Songs that make guys stupid.

Back in my youth there was a shooting war going on in SE Asia and the Selective Service System, AKA The Draft, realized there was little profit calling up guys at the middle and upper ranges of the authorized ages because they were either likely to come up with some manner of deferment or simply bolt for Canada. This arithmetic left them with 18- and 19-year-olds, so you should probably make it the “lower-middle, middle, and upper ranges.”

Even then, on the lower end, I was the first person to claim my brethren as either solid patriots with honorable intentions or complete morons, willing to do whatever Uncle Sam [del]suggested[/del] demanded (see the difference between the thinking of a guy who’d been around the block a few times and and a natural Grunt fresh out of high school? :wink: ).

My Draft Lottery number was 274 and the Draft ended a few months before I qualified so I never tested my hypothesis. However, at the same time I first saw Casablanca, with its famous scene of Vichy French singing La Marseillaise, drowning out the Germans singing “Die Wacht Am Rhein.”

Those guys from the Reign of Terror were monsters, but they could knock out an anthem that could drive the smarts out of a guy.

Later I saw Zulu. I realize that

A. I’m not Welsh.
B. Neither were many of the men at Rorke’s Drift.
C. And they probably sang something else.

but DAMN! “Men of Harlech” stirs many of the same feelings of self [del]destruction[/del] sacrifice, feelings that none of the USA’s songs convey. Sure, “Marching Through Georgia” came close when I saw a troop of Confederate re-enactors sully our 4th of July parade, but I wasn’t sure of all the words and they had fixed bayonets.

Is there ANY American song that shuts down the “This is suicidal!” receptors in a guy’s brain? I’ll try to limit this to men because, despite Edith Piaf’s La Marseillaise and young Charlotte Church’s Men of Harlech, I suspect that it works better on guys. And are there other songs that inspire otherwise-sensible men to walk–nay, RUN–to their deaths?

BTW, during said shooting war, the song the US Army chose to mail me, on a flexible 45, was “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” by The Hollies, interspersed with reasons why I should join up. :rolleyes:

Note 1: They were a Britsh band.
Note 2: It’s unlikely the band, in a moment of lucidity, approved this use. Otherwise, I can’t guess.

You know why they included that song? Because the Marines don’t leave anyone behind - they carry them on their back so they will absorb the bullets :slight_smile:

Y’know, Ludovic, I tried. Really, I tried. And I came up with several gags based on yours. But though I am a turd, I am also a military brat and, though I made no effort to join my ancestors in combat, even I found that too offensive to post.

ETA: Unless you are Army. Then it’s funny, but leaves you open to an amazing amount of abuse.

I’ve heard from a Marine that it’s true. If it is true, (and I don’t see any reason to doubt it, after all, why not provide the best protection to yourself if you’re carrying a corpse,) why not see the black humor in it.

Yeah, god knows there’s no place for black humor in combat! It’s not like there’s a rich literary tradition based around… oh yeah. Never mind.

I don’t know about nowadays, but I imagine that “The Battle Cry of Freedom” (aka “Rally 'Round the Flag”) did the job during the Civil War. It was so popular that a Confederate version was created as well.

That’s odd; I thought MTG was a Union song. :dubious: I’ll have to look up the words again…

It is. I did not appreciate stinking Rebels marching in a 4th of July parade.

*Bring the good ol’ Bugle boys! We’ll sing another song,
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along,
Sing it like we used to sing it fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the Jubilee.
Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free,
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.

“Sherman’s dashing Yankee boys will never make the coast!”
So the saucy rebels said and 'twas a handsome boast
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the Host
While we were marching through Georgia.

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles of latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the Jubilee.
Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free,
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia. *

I’d bet that the default battle song goes something like this:


Surely “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Barry Sadler had some influence during the Vietnam era.

Yes, I can see how that might switch off the logic centers in the brain far better than the movie did.

"Over There" was one of the songs for WWI that had them joining up.

I’m pretty sure you’re looking for something by Slayer.

It’s rousing in a Broadway manner, but “La Marseillaise” has me suiting up for a walk into Hell and I don’t understand the words.

I think your country has to have a bloody revolution to get a decent national anthem. (I happen to like the Star-Spangled Banner too). :slight_smile:

Another to add: Land of Hope & Glory. (singing starts at about 0:45)

And Battle Hymn of the Republic.

And a couple more: (this is fun – wandering through Youtube) :slight_smile:

US Air Force song – Wild Blue Yonder.

And a favourite since I first heard/saw it in Battle of the Bulge: Pazerlied (the Tank Song). [really good video with this one – colour WWII footage]

One more: US Marines Battle Hymn.

“If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heavens scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”


AC/DC, Thunderstruck would do it for me.

This thread is so not what I thought it was going to be, because I was going to say this.