#TBT all the way back to 1942’s This is the Army, featuring Irving Berlin himself singing “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” This classic tune was inspired in part by Berlin’s own experience in the army after being drafted in 1918 and eventually appeared in three different stage musicals: Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, Yip Yip Yaphank, and This is the Army. Berlin would later describe the song as “a protest written from the heart out, absolutely without the slightest thought that it would ever earn a cent.”
When the stage production of This is the Army was adapted into a feature film by Warner Brothers in 1942, Berlin reprised his rendition of “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” Of his singing performance, Berlin was reportedly quoted as saying: “As for my voice, I made a recording. When the record was first played on the set, one of the electricians, who didn’t know whose voice it was, said ‘If the guy who wrote that song could hear the record, he would turn over in his grave’…However I am hoping it won’t be too bad.”
Since its composition in 1918, “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” has inspired countless parodies and is considered the Berlin number with which he is most strongly associated as a performer. The popularity of the song has soared and remains just as funny almost a century after being written.