Yip Yip Yaphank

Yip Yip Yaphank

"Yip Yip Yaphank" is the name of musical revue composed and produced by Irving Berlin in 1917 while he was a recruit during World War I in the United States Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, 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 US$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.Laurence Bergreen: "Oh, How He Hated To Get Up In the Morning"]

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 for Camp Upton's Community Building, though the army never had it built. Irving Berlin did not go to France with the rest of the 20th Infantry, 152nd Depot Brigade, but would be listed among other great songwriters and playwrights of the time, well up to the next great war.

The success of this musical led him to volunteer to do a similar revue during World War II, entitled "This Is the Army". He also reprised "Yaphank's" most popular song, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" (which Berlin himself performed in both productions). Staged on Broadway, "Army" was such a smash, the military took it to London and Europe, and to the men fighting in the Pacific Theater. The show, as well as the fictionalized story of its production, was also turned into the 1943 motion picture "This Is the Army". "Yanks A Poppin" a show based on "This Is the Army" also played in the Pacific Theater.Fact|date=February 2007


*"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 minstrel act)
*"We're On Our Way to France"


*Irving Berlin needed a hit song during his time at Camp Upton, and wrote "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning" as a song for the soldier and not necessarily a heavy-handed patriotic song. To assure its success, Berlin was fortunate to get Eddie Cantor to sing it.
*"Mandy" would be sung by Eddie Cantor in the 1934 movie "Kid Millions".
*"Mandy" also later appeared in the 1954 film "White Christmas", in a sequence sung and danced by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.

External links



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yaphank, New York — Infobox Settlement official name = Yaphank, New York settlement type = CDP nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image pushpin pushpin label position = pushpin map caption =Location within the state of New York pushpin mapsize = mapsize …   Wikipedia

  • Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning — Cover page to the sheet music Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 that gives a comic perspective on military life.[1] Berlin composed the song as an expression of protest against the indignities of… …   Wikipedia

  • This Is the Army — is a 1943 American motion picture produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner, and directed by Michael Curtiz, and a wartime musical designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II, directed by Sgt. Ezra Stone. The screenplay by Casey… …   Wikipedia

  • Irving Berlin — Infobox musical artist Name = Irving Berlin Img capt = In 1948 Img size = Landscape = Background = non performing personnel Birth name = Israel Isidore Baline (Beilin) Alias = Born = 11 May 1888 probably Mogilev, Russia (now Belarus) Died = 22… …   Wikipedia

  • Irving Berlin — Fotografía de 1948 Nombre de nacimiento Israel Isidore Baline Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Berlin, Irving — (1888 1989)    Born Israel Isidore Baline in Russia, Berlin’s family moved to the United States in 1893 and settled in New York’s Lower East Side. He was forced to work from an early age and did a variety of casual jobs, including being a singing …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • God Bless America — Infobox Song Name = God Bless America Caption = Type = Artist = alt Artist = Album = Published = 1918, 1938 (revised) Released = track no = Recorded = Genre = Patriotic Length = Composer = Irving Berlin Label = Producer = Chart position = Tracks …   Wikipedia

  • Camp Upton — was an installation of the United States Army located in Yaphank on Long Island in Suffolk County, New York.HistoryCamp Upton was named after Emory Upton, a Union general of the Civil War and was created in 1917 to house and train soldiers for… …   Wikipedia

  • YMCA — The Young Men s Christian Association ( YMCA or the Y ) was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England, by a young man named George Williams. At the time, the organization was dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice, as taught by… …   Wikipedia

  • Bevo — was a non alcoholic malt beverage, or near beer, brewed in the United States by Anheuser Busch. It enjoyed its greatest success during prohibition, when beer was illegal.The Anheuser Busch company started brewing Bevo when alcoholic beverages… …   Wikipedia