Left, left, left right left – sergeant’s face is turning…

Here’s a chant I learned in around fourth grade – a marching cadence that seems to be fairly little known, though it does come up on google once or twice:

Left, left, left right left
Sergeant’s face is turning green
Left, left, left right left
somebody peed in his canteen
Left, left, left right left
Sergeant’s face is turning black
Left, left, left right left
Somebody pooped in his backpack
Left, left, left right left
Sergeant’s face is turning blue
Left, left, left right left
He’s getting really pissed at you

Where did this come from? Was it originally an actual army marching cadence (plenty of the songs and rhymes that go around probably have roots in soldier songs). How widespread was it?

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  1. Jason from Maryland

    Sgt. Potter's face is blue.
    Somebody must have done doo-doo.
    Sgt Potter's face is red.
    Somebody must have shot him dead.

  2. loch

    Had a girlfriend from the west,
    had some mountains on her chest
    (left, left, left-right-left)

  3. spinnymommy

    left, left, left right left
    I left my wife and 49 kids
    alone in the kitchen in starving condition
    did I do
    right right
    to the right of my left with a kick-ma-jig

    Fayetteville, NC 1970's

  4. Shadow

    Similar to above, in Australia in the 90s, we'd chant

    Left, left, left my wife in Eurydeens with 45 cents and a can of beans,
    Thought I was right, right, right from country whoopsiedoo"

    And on 'whoopsiedoo' you would give a skip, so that when you started the chant over, you'd be putting the left foot down on 'left' again.

  5. Mad Dog Gatecrasher

    NJ mid-late 80's

    We often substituted G.I. Joe into the song.

    turning green/ peed in his canteen
    turning red/ put a rattlesnake in his bed
    turning blue/ stuck his helmet with Krazy Glue

  6. Elyane Y

    This was a popular marching song for our Scout Troop. When I was in Boy Scouts, during the late 80s in Michigan. It was not popular with our Scout Leaders though.

  7. juana manzana

    Left, left, left, right, left.
    Left my wife and 49 children, alone in the kitchen
    under starving conditions without any gingerbread left.
    Left,left, left, right, left.


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