May 27, 2003

Ain't no use in going home
Jody's got your girl and gone
Gonna get a three-day pass
Just to kick old Jody's ass.
Anyone who has seen a movie about the U.S. Army has heard soldiers chanting and singing as they march or run. These chants or cadences are called jodies or jody calls, after a character in many of the songs. The character Jody is a civilian who has stolen the affections of the soldier's sweetheart back home.

"The military use of jody call and the sense of jody meaning a civilian of draft age date to World War II and were introduced to the U.S. Army by African-American soldiers. Jody is a clipping of the name of Joe the Grinder, a slightly older character in jazz and blues mythology.

"Joe the Grinder is the name of mythical ladies man in blues tunes who seduces the wives and sweethearts of prisoners and soldiers. He's also known as Joe De Grinder and Joe D. Grinder. The term dates to at least 1939. Grinder is from an old slang verb, to grind, meaning to copulate (1647-present)." -from

(PS: I've been working on a compilation of songs, mostly blues, R&B, and jazz, that mention "Jody." I've got a lot to choose from, and you can bet Horace Silver's "The Jody Grind" will be there front and center.)