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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000096.txt from 2005/05

From: "dnleeson" <dnleeson@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] RE Naughty world war II song
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 12:05:08 -0400

And another dialect issue in the song, was the pronunciation of
the line

"Both mutha and dawta
Workin for dee Yankee dallah."

There was nothing significant to the pronunciation, just an
attempt to give the text a Jamaican sound. As a child I heard
the song in the 1940s, certainly when I was 13 in 1945. And I
could not for the life of me understand what was meant by "mother
and daughter working for the yankee dollar." The story goes that
the Andrew Sisters had no idea what the text was about. Yea.
Believe that and there is some swamp land in Florida I'd like to
sell you.

I thought it had something no more dangerous than dancing. Keep
in mind that when the movie made in 1948 about Pearl Harbor was
made (with Frank Sinatra and Burt Lancaster), Donna Moore acted
as a girl who danced in a friendly sister-like fashion with the
GI's more from a desire to be patriotic than anything else. Of
course, in the book, that dance hall was a whore house, and Donna
Moore would never have been caught dead there.

Dan Leeson
DNLeeson@-----.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Lelia Loban [mailto:lelialoban@-----.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 8:49 AM
To: klarinet@-----.org
Subject: [kl] RE Naughty world war II song

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
>
http://ntl.matrix.com.br/pfilho/html/lyrics/r/rum_and_coca_cola.t
xt
>
> 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
mistake!

Lelia Loban

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