Full Version: Goodbye Mama, I’m off to Yokohama
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A great letter concerning one of the songs on our music site (it's also featured in my documentary)!




I came across your web site while I was looking for the lyrics to a song that I remember hearing off of a 78LP my grandma had in her collection. I thought the title was “Goodbye Mama, I’m off to Okinawa.” However, I can now only ever found reference to “Goodbye Mama, I’m off to Yokohama.” (Fred Coots)


However, I remember some different lyrics that do not appear in the lyrics for Yokohama. These lyrics, in-between the chorus, included:


“We’re learning jujitsu, where you kick with the feet.


We’ll kick ‘em in their togas and watch them retreat.”






“Tell dad I plan a big surprise, nobody knows.


I’ll bring him back a Jap valet to care for his clothes.”


Additionally, I have found personal histories from marines and sailors who shipped out to Okinawa, and they reference playing/singing “Goodbye Mama, I’m off to Okinawa” in their accounts.


By any chance do you know anything about this? Was a variation of the Yokohama song perhaps created specially for the troops heading off to Okinawa?


Thanks for your consideration.


Gene Becker

Madison, WI