The Festival of Soldiers’ Songs

Deveti festival vojnickih pjesama JNA.

Shooting notes instead of bullets — the 9th Festival of Soldiers’ Songs

Wow! Now this looks like loads of fun. I love standing in the middle of a frozen lake listening to some a-hole fingering an accordion. It’s especially enjoyable if you can throw in a dozen dudes with WWII lids on their heads. Well, this is nothing out of ordinary for the Ninth Festival of Soldiers’ Songs presented by the Belgrade Radio and Television Recording Company.

The picture shows one fiddler, another guy strapped into an accordion, a bone blower and a sax player. This is not a whole lot of instruments, certainly not enough to produce the rich 101-violin sound that graces all the songs on this record. The secret is simple. The real band is the Revue Orchestra and Coed Choir of Artistic Ensemble of Yugoslav National Army. Try to fit this band name on a concert T-shirt if you can.

The song titles are just as good: Hey Airmen Soldiers, After the Echelon Marches On, A Longhaired Partisan, The Best Soldier is My Lover…

I just can’t see the members of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq having as much fun. For one thing, desert sand is known to bring musical instruments with moving parts to a screeching halt. It’s also hard to blow the right notes exposed to enemy fire.

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