Army Yellow Bird Cadence

In today’s post, I’d like to discuss the Army Yellow Bird Cadence. This is one of my all-time favorite Army cadences. My first memory of this cadence is when my Drill Sergeants at Fort Jackson, South Carolina sang it in the mid-1990s. I was mesmerized and excited to hear it. It was simple, humorous, and enjoyable to repeat.

As my military career progressed, I continued to hear this cadence sung by many talented NCOs and Soldiers. I’ve heard many variations of the Army Yellow Bird Cadence. Some were funny some were inappropriate, some versions were boring, and some versions were completely unique to the person calling it.

I can’t remember every version I heard, but the one below really stands out to me.  If I remember right, it goes something like this:

army yellow bird cadence

Army Yellow Bird Cadence

Verse # 1

A yellow bird

With a yellow bill

Was sitting on

My window sill

I lured him in

With a piece of bread

And then I smashed his

Little head…

Verse # 2

A second bird

Flew in my house

I hunted him down

Like a cat and mouse

And when I caught him

I snatched his soul

And then I flushed him

Down the toilet bowl…

Verse # 3

A flock of birds

They have it made

Until they meet

My hand grenade

I pulled the pin

I threw it far

The blood and guts

Hit passing cars…

Keep in mind, it’s been several years since I last heard the Yellow Bird Cadence.

Tips for Calling the Cadence


If you’re going to sing this cadence, try to have some rhythm and stay in step.

Pronounce the Words Properly & Slow

Make sure you pronounce the words slowly and properly, so people can understand what you are saying.

Have Fun

Finally, have fun and mix up the words as you see fit. Just make sure you don’t so add in anything crazy that might get you in trouble, in today’s politically correct military.

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts about the Army Yellow Bird Cadence? What version is your favorite and why? When did you first hear it? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your service. Hooah!

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:
  1. Top Marching Cadences
  2. Top Running Cadences
  3. How to Improve Your Run Time
  4. How to Max Out the APFT
  5. Army Drill Sergeants

And here are some books and audio programs on Amazon I found that you might like.



chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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1 thought on “Army Yellow Bird Cadence”

  1. Matthew Nelson

    My name is Matthew Nelson. I live in Clio, Michigan and I’m part of a nonprofit organization called Hope Floats, For Veterans. I am not a veteran even though I tried to serve, but was damaged merchandise. I just started watching the yellow birds movie on Netflix and heard the cadence being called out in the beginning of the movie. I guess I found your website when I decided to look for the meaning and words to the cadence. Thanks.

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