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Yip Yip Yaphank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yip Yip Yaphank
Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning 1c.jpg
MusicIrving Berlin
LyricsIrving Berlin
Productions1918 Broadway

Yip Yip Yaphank is the name of musical revue composed and produced by Irving Berlin in 1918 while he was a recruit during World War I in the United States Army's 152nd Depot Brigade at Camp Upton in Upton, New York.

From idea to the stage

The commanding officer at Camp Upton had wanted to build a community building on the grounds of the army base, and thought that Sgt. Berlin could help raise the $35,000 needed for its construction. Berlin's song, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," an everyman song for soldiers, would be the basis of a revue full of army recruits—a veritable source of manpower available for him to use. He called for his friend and co-worker Harry Ruby to join him in writing down the flurry of songs that Berlin would create, including "God Bless America," which Berlin would eventually toss out of the play for being too sticky.[1]

In July 1918, Yip, Yip Yaphank had a tryout run at Camp Upton's little Liberty Theatre, before moving on to Central Park West's Century Theatre in August. The show was typical of revues and follies, featuring acrobatics, dancers, jugglers, and also featured a demonstration by Lightweight Boxing Champion Benny Leonard. Included with the performances were military drills choreographed to music by Berlin.

The show had its comedy too, including males dressed as Ziegfeld girls, and Sgt. Berlin himself as the reluctant soldier not wanting to join in reveille during the "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" skit.

The finale, "We're On Our Way to France," was the replacement for "God Bless America." During this act, the whole company wore their full gear, and marched out of the theater, down the aisles and out to the street. During the Century Theatre run, the "performers" stayed at an armory downtown, and would usually march right back to the armory after the evening show.

By September 1918, the production had to move to the Lexington Theatre, where it would eventually end its run. On that night, the audience saw the usual ending, with the battle-ready men marching off to "war," but with a slight diversion. After the main performers were seen marching through the aisles, Sgt. Irving Berlin and the rest of the crew were similarly dressed and marching out of the theater. This time, the men were going off to war, heading to France for real.

After the curtain

The play earned the U.S. Army US$80,000 ($1.4 million in 2020 dollars) for Camp Upton's Community Building, though the army never had it built.[1] Irving Berlin did not go to France, but would be listed among other great songwriters and playwrights of the time, well up to the next great war.


  • "You Can't Stay Up on Bevo"
  • "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up in the Morning"
  • "I Can Always Find a Little Sunshine in the Y.M.C.A."
  • "Kitchen Police"
  • "Dream On, Little Soldier Boy"
  • "Mandy" (a major song in a blackface minstrel number; later featured in the 1919 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies)
  • "We're On Our Way to France"
  • "The Girl I left Behind"
  • "Ragtime Razor Brigade"
  • "Ever Since I Put on a Uniform"
  • "Page Boy"
  • "Floradora Sextette"
  • "Love Interest"
  • "Dreams of a Soldier"
  • "Some Boy'
  • "Darktown Strutters' Ball"
  • "Waters of Venice"
  • "Baby"
  • "White's Pet"
  • "Don't Know the Half"
  • "Fancy Free"
  • "On Our Way to France"
  • "God Bless America" - originally written for the play but not included in this play. It was included in the sequel to "Yip Yip Yaphank" entitled "This is the Army" in 1943


  1. ^ a b Bergreen, Laurance (1992). "Oh, How He Hated to Get up In the Morning". MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. 2 (4): 72–80.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 August 2021, at 02:40
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