Saturday, December 05, 2009

"Light up, baby, and get real high,
Here comes the man with the jive."

More Like "Second World Whore," Amirite?, Dept

As you know, I love the Internetjes like a terrier loves a biscuit. And one of the things I loves most, besides Porgy, is the role that the inspired amateur has played in its richness. A good example of that in a bit.

But, hey, y'know what? I feel that our Siamese wars in Iraqistan are missing a little sump'in sump'in. I mean, sure, we've got tragic civilian casualties and bloated Beltway bandits, fuck-you-Clausewitz thinking and profligate money-pissing. But, do we have a popular song celebrating GIs boning foreign damsels? I'm gonna say N-O!

This, more than anything else associated with these ventures--including the number, if not the size, of the parasites whose living comes from fucking the taxpayer over on any and everything associated with their anemiagenic diet of blood and silver--breaks with the proud, century-old tradition of American overseas dickwaggling. I mean, let's go back to the War to End All Notion of Civilized War; sure, we were late to the game and missed the opportunity to sacrifice the flower of a generation to some sort of incestuous squabble over the proper length of a leader's mustache, but we--the greater transatlantic "we"--had some great choonz, people.

"Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag," "It's A Long Way To Tipperary," "Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty," "Oh! It's A Lovely War," "Over There," "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" and so many other beloved standards. And if you order within the next 30 minutes... *ha ha* At any rate, they knew about memorializing, through the catchy ditty, the ritual and pointless sacrifice of their young men. We, as a nation, have forgotten this.

And returning to my earlier point, we have forgotten how to celebrate through song the thousand-mile-long furrows of fucking that our boys have thrown at overseas cooze. For example, "Mademoiselle from Armentières"; now, here's a classic that's equally adaptable to the barracks or the playground.

Children might sing:

"Madamoiselle from Armentiers
Madamoiselle from Armentiers
Madamoiselle from Armentiers
Hasn't been kissed in forty years

Their fathers and uncles, late come from killing the Hun, might sing:

"Up the stairs and into bed
She swore I broke her maiden head
Up the stairs and into bed
She swore I broke her maiden head

Finishing how ever many verses they remembered or invented that invoked a life so distant from their own postwar existence that it might as well have happened to John Barrymore or Ronald Colman except that their flesh's memory holds that life like coins in a purse, with the justifiably immortal couplet:

"The French, they are a funny race
They fight with their feet and fuck with their face.

Ha ha! That's the stuff, fellows!

Nothing enlivened that Bonus Army shantytown like a few verses of "Hinkey-dinkey," a swig of paralyzing petroleum distillate and a quarter-hour's tubercular coughing.

Moving forward to the Last War We Had Any Business Fighting, sure, our boys were diddlin' damsels across twenty time zones, but where was it best celebrated in song? Right here in our own backyard!

A photographer and self-proclaimed "Calypsophile," Kevin Burke has a Web site devoted to the song "Rum and Coca-Cola," the top single of 1945 and one of the most memorable songs of There's a fascinating backstory concerning the song and the intellectual property struggles behind its origin as a Trinidadian carnival song and its subsequent "coincidental" and contemporaneous composition--after a USO visit to Trinidad--by the grating Morey Amsterdam and other thieving White people. But our focus here is on its theme: local women prostituting themselves for G.I.s for the love of the almighty DOLL-AH!! The preceding delivered in an O'Jays chorus.

The original version, by Lord Invader and Lionel Belasco, is considerably grittier than the hit version by the Andrews Sisters, but even their whitebread rendition carries some pepper and pretty clearly makes its point:

"Out on Manzinella Beach
G.I. romance with native peach
All night long, make tropic love
Next day, sit in hot sun and cool off

Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola
Go down Point Koo-mah-nah
Both mother and daughter
Workin' for the Yankee dollar.

The Trinidadian original makes the point ganz klar:

"Since the Yankees come to Trinidad
They have the young girls going mad
The young girls say they treat them nice
And they give them a better price.

A couple got married one afternoon
And was to go to Mayaro on a honeymoon
The very night the wife went with a Yankee lad
And the stupid husband went staring mad.

They drink rum and Coca-Cola, &c.

Can you imagine millions of virginal Mary Beths and Johnnies locking shy eyes over a malted milk, whatever the fuck that is, as the jukebox singers croon about native women balling soldiers for the few dollars that'll feed their families that week? Gosh, Freddie, I hope you get sent to Japan, you could bring me back some of those dreamy pearls...

But now? Bupkis. Or "BAPkis," if you're a Jada Pinkett Smith fan. For some reason. Maybe she gave you a lift once when your car was in the shop.

At any rate, we don't have a song called "Baby Got Burka" to warm our Home Front hearts while our boys do what boys do when they're separated from the girls who, through their ministrations, keep them from doing what boys would otherwise do among the general unsuspecting populace. And until we do, these won't be proper wars, I'm sorry to tell you. So, get out there, America, and petition Irving Berlin or George M. Cohan to come back from the grave and pen some rousing ditties that'll carry our boys from Baghdad to the Khyber Pass. Hey, the fucking Vietnam "conflict" didn't have a song, and how'd we do there? Point sobsister.

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