Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Bugout Boogie": History of the Anthem of the National Rifle Association

In 1950, country artist Hank Snow did a song called Movin' On. Its lyrics began:

That big eight-wheeler rollin' down the track
Means your true-lovin' daddy ain't comin' back
'Cause I'm movin' on, I'll soon be gone
You were flyin' too high, for my little old sky
So I'm movin' on

This tune was played on Armed Forces Radio throughout Asia, among other places. Of course it was inevitable that in the back-and-forth fighting in Korea in 1950 that some wag would take this tune and write lyrics that would, in time, come to be the unofficial anthem of the war -- The Bugout Boogie.

The Army was so sensitive about the subject that it was officially forbidden and you could lose your stripes for singing it in front of the wrong officer.

The song was alleged to have been originally sung by the black soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment, and some versions of the song include the line:

"When them Chinese mortars begins to thud, the Old Deuce-Four begin to bug."

Perhaps, but the fact of the matter was that the song was sung in just about every Army unit in Korea, often with a sister unit's name inserted. For example, this is the version sung by some members of the 2nd Infantry Division which makes fun of the 1st Cavalry Division.

Hear the patter of running feet
It's the old First Cav in full retreat
They're moving on;
they'll soon be gone
They're haulin' ass, not savin' gas
They'll soon be gone.

Over on that hill there's a Russian tank
A million Chinks are on my flank
I'm movin' on,
I'll soon be gone
With my M-1 broke,it ain't no joke
I'll soon be gone.

Million Chinks comin' through the pass
Playin' burp-gun boogie all over my ass
I'm movin' on,
I'll soon be gone
I'll soon be gone
I'm haulin' ass,
not savin' gas
I'll soon be gone.

"Lordy, Lordy, won't you listen to me,
The colonel said 'Stand!'
But it ain't gonna be,
'Cause we're buggin' out,
Yes, we're movin' on . . ."
We're haulin' ass,
not savin' gas
We'll soon be gone.

Here's papa-san comin' down the track
Old A-frame strapped to his back
He's moving on;
he'll soon be gone
he's haulin' ass,
not savin' gas
He'll soon be gone.

Here's mama-san comin' down the track
Titty hangin' out, baby on her back
She's moving on; she'll soon be gone
From her tits to her toes,
she's damn near froze
She'll soon be gone.

I sung this song for the very last time
Gonna get Korea off my mind
I'm moving on;
I'll soon be gone
I done my time in the shit and slime
I'm movin' on.

Now I don't know what lyrics the NRA is going to come up with when they finally get around to singing this song. If you have any you might write and tell the NRA/ILA, which is the process of bugging out rather than fighting the Holder nomination. I have merely given you the history of their anthem. I suppose only they can write the future lyrics by their own actions, or inaction.

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