Run To Cadence With The U.S. Army Rangers, Run To Cadence With The U.S. Army Rangers

Nic Brown

By Nic Brown

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Run to Cadence with the US Army Rangers is not some stuffy recording of a military fife and drum corp. These are actual recordings of the Rangers in the field, singing as they march. Many of these call and response chants are hilarious and bizarre (think Bill Murray in Stripes), such as "Two Old Ladies Are Lying in Bed," where the men shout, "I wanna be a paramedic… start some funky anesthetic," but most are strikingly visceral, almost spiritual, like the opening track, "Ranger All the Way Now," in which the men actually chant the word "Ranger" to the melody of the old Negro spiritual "Amen." Run to Cadence also falls in the long tradition of work songs, as the rhythm here is utilitarian, creating a meter for the soldiers to follow, a beat that is augmented by clapping, grunting and the continuous thud of footfalls. Lyrically, these songs are utterly un-PC and feature generational inside Ranger jokes and historical commentary (see "Hey Mother Russia You Better Behave" and "In 1814 We Took a Little Trip"). Most interesting, though, is how multiple versions of the same song, such as "C-130 Rolling Down the Strip," reveal the oral storytelling trademark of lyrical variation from singer to singer.