Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Rum and Coca-Cola - The Andrews Sisters

Legbamel Not-Pop

I heard Rum and Coca-Cola on the radio yesterday and it came to me that I'd never really listened to the lyrics. As I was mocking the pathetic attempts at accents for which the girls were famous I realized what they were singing: "Both mother and daughter working for the Yankee dollar."

Now, I'm fairly certain they didn't intend to write a song about getting drunk and picking up some hookers. I know it was about GIs on shore leave and all but I think they meant something much more innocent: soldiers were nice to the girls and had the money to buy them presents which their boy-next-door options did not. But it still sounds like The Andrews Sisters are singing about whores in Trinidad. As proof that I'm not the only one who thinks so, I give you this video. The description starts, "A song about alcohol and... prostitution? I'm sure it's all very innocent..." and then goes on to give the lyrics. See? Your grandparents were naughty, naughty people, as I've always said they were.

2 Responses so far.

  1. I love the Andrews sisters!! The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is an all-time favourite!

    I always thought working for the yankee dollar meant they were working in munitions factories for the war effort!! Your interpretation has corrupted me LOL

    The area where I live in South East England was inundated with American Air bases in WW2. I used to be a social worker with elderly people and would hear some terrific stories.

  2. legbamel says:

    I don't know exactly what they mean, although I'm guessing it's more like cleaning and cooking for the GIs rather than...servicing them. I was just surprised by the innuendo my dirty little mind found in the song.

    I love the Andrews Sisters, too, but they did have a bad habit of trying for accents they couldn't quite manage. The songs would have been just that much better if they'd done them more naturally.

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