In case you’ve been away from the blogosphere, there have been ripples of consternation when a video of a US marine singing “Hadji Girl” turned up on YouTube, and subsequently news sites across the world.
The problem came from a severe case of over-analysis and misinterpretation. The song is actually a spontaneous parody of “Team America” that was filmed. In it, a GI falls in love with an Iraqi girl and is brought home to meet the parents. They blow a fuse and start shooting. The GI grabs a girl as a shield (who dies), hides behind the telly and opens fire.
Tasteless, yup. Insensitive, yup. Poorly timed, very definitely given the current investigations into US-caused civilian deaths in Iraq. But the trouble is that a lot of the reports were in fact way off the mark, implying that the GI had killed the girl himself.
But if we’re going to make judgments, it might be an idea to ask the original songwriter, corporal Joshua Belile.
“It’s a song that I made up and it was nothing more than something supposed to be funny, based off a catchy line of a movie,” Belile said. “I apologize for any feelings that may have been hurt in the Muslim community. This song was written in good humor and not aimed at any party, foreign or domestic.” If you listen carefully here, you can hear the sound of a guy bending over backwards, caught out singing a dirty song when teacher walks back into the class. Not to put too fine a point on it, however, soldier’s songs are not usually noted for the finer points of analysis. It’s certainly unfortunate that “Hadji Girl” has caused the trouble that it has (the US military are currently investigating this most un-PC behaviour). This article was originally covered in the Jacksonville Daily News.