Humorous Army Songs?
August 21, 2008 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Help me find songs for a CD of humorous songs about the Army.

My former stepdaughter has just joined the army reserves, and is heading off for six months of training at the end of the month. I wanted to send her off with a CD of humorous songs about the Army. Nothing too deep, nothing that might make her dwell on the possibility of being killed (like Country Joe's "be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box"). Here's what I have so far:
  • "Army", by Ben Folds
  • "It Makes a Fellow Proud to be a Soldier", by Tom Lehrer
  • "Oh, how I hate to get up in the morning", by Irving Berlin
  • "The Army Song", by Brecht & Weill
  • "Arthur McBride" (traditional song about the evils of recruiting officers)
I plan to close with "In the Navy".

Please include links to recordings or videos of the songs you suggest, or I probably won't be able to include them.
posted by ubiquity to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

"Send the Marines" - Tom Lehrer
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 10:20 AM on August 21, 2008

Lay Down Your Arms - The Chordetts
posted by Sculthorpe at 10:34 AM on August 21, 2008

Gee, Ma, I Wanna Go Home. Link to where I know it from, a MASH episode, but it's been covered everywhere.
posted by WCityMike at 10:35 AM on August 21, 2008

(Just to clarify, the song linked to is a MASH-modified version of the lyrics. From what I gather, that's a common practice with this song, to modify for local humor.)
posted by WCityMike at 10:37 AM on August 21, 2008

The Monitors, "Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:37 AM on August 21, 2008

Here's the link. Lay Down Your Arms.
posted by Sculthorpe at 10:39 AM on August 21, 2008

Oscar Brand has recorded numerous humorous military songs (there's at least a Box Set worth on amazon, and a few are on youtube.
posted by ktrey at 10:41 AM on August 21, 2008

I really like 16 Military Wifes by The Decemberist.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 10:43 AM on August 21, 2008

"This is the Army, Mr. Jones"
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:46 AM on August 21, 2008

Doesn't Alice's Restaurant have an extended funny riff about Army recruiting (in the context of avoiding the draft)? If so, highly recommended.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:50 AM on August 21, 2008

Nothing too deep, nothing that might make her dwell on the possibility of being killed
Just to make sure you know this: One of your examples, "Arthur McBride", typically contains a line saying something like "You'll send us off to France, where we'll get shot without warning".

Anyway, if you're OK with "Arthur McBride", another with the same humorous anti-recruiting theme is "The Recruiting Sergeant" (and it doesn't have anything as explicit as "we'll get shot"). My favorite version is part of a medley by the Pogues (it's the first song in the medley).

As I was walking down the road, a-feeling fine and larky-oh
A recruiting sergeant came up to me, says he "You'd look fine in khaki-oh
"For the King, he is in need of men; come read this proclamation-oh
"A life in Flanders for you then would be a fine vacation-oh"

"That may be so," says I to him, "but tell me, sergeant dearie-oh
"If I had a pack stuck up on my back, would I look fine and cheery-oh?
"For they'd have you train and drill until they had you one of the Frenchies-oh
"It may be warm in Flanders, but it's drafty in the trenches-oh"

The sergeant smiled and winked his eye, his smile was most provoking-oh
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache, says he, "You're only joking-oh
"For the sandbags are so warm and high, the wind you won't feel blowing-oh"
I winked at a colleen passing by, says I, "What if it's snowing-oh?"

Come rain or hail or wind or snow, I'm not going out to Flanders-oh
There's fighting in Dublin to be done, let your sergeants and your commanders go
Let English men fight English wars; it's nearly time they started-oh
I saluted the sergeant a very good night, and there and then we parted-oh
posted by Flunkie at 10:51 AM on August 21, 2008

It's more "fun" than "funny", but there's always "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on August 21, 2008

"Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma" is a classic Spike Jones song about celebrating when a son comes back from war.

"Der Fuhrer's Face" is obviously very dated, but was another Spike Jones hit from WWII.
posted by Shepherd at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2008

The Four Seargents - Guantamo Bay
"call her gitmo for short, not much of a base, and much less of a port"
posted by nomisxid at 11:53 AM on August 21, 2008

Tom Lehrer, Send the Marines.
posted by KRS at 1:15 PM on August 21, 2008

Thanks for the help everyone. I burned it, with the songs i listed above plus the ones i marked as best answers.
posted by ubiquity at 1:40 PM on August 21, 2008

A tremendous wealth of military songs can be found here.
posted by klangklangston at 1:43 PM on August 21, 2008

TMBG's Pencil Rain. Militarism, self-sacrifice, and graphite.
posted by puckish at 6:17 PM on August 21, 2008

Tom Lehrer: So Long Mom, I'm Off To Drop The Bomb
Irving Berlin: This Is The Army, Mister Jones
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:21 AM on August 22, 2008

"Army" by Ben Folds Five
posted by comeonsurferrosa at 9:58 AM on August 22, 2008

Oh! It's A Lovely War
(That page links to two MP3s; I prefer the first one.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:27 AM on August 22, 2008

The Soldiering Life by The Decemberists, which is a better song than 16 Military Wives.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:51 AM on August 22, 2008

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