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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000095.txt from 2005/05

From: "Lelia Loban" <>
Subj: [kl] RE Naughty world war II song
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 11:50:31 -0400

Jim Lande wrote,
> Words by Morey Amsterdam, music by Jeri Sullavan and Paul Baron;
> recorded by The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen & His Orchestra,
> October 18, 1944.
> can be viewed at
> Well, I think it is pretty clear what this song is about.

Yup. Interesting illustration of how context is everything, too. If I
first heard "Rum and Cola Cola" today, I'd assume it was written as a
protest song, criticizing Americans for exploiting poor people. Did
listeners understand the song that way when the Andrews Sisters recorded
it? That isn't a rhetorical question; I don't know the answer. I'm pretty
sure, though, that prostitution never occurred to my mother and that she
had no idea of any political subtext in this song when she taught me to
sing it in the late 1950s! I didn't "get it" then, either. The only thing
that bothered me about the song then (age ten or so) was the
mispronunciation of "Coca Cola." I must've been horribly literal-minded as
a child. It didn't occur to me that matching the lyric with the tune in
such a way that the singer had to sing, "CocAH CoLAH" was cute dialect or
demeaning dialect or politically loaded dialect. I just thought it was a

Lelia Loban

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