Meaning of Rum and Coca-Cola & Song Story

The song “Rum and Coca Cola” by The Andrews Sisters is known to most fans of rock. But the composition Rum and Coca-Cola is not known to all music lovers, although in the forties of the twentieth century it was a major hit in the United States and some other countries. However, these two works are not related to each other, so it is possible to mention them in one paragraph only because of the similarity of names.

The story of the song Rum and Coca-Cola, written in the Afro-Caribbean style of calypso (calypso), began during the Second World War on the island of Trinidad. The American troops stationed there prevented the Nazi invasion. But the Nazis were in no hurry to go there, and boredom turned out to be the main enemy of the brave warriors of Uncle Sam. They had to deal with it the old way: with the help of alcoholic beverages and local beauties.

The musician Rupert Grant, better known under the pseudonym Lord Invader, drew attention to what is happening in the country. He expressed his attitude to the situation in the composition Rum and Coca-Cola. Here is the author’s word:

Calypso is the folklore of Trinidad, a style of poetry, a story in song about current events. Home in the West Indies, Trinidad, where I come from, is a small island that I am proud of. I was driving a bus through a place called Point Cumana, a beach resort, and I happened to see soldiers in the American social invasion in the West Indies, Trinidad. You know, girls are used to getting sweets and things like that, and they would go to cafes with guys and so on, have fun… They drink rum and they like to drink Coke, so I considered it as an idea for a song, and Maury Amsterdam had the audacity to say that he wrote that song.

The music for the song was written by local composer Lionel Belasco, who also worked in the calypso genre. Based on a traditional folk ballad, the tune was published as L’Annee Passee and was a huge success in Trinidad.

In the US, it was released as a version by musician Morey Amsterdam. He was credited as the lyricist, and the composers were Jeri Sullavan and Paul Baron. Only years later, justice was restored in court thanks to the efforts of the lawyer Louis Nizer, who later described the details of the process in the book “My Life in Court”.

Rum and Coca-Cola became a real hit in 1945, when the song was recorded by The Andrews Sisters (“The Andrews Sisters”). Their version stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks. It is curious that the performers of the composition did not pay attention to the true meaning of the text of the work.

Maxine Andrews:

Rhythm is what attracted The Andrews Sisters to Rum and Coca-Cola. We didn’t think about the words. There were text, and it was attractive, but we did not delve into its meaning.

Swing It!: The Andrews Sisters Story, John Sforza

So the song became a hit, which presented American soldiers in an unfavorable light, hinted at prostitution and advertised an alcoholic drink. In general, Rum and Coca-Cola was banned from broadcast on the radio, but its triumphant march was no longer to be stopped.

Interesting Facts

  • Lord Invader received $150,000 in compensation, but Amsterdam retained the copyright to the song.

Rum and Coca-Cola Lyrics

If you ever go down Trinidad
They make you feel so very glad
Calypso sing and make up rhyme
Guarantee you one real good fine time

Drinkin’ rum and Coca-Cola
Go down Point Koomahnah
Both mother and daughter
Workin’ for the yankee dollar

Oh, beat it man, beat it

Since the yankee came to Trinidad
They got the young girls all goin’ mad
Young girls say they treat ’em nice
Make Trinidad like paradise


Oh, you vex me, you vex me

From Chicachicaree to Mona’s Isle
Native girls dance and smile
Help soldier celebrate his leave
Make every day like New Year’s Eve


It’s a fact, man, it’s a fact

In old Trinidad, I also fear
The situation is mighty queer
Like the yankee girl, the native swoon
When she heard der bingo croon


Out on Manzanella Beach
GI romance with native peach
All night long, make tropical love
Next day, sit in hot sun and cool off


It’s a fact, man, it’s a fact
Rum and Coca-Cola
Rum and Coca-Cola
Workin’ for the yankee dollar

Rum and Coca-Cola Lyrics Alternative

If you ever go to Trinidad,
You will be made very happy
Calypso sings and beats the rhythm
Guaranteeing you a pleasant time

Drinking rum and coca-cola
Go to Point Koomahna,
Where are both mother and daughter
Working for the Yankee dollar

Oh come on boy come on

Ever since the Yankees came to Trinidad
They drove all the young girls crazy
Girls say they treat them well
Turn Trinidad into a paradise


Oh you excite me, you excite me

From Chicachicaree to Mona Island
Local girls dance and smile
Help the soldiers to celebrate demobilization,
Everyday turns into New Year’s Eve


It’s a fact man, it’s a fact

In old Trinidad, I’m afraid
The situation is extremely strange.
Like Yankee girls, the locals lose their heads
When they hear the bingo rumble


On the Manzanella beach
A soldier takes care of a local beauty
All night long making tropical love
The next day she sits in the hot sun and cools off


It’s a fact man, it’s a fact
Rum and coke
Rum and Coke
Working for the Yankee dollar

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