If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then "Call Me Maybe," the catchy song from Carly Rae Jepsen, must have many admirers.
The pop tune has been imitated, duplicated, parodied and lip-synced numerous times by a diverse field of performers including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, 'Sesame Street"s Cookie Monster and a Welsh corgi. There's even a video mash-up featuring President Barack Obama.
U.S. troops stationed at Kandahar air base in Afghanistan are the latest artists to try their hand at a cover.
In their roughly three-minute video, male and female soldiers, Marines and airmen are shown lip-syncing and dancing to the Jepsen song as they go about their day. They are shown in an aircraft hanger, holding rifles, lined up for inspection, and near the cargo bay of a C-130 aircraft.
As of Wednesday evening, the video had been viewed more than 69,000 times. It was uploaded to YouTube on July 4.
Eric Raum, who works for the United Service Organization, helped produce the video. On his blog, Raum explains how it all came about:
"A few weeks ago, a friend of mine here in Afghanistan, Randy Moresi, approached me about the song 'Call Me Maybe'. I had just returned to Kandahar from the U.S. and had been taken back by how big of a hit it was, as we often miss out on the latest and greatest while in the 'Stan and I hadn't heard it before. She said that people were creating covers of the song, and that it would be a lot of fun for the guys and gals out here if we could create a military version. With a day off looming, we got to work trying to get things organized."
They had military command's permission to participate, but it had to be done in a very limited time. Raum wrote that Moresi, a former cheerleader, choreographed the moves, which the participants had to learn in 30 minutes. They filmed the performance in 30 minutes.
Raum said the group "performed with vigor, said their goodbyes and got back to their jobs."
The video is winning rave reviews. Reacting to Raum's blog on Facebook, one poster wrote: "I love it …….. props to all of you for being able to do that in such little time; I shared it ….. everyone loved it, and thanks for making our day ;)."
A YouTube viewer had an unusual suggestion: "This should be a recruitment video," the poster wrote.