I left my wife with 42 kids
With nothing to eat the in the house but gingerbread
Left, right, right
Right from the haystack, hay foot-straw foot, oompijingle*
Left, left, etc.

*When you say this word, you do a funny skip/hop so you end up on the right foot.


29 Nov 15 - 10:57 AM (#3754439)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Ct

I wanted to get this girl scout variant on the list:

LEFT
LEFT
LEFT RIGHT
LEFT
I LEFT my husband and 42 children alone and abandoned without any gingerbread,
Did I do RIGHT?
RIGHT
LEFT RIGHT
LEFT...


06 Aug 16 - 09:53 PM (#3803961)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,pam

there are so many versions of this!

left. left. i left my wife and 48 kids on the verge of starvation without any gingerbread, did i do right, right?

as kids, we marched side by side down the street with all left legs starting first followed by our right legs, singing this verse together.


03 Apr 17 - 10:16 PM (#3848455)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Guest- Ruth

Left,left left my wife with 48 kids in a starving condition without any gingerbread
thought I did right,right
Right to my country,by jingles, I
had a good job and I left, left.
Repeat


31 Oct 17 - 01:58 AM (#3885844)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,jacullman

My dad was in the Americal Division at Guadalcanal. He used to chant this:

Left, Left,
Left, Right, Left
I left my wife and 48 children
at home in the kitchen
in starving condition
without any gingerbread

Left, Left,
Left, Right, Left
I left my wife and 48 children
at home in the kitchen
in starving condition
without any gingerbread

repeat

I wish I could recall some with the dirty lyrics -- only heard then a couple of times when dad thought I wasn't listening. I blame my much older sister, who was in first grade and got in trouble for chanting the following ditty while waiting for the school bus. "Roll me over in the clover, roll me over in the clover and do it again."


11 Nov 17 - 10:19 PM (#3888097)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

LEFT
LEFT
LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT
LEFT
LEFT
I LEFT my wife and forty-one children home in the kitchen in starving condition without any gingerbread
LEFT
LEFT
LEFT
RIGHT
LEFT


28 Jan 18 - 05:36 AM (#3902338)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Roland

Left, left,
I left my wife and 42 kids,
Hay foot straw foot, belly full of bean soup,
Johnny get your clothes on,
Left, Left ...

That's what my little cousin sang to me. He was a B17 flying fortress pilot, based in England in 1944.


03 Feb 19 - 04:39 PM (#3974712)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,jo

What I remember from childhood is...

Right, right,
Right my son by jingo I had a good job which I left, left,
Left my wife with 42 children without any gingerbread, think I did right, right,
Right my son...

I'm fascinated by how many variants there are of this. I wonder why...


04 Oct 19 - 01:40 AM (#4011832)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,gatyam gal

I am digging up songs from my past. I am finding so many people remember songs differently. This is how WE sang it.
Left, Left, Left, Right, Left
I left my home and 42 kids
on the verge of starvation
Without any gingerbread.
Did I do Right? Right!
Right by my country and flag.
(repeat)


04 Oct 19 - 03:24 AM (#4011840)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Observer

This would appear to be a peculiarly US Forces thing, as I recall we were taught to march and drill purely to the sound of the command with total silence in the ranks.

GUEST, Date: 15 Aug 10 - 10:27 AM's contribution sounds more like a "Sods Opera" dit than anything Royal Marines would be allowed to use in either training or in service. Just as a point of clarification for said GUEST - There are no British Army Royal Marine Commandos as the Royal Marines are part, and always have been part of the Royal Navy.


29 May 20 - 10:55 AM (#4055834)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST,Blackmer

Learn from my father who was in the Merchant Marines

I left my wife with 24 kids and a belly of of bean soup I left, left, left right left. I left, left, left right left. Repeat.


29 May 20 - 11:06 AM (#4055835)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: GUEST

I left my wife with 24 kids and a belly full of bean soup I left, left, left right left. I left, left, left right left. Repeat.


30 May 20 - 10:13 AM (#4056007)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Charmion

Guest, Observer, did you serve in the British Army?

In the Canadian Forces, troops on the march will sing when they have a long way to go. In early summer, contingents training for the Nijmegen Marches can be heard in the riverside parklands of Ottawa, their boots thudding and their tuneless voices intoning "A yellow bird / With a yellow bill / Sat upon / My window sill ... " Recruits and soldiers in battle school are often ordered to sing while doubling, the better to improve their cardiopulmonary capacity. It is not a musical experience.


30 May 20 - 10:35 AM (#4056019)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Lighter

> It is not a musical experience.

In other words,a bit like hearing chanteys sung on sailing vessels by heaving or hauling sailors.


30 May 20 - 05:27 PM (#4056110)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Charmion

Probably, Lighter. I know about doubling alright, but not so much halyard-hauling.


30 May 20 - 07:51 PM (#4056125)
Subject: RE: Marching song/Cadence Count
From: Lighter

Long, long ago I visited the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. A "demonstration of chantey singing" was presented aboard the full-rigged "Joseph Conrad." A bunch of us lubbers manned the capstan and someone called for "Blow the Man Down." Stan Hugill was chanteyman. Just before (or maybe after) he sang, some befuddled know-it-all said to him, "But isn't that a halliard chantey?"

Stan frowned and said, "Usually. But they'd sing whatever they wanted."

Anyway, we ran round the capstan singing the choruses largely off-key. After   a while, the "mate" of the "Conrad" shouted, "'Vast heaving!" Stan shut up in the middle of a stanza, and his crew ambled away to do other things.

I suggest that this was an unusually authentic chanteying event. To judge from the quality of the choruses, some of the "crew" may even have been hung over. It struck me as decidedly "not a musical experience," a far cry from even the most "authentic-sounding" (sic) folkie performance.

It was mainly guys (and a couple of gals) exerting themselves in unison and singing because that's what people did on that kind on that kind of job.

And did I mention that some of us wore big grins because it was a *privilege* and *fun* to heave the capstan round ?