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Posted by on Dec 5, 2007

Cartoon theme songs, a textual interpretation

I am thinking of doing a quick investigation into the depth of lyrics found in children TV shows from the 1980’s. The first is an all-time classic from my youth, G.I. Joe. I used to run around in my backyard with my siblings and neighbors, screaming “Yo Joe!” and chucking pine cones, pretending they were hand grenades (sticks would suffice as those laser guns they kept firing around (did you notice they were color coded on the show? Bad (bullets) was blue, good was red)).

Regardless, here are the lyrics of the theme song.

Yo Joe!
He’ll fight for freedom where ever there’s trouble.
GI Joe is there.

It’s GI Joe against Cobra and Destro
Fighting to save the day.
He never gives up.
He’s always there,
Fighting for freedom over land and air

GI Joe- A real American hero
GI Joe is there

GI Joe is the codename for American’s daring, highly trained
special mission force.
It’s purpose, to defend human freedom against Cobra-
a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

He never gives up.
He’ll stay til the fight’s won.
GI Joe will dare.

GI Joe- A real American hero
GI Joe

I love that they just come out and say it from the get go, Yo Joe! I mean, why hide behind any sort of metaphor or subtlety (those commie poets with their alliteration!)? Just come out and proclaim how good they are. I love the line about protecting human freedom from Cobra. So, G.I. Joe turns their back on the animal kingdom?

Enslave the animals
and fight for human freedom,

G.I. Joe is there!

As warned in a prior post, here is the Youtube video.

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1 Comment

  1. ha ha! for girls, it was Jem and the Holograms!

    Jem is excitement
    Ooh, Jem
    Jem is adventure
    Glamour and glitter
    Fashion and fame

    Jem is truly outrageous
    Truly, truly, truly outrageous

    Whoa, Jem
    Jem, the music’s contagious
    Jem is my name, no one else is the same
    Jem is my name

    But we’re the Misfits, our songs are better
    We are the Misfits, the Misfits
    And we’re gonna get her

    Jem, the music’s contagious
    Jem is my name, no one else is the same
    Jem is my name


    I think just comparing the two provides enough material for a thesis on gender identity/expectations!

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