The Monkees

Ditty Diego: War Chant

Composed by Jack Nicholson / Robert Rafelson

Song Review by

A two-part mini-suite, the "Ditty Diego" section is a sort of flipped-out version of "The Monkees Theme," in this case virtually destroying the myth of the band and exposing their manufactured image. Backed by a musical hall piano, all four bandmembers take two verses each, with appropriately sped-up and slowed-down tape speed manipulation, creating a humorous and demented effect. "War Chant" is a virtual grafting (or tribute to) Country Joe & the Fish's famous "Fish Cheer"; this song utilizes the same football cheer style, "Gimmie a W! Gimmie an A! Gimmie a R! What does it spell? WAR!" Following that, the frightening sound effects of gunfire and bombs create an aural representation of the horror of battle. This recording was created by the Head film producer, Bob Rafelson, and a then-little-known writer/actor who went by the name of Jack Nicholson. Nicholson also constructed/edited the Head soundtrack. An interesting alternate version is available on Rhino's Head reissue as a bonus track.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Head 1968 Rhino
blue highlight denotes editor's pick