go on a PT
run with a larger than platoon
sized unit, and often even just with the platoon, someone usually calls cadence.
The Marine calling cadence will run to the left of the formation. Cadences are call and response
, and while most cadences' responses are merely repetitions of whatever is called, a few of the more interesting ones have responses that are different.
I've heard different things about why we call cadence. For one thing, it synchronizes everyone's strides. It also regulates your breathing to a degree, and deepens each of your breaths. And, depending on the person calling cadence, it can be pretty motivating as well. But the thing I like most about it is just that it gets my mind off the actual running, especially if I've never heard the cadence before.
Most cadences involve killing babies
or cuddly animals
, or how tough Marines
are, or how much contempt we
(not necessariliy I) feel toward the other services and toward non-infantrymen
. "Beer and pussy" are also common subjects.
A cadence caller will usually start his cadences and bridge his cadences together with some variation of:
Left, left, left, right, layeft!
Left, right, left, right, left, right, KILL!
This is to get everyone in step and to get some kind of a rhythm
going. Rhythm is pretty important. Those who have none should never, ever call cadence.
Most Marines tend to scream at the top of their lungs when they call cadence, but I usually use my singing voice
, and I get a lot of comments to the effect of "aw, how sweet" because of it, but I just can't scream that loud or that long.
Here are a few examples:
Up from the sub sixty feet below
Hit the surface and I'm ready to go
Sidestroke, backstroke, swimmin' to the shore
Hit the beaches and I'm ready for war
Now I'm runnin' through the jungle with my M16
I'm a mean motherfucker, I'm a US Marine
Sight picture, sight alignment, right between the eyes
Now, motherfucker, who you gonna terrorize?
If I die in a combat zone
Box me up and ship me home
Pin my medals upon my chest
Tell my ma I done my best
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the dirt
Pick up your dingle dangle, put it in your shirt
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the sand
Pick up your dingle dangle hold it in your hand
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the mud
Pick up your dingle dangle, hand it to your bud
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle in the snow
Pick up your dingle dangle, tie it in a bow
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle while you strut
Bend her over and put it in her butt
Don't let your dingle dangle dangle too low
Pick up your dingle dangle, and let's go
I was born in the woods
Raised by a bear
I got a double set of jaw teeth
And a triple coat of hair
I got two brass balls
And cast-iron rod
I'm a mean devil dog
A Marine, by God
And here's one where the response isn't just repetition of the cadence:
Back in 1775
My Marine Corps came alive
First there came the color blue
To show the world that we were true
Then there came the color red
To show the world the blood we shed
Finally there came the color green
To show the world that we are mean
I haven't had the balls
- I get enough flak for singing, instead of screaming, as I mentioned earlier - but I've been very tempted to give the following cadence:
Had we but world enough, and time
This coyness, lady, were no crime
We would sit down, and think which way
To RUN and pass our long love's day...