By Mick Dumdell
It appears that the Ohio State Marching Band is a veritable hotbed of right wing extremism! From the Wall Street Journal:
A book of parody songs updated in 2012 and circulated privately by members of the Ohio State University marching band included a sendup of the Holocaust with joking references to furnaces used in Nazi concentration camps and the train cars used to transport Jews to their deaths.
The Holocaust song, called “Goodbye Kramer,” whose lyrics haven’t been previously disclosed, includes lines about Nazi soldiers “searching for people livin’ in their neighbor’s attic,” and a “small town Jew…who took the cattle train to you know where.” It was written to be sung to the tune of the 1981 Journey hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.
In a statement, Ohio State said the songbook reflected the sort of “shocking behavior” that the school is “committed to eradicating from its marching band program.”
The songbook, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, included an introduction that noted “Goodbye Kramer” as a new addition, along with a parody of the fight song of University of Nebraska, then a new member of the Big Ten conference. An introduction to the book said: “Some of these [songs] may be offensive to you. If so, you can either ignore them, or you can suck it up, act like you got a pair and have a good time singing them.”
Band members were also urged to keep the book secret. “Take it with you on trips and to parties. But never leave this out of your sight,” it says. “This book is for OSUMB members only, Past and Present. If they were not out on the field in front of 105,000 crazy fans in black (OK, navy blue) wool uniforms, they do not deserve to see this.”
The existence of a band songbook of crude parodies first came to light in July 2014 after a university-led investigation into the band’s culture. At the time the director, Jon Waters,along with many students and alumni from the band, said the songs—which also featured lyrics about rape, bestiality and homosexuality—had been out of circulation for years and were seldom sung.
But a second, more in-depth investigation of the band, commissioned by the school in late 2014, mentioned that the updated songbook contained a “highly offensive song regarding Jews,” although it didn’t disclose the lyrics. “Head to the furnace room, ‘Bout to meet your fiery doom,” one line of the song reads. “Oh the baking never ends, It goes on and on and on and on.”
There is a lot more at the link. I was curious so I went googling and found a pdf copy of the book itself. After I read it yesterday, I swooned and had to lie down for a few hours to recover from all the horrible racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, and hate wordy things in it. Then, I called my therapist, and I am scheduled to see her Monday and hopefully get some meds to help me recover. Here it is, but read it at your own risk:
Here is the link to the above document along with Exhibit A, and a school narrative:
I feel I need to write more about this, but I am still recovering from my first brush with this, and frankly, I am currently at a point of emotional numbness. I will try to follow this story up as soon as I get some meds. In the meantime, if you want to read parody songs that are funny without all the hate, my good friend Ellie Mangle-Lero posted this one here a few weeks ago:
Yours very truly,
FootNote. The Image is a classic Alfred Eisenstaedt photo from 1950 of a University Of Michigan drum major, Dick Smith. Time Magazine muses that this may be the happiest photograph ever made:
Take the photograph featured here. Most of us have come upon it many, many times throughout our lives. But when was the last time any of us really saw it? Like so many of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s most storied photographs, this one flirts with sentimentality—but avoids that ignoble fate by virtue of its energy, and its immediacy. This is not a depiction of manufactured emotion, but a masterfully framed instant of authentic, explosive spirit.
As the editor, writer, poet and former director of photography for LIFE, David Friend, once noted, this picture is Eisenstaedt’s “ode to joy.”
“It was early in the morning,” Eisenstaedt himself recalled of the fall day in 1950 when he took the photo. On assignment for LIFE, covering the University of Michigan’s nationally famous marching band, he spotted the school’s drum major practicing his craft. Then, Eisenstaedt said, “I saw a little boy running after him, and all the faculty children on the playing field ran after the boy. And I ran after them. This is a completely spontaneous, unstaged picture.”