The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga

The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga

Infobox Standard
title=The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga
comment="Wolfhound March", "Subic"

lyricist=G. Savoca (Wolfhound March) 1907
written=about 1900
Misc=Roud 12598
"The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga" (Roud 12598) is a song, probably written during the Spanish American War or the Moro Rebellion. It is the official regimental march of the 27th US Infantry Regiment, as the "Wolfhound March". The lyrics of this official version were written in 1907 in Cuba by G. Savoca, the regimental band leader (Died 1912), after the regiment was formed in 1901 to serve in the Philippines. According to Harry McClintock, the tune was borrowed from an official march of the Philippine Constabulary Band, as played at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. One version was collected as part of the Gordon "Inferno" Collection. As with many folk songs, the exact meaning is unclear. The "monkeys" may be the opposing Moro soldiers. It has been asserted that there are actual tailless monkeys in the province of Zamboanga, perhaps due to predation by the Philippine Eagle. The song was popular with US soldiers in the Pacific in World War 2.

Related Songs and Parody Versions

* The Eagles They Fly High in Mobile
* The Freshmen Up at Yale Get No Tail

Recorded Versions

* Two jazz versions were recorded in 1939, as "The Monkeys Have No Tails in Pago Pago". By Abe Lyman 8-29-1939, (Bluebird 10321) and by the Milt Herth Trio 10-19-1939 (DECCA 2964A)
* Harry McClintock recorded a version under the title "Subic" on "Haywire Mac", Cook Records, 1950
* Oscar Brand as "Zamboanga" on "Every Inch a Sailor" and on "Four Albums of Military Song from Oscar Brand" 2006


*Roud Folk Song Index, versions collected by Folkways and Alan Lomax
*Music, lyrics, and a discussion of the song
*27th US Infantry History
*Additional lyrics, collected by Robert Winslow Gordon: []

Cinema and Television

*"Night Waitress" (1936), in which it is attributed to Don Raye, Vic Schoen, Jerry Seelen and Hy Zaret
*"They Were Expendable" (1945) director John Ford
*It was sung by "the Beaver" in the TV series "Leave It To Beaver". in the episode "Lonesome Beaver" (1958)
*A Hole in the Head (1959) directed by Frank Capra
*"Donovan's Reef" (1963) also directed by John Ford, starring Lee Marvin and John Wayne
*"The Virgin Suicides" (1999)

Literary Use

*Two published books share their title with the song, one by S.P. Meek (1935) and one by Reese Wolfe (1959)

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