“GI Jive,” “Mairzy Doats” & #Tanka, too!

Liz on Her Author Platform

I recently had a conversation with a fellow writer about the conventional wisdom of needing to have a blog following to “build author platform.” (I will always put that phrase in quotation marks. When I’m speaking, I use air quotes.) I advised him that it takes a big time commitment to read and comment on others’ blogs–but the inspiration for new work that I get from reading blogs has been a huge unexpected benefit. Particularly in the area of poetry, I now have a small body of work that never would have come into being if I had not been inspired by someone else’s blog post.

The tanka I’m going to share with you is a case in point.

I am a regular reader of GP Cox’s World War II blog, Pacific Paratrooper.  A recent post focused the development of Armed Forces Network Radio: Military Radio – Armed Forces Network.

After reading the article, I went back to the header photo, which depicts the front cover of the sheet music for a song called “G.I. Jive.”

Image attribution: http://historyonthenet.com

I was so taken by the image, I just had to know what the song was like. I found it on YouTube, of course:

Listening to the song immediately brought my dad to mind. Not only did he serve in World War II, he had to be the biggest swing fan of all time. This in turn reminded me of another song from the ’40s, “Mairzy Doats.” My dad liked to sing the song to me when I was very little. Back to YouTube:

The Lamb Connection

Liz’s Cereal Dish

And now for the tanka!

Mairzy Doats & Liddle Lamzy Divey Redux

Daddy called me Lambikin
when he sang me Mairzy Doats
language wondrous strange
years pass, Lambikin grows up
canvas feedbag, mares eat oats



216 thoughts on ““GI Jive,” “Mairzy Doats” & #Tanka, too!

  1. Liz, thank you for the memories and the music. The poem is charming! ❤ My father was a cook on a navy ship and used to tell stories about those days. I remember once when I was about seven years old, my Dad boasted that he could still fit into his middy blouse. He did get it on, but my mother stifled her laughter as he couldn't get it back off by himself! Watching, I was afraid he would have to be cut out of it. He wasn't eighteen anymore! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Took the liberty to share your post on my Twitter site, Fiddelstix. I’ve followed the Pacific Paratrooper for some time, small world, eh. My father returned with McArthur to the Philippines in October of 44 as a 1st Sgt, US Army, Engineer Corps. I’ve often. as a youth heard the melody of those songs. What a small world and growing smaller by the day. Stay warm, get youth to shovel and be safe.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for sharing the post! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. My dad was stationed in the Philipines for a time. His job was to guard Japanese prisoners. The world sure is getting smaller by the day!


  3. Mairzy Dotes was a favourite of my parents as well. Thanks for your memories that have, in turn, triggered mine. (Sorry for the delay but a raft of emails went into my spam folder-grrrr!)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your visit, Alex! I’m glad that my post triggered your own fond memories. (I’ve been having rafts of legitimate emails going into my spam folder over the past several days. What’s up with that?)


  4. I remember Mairzy Doats, not GI Jive, but isn’t it amazing that you can find anything on You Tube. I’m just popping out to the garden now to build my author’s platform – I should have got the tree surgeon to help when he was working on next door’s tree the other day!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yes. we learn from and inspire each other. It takes time to read each other’s post but worth the effort to do so, especially for those who do me the favour of reading mine too. I value my blog community. It’s the most meaningful of all the platforms.

    Liked by 2 people

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