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Marine Cadence

Marine Cadence

Grunt.com Admin |

"Gonna run all day "til the running's done." That's just one of dozens of Marine cadence calls you'll hear on Marine Corps bases. These call-and-response Marine Corps running cadences and marching songs include inspiring or funny marine corps cadence lyrics that we are collecting for you in our Marine Corps Stories collection at SGT GRIT.

These songs and chants promote teamwork, and help Marines keep the beat of a marching rhythm while breathing more deeply as they inhale and exhale between each word.

An Army soldier in World War II is credited with the simple "Sound Off" cadence with the lyrics: "Sound-off; 1-2. Sound-off; 3-4. 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4."

Of course, there have been hundreds of variations on "Sound Off" in the decades following World War II. One of our SGT GRIT customers submitted this one: "I gotta girl named Buffalo Bill. She won't do it, but her buffalo will. Sound off 1-2 …"

All military branches have marching drill cadences. One Marine shared this one with SGT GRIT: "Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door. Jump right out, and shout Marine Corps."

Among other Marine Corps cadence lyrics to submitted to SGT GRIT by Marines are these remembered words from the Vietnam War era:

Mama, mama have you heard

LBJ has passed the word

Gonna go to Vietnam to fight and kill those Vietnam Cong

Now if I die in a combat zone

Box me up and ship me home

Fold my arms across my chest

And tell all the women that I done my best.

And this one:

Jump from the rack in the middle of the night

Make a head call and I'm ready to fight……

And this one remembered from serving on Parris Island in 1965:

Birdie, birdie In the sky

Drop a little white wash in my eye

I'm no swabbie, I won't cry

Gee, I'm glad that cows don't fly.

Another recently submitted remembered cadence:

Hey there, Air Force,

Get in your planes and carry me

We are Marine Corps infantry

Best you know on land and sea.

Hey there, Navy,

Get in your boats and transport me,

We are Marine Corps infantry

Best you know on land and sea.

Hey there, Army,

Climb in your tanks and follow me,

We are Marine Corps infantry

Best you know on land and sea.

Share the cadences you remember from Marine Corps drills with SGT GRIT and our readers.

We sell officially licensed U.S. Marine Corps products, including Marine Corps pins, patches, apparel, covers and flags. Request a SGT GRIT catalog to learn about our personalized covers, clothing, accessories and more.

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34 comments

Hey Navy..eat, sleeping navy. Pick up your ships and follow me! We are Marine Corps infantry!

edward violano,

The marines because even the Army needs heros.

James T price,

Mama,mama have you heard
LBJ has passed the word
Gonna go to Vietnam to fight and kill those Vietnam Cong
Now if I die in a combat zone
Box me up and ship me home
Fold my arms across my chest and tell all the women that I done my best.
Jim Williams
PI 1966
Platoon 1004

James,

Mama,mama have you heard
LBJ has passed the word
Gonna go to Vietnam to fight and kill those Vietnam Cong
Now if I die in a combat zone
Box me up and ship me home
Fold my arms across my chest and tell all the women that I done my best.
PI 1966

James,

Navy, Navy don’t feel blue the Army and Air Force is Fu**ed up too!

Randy Von Hatten,

Jump from the rack in the middle of the night, make a head call & I’m ready to fight……

Bob Dwyer,

“I had a girl in New Orleans, left her with 14 kids and a can of beans….” PLT 321 PI 1966

James Kanavy,

That one’s changed a little, I learned it in ’07 on PI and it went:
Little yellow birdie with a little yellow bill,
Landed on my windowsill.
I lured him in with a piece of bread,
Then I bit off his mother f***ing head!
Little brown puppy with the big brown eyes,
Wandered in from outside.
I lured him close with a piece of meat,
Then I ran a nail through his feet!
Stupid puppy!
Should have known:
Blood makes
The grass grow!

Cpl Burton,

Little bird with a yellow bill,
landed on my window sill.
First I fed him crumbs of bread,
then I crushed his fuckin head.

MCRD SD 1969

Randy K.,

Birdie Birdie In The Sky
Drop A little White Wash In My Eye
I’m No Swabby I Won’t Cry
Gee I’m Glad That Cows Don’t Fly
Platoon 342….Parris Island….June…1965

Anonymous,

52 years ago I would have thought that to be funny. 4 daughters and 3 granddaughters later not so funny. Paul

Paul,

Hey there Air Force,
Get in your planes and carry me
We are Marine Corps Infantry
Best you know on Land and Sea.
Hey there Navy,
Get in your boats and transport me,
We are Marine Corps Infantry
Best you know on Land and Sea.
Hey there Army,
Climb in your tanks and follow me,
We are Marine Corps Infantry
Best you know on Land and Sea.
Hey there civilians,
Get off your butts and follow me
We are Marine Corps Infantry
Best you know on Land and Sea!

MCRD San Diego, 1974

Gregorio James,

Here’s a story of 5 wise men, as wise as can be.
they created the creation we call p*$$y.
1st came butcher sharp with wit and with his butcher knife he gave it a slit
Then came a carpenter short and stout… with red velvet he lined it throughout
Then came a fishermen smelly as hell, he threw in a carp and it gave it the smell
Then came preacher wise as can be, he blessed it, he touched it , he said it could pee
Then came a hard charging motivated grunt…he f***ed it…he sucked it….he called it c**t..

Crazy Joe,

I went to boot camp in San Diego Feb.1964. Navy boot camp was on the other side of the fence. When we ran the perimeter, we would sing” hold your nose and lift your head, we are running past the dead”. Semper Fi.

L/cpl Henry Young,

I grew up in Texas with my grandfather, a retired Army MSGT. He joined the Marines in 1909, then switched to the Army Cavalry in 1913. He chased Pancho Villa with Pershing (1916-170, then went to France for WWI. After the Great War, he got smart and switched to the Air Corps and retired in 1939.

In the early ’50s, he’d take me to Kelly Field (San Antonio) to watch the black troops drill. That was beautiful to see and hear! Those men marched with rhythm, style and class! No white troops could make close order drill look like choreography; rifles slapped in unison (CRACK!) when performing the ‘Marching Manual of Arms’ or 60 boots on the deck with one loud ‘Pop!’ And the Drill Sergeant sang the Jody calls, with a magnificent baritone that carried across the parade field. I have never seen or heard anything like it since, not even our beloved Silent Drill Team.

‘Stoney’ Brook,

Here’s a few learned at the side of a grizzled old Gunny:

The sergeant,
The sergeant
The bastard of them all
He wakes you up in the morning
Before the bugle call
Squad Left
Squad Right
About face on the line
Then the dirty son of a b***h
Gives ya double-time!
Oh, Hidey-Tidey
Christ all Mighty
Who in the Hell are we?
Zim-Zam,
God d**n!
The Fightin’ 12th Marines!

Quarter in the drink machine
Honey-Honey
Quarter in the drink machine
Babe-Babe
Down the hatch and never stop
Gonna drink until I drop
Honey, oh baby, mine

Look around,
Look around
For I’m headin’ for the Happy Huntin’ Ground
Eleven women to each guy
What a lovely way to die
Honey, oh baby, mine

Lift your eyes
and lift ’em high
11th Marines are passin’ by!
Sound off!
One – two
Sound off!
Three – four
Cadence Count !
One – Two
Three – Four!
Lean back
Six the front
Three to the rear
Lean back and strut!
Hey-hey-hey
Your left,
Your right,
Your left

Get it together, girls
You march like old people make love:
Slow and uncertain!
I wanna hear just one boot hittin’ the ground!
Yo Left!
Yo Right!
Your mother was there when you Left
You’re Right!
Your daddy was there when you Left
You’re Right!
Jody was there when you Left
You’re Right
Mamma’s in the kitchen
Papa’s in the Jail
Your sister’s on the corner
Yelling “short time for sale”
Singing ‘Hey bob-a-ree-bop’
Hey-hey -bob-a-ree-bop
Does your Daddy KNOW?
Hey!

Quit bobbin’ in the ranks!
You people make Hogan’s Goat look like a precision instrument!

[to tune of ‘Cassions Go Rolling Along’]
Give a cheer for the boys who drink the beer
In the cellar of old Alpha Battery
For it’s Hi-Hi-Hee
In the Field Artillery
Shout out your orders loud and strong
MORE BEER!
We’ll be sprawled out on the floor
When the (M)P’s kick down the door
And those beer kegs go rolling along

‘Stoney’ Brook,

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