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  • Laci Barry Post

Some Laughable Lyrics from a World at War

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Many popular big band songs are featured in Songbird, but others just didn’t quite make the list. During World War II, songwriters used their skills to write propaganda pieces for the war effort. I think you will find these both hilarious and terrible!

“You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap”

Performed by the Murphy Sisters

(A song written to humiliate the Japanese Army)

You're a sap, Mr. Jap, you make a Yankee cranky You're a sap, Mr. Jap, Uncle Sammy's gonna spanky Wait and see before we're done The A, B, C and D will sink your rising sun* You're a sap, Mr. Jap, you don't know Uncle Sammy When he fights for his rights, you'll take it on the lammy For he'll wipe the Axis right off the map You're a sap, sap sap, Mr. Jap


“Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”

Performed by Kay Kyser

(A War Hymn?)

Praise the Lord and swing into position Can't afford to be a politician Praise the Lord, we're all between perdition And the deep blue sea

Yes, the sky pilot said it, you gotta give him credit For a son of a gun of a gunner was he

Shouting, 'Praise the Lord, we're on a mighty mission All aboard, we ain't a-goin' fishin' Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition And we'll all stay free'

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition And we'll all stay free


“The Deepest Shelter in Town”

Performed by Florence Desmund

(A funny British propaganda song to encourage men to stay inside during bomb raids!)

Don't run away mister

Oh, stay and play mister

Don't worry if you hear the sirens go

Though I'm not a lady of the highest virtue

I wouldn't dream of letting anything hurt you

And so before you go, I think you ought to know

I've got a cosy flat, there's a place for your hat

I wear a pink chiffon négligé gown

And do I know my stuff, but if that's not enough

I've got the deepest shelter in town.

I've got a room for two, a radio that's new,

An alarm clock that won't let you down,

And I've got central heat, but to make it complete,

I've got the deepest shelter in town.

Every modern comfort I can just guarantee

If you hear the siren call then it's probably me

And, sweetie, to revert, I'll keep you on the alert

I won't even be wearing a frown

So you can hang around here until the all clear

In the deepest shelter in town.

“They’re Either Too Young or Too Old”

Performed by Rosemary Clooney

(A song to encourage women to stay true to their soldier husbands and boyfriends)

They're either too young, or too old They're either too gray or too grassy green The pickings are poor and the crop is lean What's good is in the army What's left will never harm me

They're either too old or too young So, darling, you'll never get stung Tomorrow I'll go hiking with that Eagle Scout unless I get a call from grandpa for a snappy game of chess

I'll never, never fail ya While you are in Australia Or off among the Rooshians And flying over Egypt Your heart will never be gypped And when you get to India I'll still be what I've been to ya I've looked the field over And lo and behold They're either too young or too old

They're either too bald or too bold I'm down to the wheelchair and bassinet My heart just refuses to get upset I simply can't compel it to With no Marine to tell it to

I'm either their first breath of spring Or else, I'm their last little fling I either get a fossil or an adolescent pup I either have to hold him off Or have to hold him up The battle is on, but the fortress will hold They're either too young or too old

To see more on the music that did make it into "Songbird" visit the Follow The Music page.

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