Louis Armstrong - The Whiffenproof Song (1954)





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Uploaded on Feb 27, 2012

"The Whiffenpoof Song", was published in sheet music form in 1909. It became a hit first for Rudy Vallee in 1927 and later in 1947 for Bing Crosby. It has also been recorded by Elvis Presley, Count Basie, Perry Como, the Statler Brothers and countless others.

Mory's refers to Mory's Temple Bar and Louis to a former owner of Mory's, Louis Linder. The chorus is derived from the poem "Gentlemen Rankers" by Rudyard Kipling, which was set to music by Guy H. Scull (Harvard 1898) and adapted with lyrics by Meade Minnigerode (Yale 1910) & George S Pomeroy (Yale 1910).
The chorus was used in the 1949 movie 12 O'Clock High with Gregory Peck. It can be heard in the background after the unit receives its first unit commendation.

It was used in the 1952 movie Monkey Business. When the tune comes on the radio, Cary Grant starts singing it to Marilyn Monroe, who declares it "a silly song". Later Ginger Rogers sings it to Cary Grant and describes it as "our song". And later still, Cary Grant sings it to Ginger Rogers when he is locked out of the hotel room.
The intro and a parody of the first verse are sung by Betty Grable during the graduation scene in How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955).

The melody is the opening theme of the 1975 television series Baa Baa Black Sheep, a fictionalization of the World War II wartime exploits of the United States Marine Corps Marine Fighter Squadron No. 214, forerunner of the Corps's present-day VMA-214 "Black Sheep" Squadron. One of the actual squadron's real-life members, Paul "Moon" Mullen, adapted "The Whiffenpoof Song" for the squadron's use.

The Whiffenpoofs can be heard singing it in the 2006 movie The Good Shepherd, in the scene where Matt Damon's son tells him he wants to join the CIA.

In the play Serenading Louie by Lanford Wilson, performed at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2010, the song is sung by the cast and by Bing Crosby.

The Billy Bragg song, "Island of No Return" featured on the Brewing Up With Billy Bragg album features the lyrics, "I wish Kipling and the Captain were here, to record our pursuits for posterity. Me and the corporal out on a spree, damned from here to eternity."


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