Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning, 1918
Irving Berlin, 1888-1989 (Composer and Lyricist); Eddie Cantor, 1892-1964 (Performer); Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co., New York, NY (Publisher)
Song Sheet, lithograph on paper
On loan from the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina
“There were a lot of things about army life I didn’t like, and the thing I didn’t like most of all was reveille. I hated it. I hated it so much that I used to lie awake at nights thinking about how much I hated it.” So said songwriting icon Irving Berlin of the army’s morning wake-up call, reveille. Such contempt drove Berlin to write this song for his wartime musical Yip Yap Yaphank. The song became wildly popular for soldiers and citizens alike for its lighthearted jabs at structured military life. Unlike other WWI songs, it was not about patriotism, or war bonds, or the Kaiser. It was simply about how a soldier hated reveille so much he wanted to “murder the bugler” (actual lyric). Irving Berlin is best known for writing God Bless America, one of America’s greatest songs of patriotism. Though written in 1918, God Bless America did not become popular until 1938.