Army and Cadet Marching and Running Cadences

I'm not sure how useful of a post this will be, but it will certainly be fun. For those of you unfamiliar, cadences are songs, rhymes, or chants that are used to keep a formation of marching Cadets (or Soldiers, etc.) stepping in order and together. I'm sure at some point you've seen this happen in movies where one guy will stand off to the left of a marching formation and holler all sorts of things while they're moving, "Left, right, left, right, left, halt!" or some nonsense like that. Though this is mostly accurate, cadences are a lot more complex than this. As the cadence caller, cadences can make you look like a total badass or embarrass you to the point of no recovery. Knowing popular cadences as a Cadet in a formation is also very important as it can be an incredible morale booster. If you call cadence loud and confident, others around you will call it louder and, in general, your unit will have a lot more fun marching. Your leaders will also take notice of your knowledge of cadences and will generally be impressed. One summer at West Point I was a Platoon Sergeant for New Cadets. Whether it was right or not, I always considered the Cadets that would call cadence well to be better and more motivated Cadets. In general, they would have an easier time with me. Make life easier and call cadence like a bamf!

There are two types of cadences, marching and running. We will discuss popular/common cadences and then awesome cadences that aren't quite as well known. The cadence title will link to an audio of the song and I will also discuss it. If you are not an Army Cadet then I apologize as this favors the Army, I just don't know cadences from other services. If you do and would like to see them on here then email us and we'll add them!

  Popular Marching Cadences:

1) Airborne Ranger (Shoot to Kill): Nearly every time I march and hear cadence, this one comes up. It's ok, not my favorite but not terrible either. It just gets annoying after hearing it 10,000 times. A solid choice though as most people know it. This cadence starts at 1:40 in this video.

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oV5Z2bOVAI[/embed]

2) Here We Go Again: This is a short and sweet one. A good go-to when you need a quick one.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89ksb4j3kx4[/embed]

3) Tiny bubbles: I hate this cadence. Absolutely hate it, but you hear it a lot. This video only has two of the lines though. Here are some other lines: Tiny bubbles, in my wine. Makes me happy, makes me feel fine; Tiny bubbles, in my Kahlua. makes me happy, makes me feel hooah.

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biw-DKSgk-w[/embed]


4) They Say That in the Army: I've always really liked this one. It's pretty easy to remember too. If you're really good you can make up some of your own lines. Here's a video of it. Start at 3:17

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n8ME1ICKr4[/embed]

Obscure/Awesome Marching Cadences:

1) Hi Ho Lock and Load: This is somewhat a common cadence, but when done right, this version is pretty awesome. I couldn't find any audio, but I'm sure you will hear it at some point and can go from there.
Hi Ho! Lock and load!
Hear the engines loud and bold
We were up and ready to go
So early (Hey!) x3..  in the morning

M1 Abrams on a hill
Tank Commander ready to kill
SABOT up fire at will
So early (Hey!) x3..  in the morning

Apache zooming by
A-10s fill the sky
The enemy's about to die
So early (Hey!) x3..  in the morning

Sniper on the ground
Moving without a sound
He locks and loads a single round
So early (Hey!) x3..  in the morning

2) Blood on the Risers: An absolute classic. No one does it or knows it though. Good for a long march.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KonxiEQ8oM[/embed]


Here are the cadence lyrics for those interested:

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright
He checked off his equipment and made sure his pack was tight;
He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,
"You ain't gonna jump no more!"

(CHORUS)Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
He ain't gonna jump no more!

"Is everybody happy?" cried the Sergeant looking up,
Our Hero feebly answered "Yes," and then they stood him up;
He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock,
He felt the wind, he felt the cold, he felt the awful drop,
The silk from his reserve spilled out and wrapped around his legs,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

The risers swung around his neck, connectors cracked his dome,
Suspension lines were tied in knots around his skinny bones;
The canopy became his shroud; he hurtled to the ground.
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

<p style="font-size:small;">The days he'd lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind, <br>
He thought about the girl back home, the one he'd left behind; <br>
He thought about the medic corps and wondered what they'd find, <br>
And he ain't gonna jump no more. <br>
(CHORUS)</p>

The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild,
The medics jumped and screamed with glee, rolled up their sleeves and smiled,
For it had been a week or more since last a 'chute had failed,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

He hit the ground, the sound was "Splat," his blood went spurting high,
His comrades they were hurt to say: "A helluva way to die!"
He lay there rolling round in the welter of his gore,
And he ain't gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute,
Intestines were a'dangling from his Paratrooper suit,
He was a mess; they picked him up, and poured him from his boots,
And he ain't gonna jump no more
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die,
He ain't gonna jump no more!

3) Chuck Norris: If you sing this, a roundhouse kick will come out of the sky, smashing everyone in your formation, then split the earth to the core. Do it!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMZ1UQnIfnM&list=PL-lNGmWUmED3PF_GGK7s2WemSSMWnVyYs[/embed]


4) Baby Seals: The best. Nothing like a bunch of men squealing like seals. Excuse the video, I'm not sure who these tool bags are, it's kind of embarrassing. A great cadence though.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJICjyVAP5c[/embed]

Popular Running Cadences:

1) C-130: This is probably the most popular cadence out there. It's a pretty good one too, especially if the end is done well.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WjVHT4up00[/embed]

2) My Old Granny: Another good one. Pretty easy to remember too.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rGOPJ890zA[/embed]


3) Old Lady Cadence: What's our obsession with old ladies while we're running?

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxcIz8RBQz4[/embed]

Obscure/Awesome Running Cadences:

1) Hard Work: This one sounds great, never really hear it though and kinda hard to pull off if you're the caller.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhx2ZA2eMj0[/embed]


2) Lay, Ho, Heave: I believe this is also called the Engineer Battle Hymn. For this cadence and the following two cadences, I cannot find videos. I guess the really good ones are just hard to come by. If I manage to find them or come across them I will definitely edit this post. For this particular cadence though, it is an Engineer unit's go-to cadence. You really only hear the old-time or badass NCOs call it. This cadence starts off with the cadence caller getting everyone to call "Lay, Ho, Heave," with each word being called each time the left foot hits the ground. After the formation says it, they will come in with some killer verse. I hope you hear it and if you do, grab that person after PT and get them to write it down for you. Then send me the lyrics, or better yet, get a video of it!

3) Rock: This cadence sounds awesome. This one is actually very similar to Lay, Ho, Heave, but you get the formation to call "Rock!" every fourth time their left foot hits the ground. In between you call the following verses:

When I Die (Rock!)
Burry me (Rock!)
With my M4 (Rock!)
At my feet (Rock!)
And a magazine, in my hand (Rock!)
Shoot my way to, the promised land (Rock!)

Don't you wanna wanna (Rock!)
Yo body body (Rock!)

Don't you wanna wanna (Rock!)
Yo body body (Rock!)

Next Verse:

When I die, Burry me
With C4, At my feet
And det cord, In my hand
Blast my way through
The promised land

Next:

When I die, Burry me
With a ruck sack, At my feet
And a k-pot, In my hand
Ruck my way through,
The promised land

Next:
When I die, Burry me
With a bayonet, At my feet
And a gerber, In my hand
Cut my way to
The promised land

4) Left right left right kill: There are two versions of this cadence. One is actually pretty terrible and will make mothers cry. The other is an alternate version that's quite pleasant and gets a lot of laughs:

Bad version:

Left, right, left, right, left right, kill!
Left, right, left, right, you know I will!

Went to the playground, where all the kiddies play,
Pull out my uzi, and I begin to spray!

Left, right, left, right, left right, kill!
Left, right, left, right, you know I will!

Go to the mall, where all the ladies shop,
Pull out my machete, and I begin to chop!

Left, right, left, right, left right, kill!
Left, right, left, right, you know I will!

Nice Version:

Left, right, left, right, left right, smile!
Left, right, left, right, be happy for a while!

Went to the playground, where all the kiddies play,
Pull out some candy, and I give it all away!

Left, right, left, right, left right, smile!
Left, right, left, right, be happy for a while!

Go to the mall, where all the ladies shop,
Pull out my wallet, and I buy them what they want!

Left, right, left, right, left right, smile!
Left, right, left, right, be happy for a while!

Hopefully if you did not learn anything useful from this post, then you were at least mildly entertained. Cadence is the art of a leader and even though as an officer you will rarely if ever call it, it is important to cultivate a taste for its finer intricacies....like killing baby seals.

If you would like to know more cadences, need clarification on some, or would really like to hear the ones we didn't provide videos for, please message us or leave a comment and we will get back to you!


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