The Music of David Lippincott
(revised 1/24/16)

(pic from E Pluribus Bang)

My uncle David, Hotchkiss 1943, Yale 1949, wrote music and lyrics from an early age. The first evidence I have of that is a musical revue he wrote while at Hotchkiss called Little Boy Blue. (Blue seems to be the school color...). He then went to Yale, as did my father and their father. After college he worked for McCann Erickson as the creative director, creating some of the jingles below. He also wrote some books, several of which you can still get (from my brother who has a used book store). Some of these were turned into movies. He was also a member of ASCAP, the American Guild of Authors and Composers, The Players Club in New York City, and wrote scripts for the television programs Studio One and Captain Kangaroo!

His son Christopher lent me the albums he had and I was able to dub off everything he has. I can get you in touch with Chris. Write me and I will forward anything to him.

I would love to find out more about his music. Please write in if you would like a copy of any of the music that is on CD mentioned below (it will have an asterisk next to it) or if you have more info you can add to any of this. Thanks.


John Lippincott 

1/24/16 note: The links to soundfiles and offsite pics no longer work. Please write to me for them.

The recordings

Here is a list of the recordings I know about in the best chronological order I can figure out. Anything with an asterisk in front of it has been dubbed onto CD.

This is probably a pic of David at Hotchkiss, probably around the time of Little Boy Blue's first performace. Note the Western Union telegrams.

circa 1936 
* Little Boy Blue

While at Hotchkiss David wrote Little Boy Blue. A 1953 revival is on record. (I have seen a ticket for 2/20/53 and some pics of students beforehand.) A 2003 version was also done at Hotchkiss. You can read about it in the pdf at the bottom of the page. (136k, reprinted from the Fall 2003 Hotchkiss Magazine.) 

The Hotchkiss Dramatic Association presents 
Little Boy Blue 
A musical revue of Hotchkiss Life 
by David McCord Lippincott '43 
The 1953 revival 
(See the front and back cover of the record) 
(total time 30:17)

Overture - Albert C Sly and Peter Duchin (Yes, the same Peter Duchin who is the dance orchestra leader.)

part I 
Little Boy Blue - Hugh Madden 
Hunted Stag - The Octet 
1953 Song - Full Chorus

part II 
Sweet Sixteen - Madden and chorus

part III 
Hail to the Masters - Full chorus 
Finale - Full chorus

part IV 
Dufour Will Do For - Full chorus

part V 
One Week End to Go - chorus 
Decker's Lunch - Chorus 
Ginger Beer - Peter Arnold and Henry Glover 
This Being in Love - Peter Arnold and Henry Glover 
What I've Got Now - William Bush 
Finale - We Should Set Sail - Full chorus

This appears to be a picture of David singing, probably in 1953 version judging from David's age.

Bessie's Lunch,  © 5/1/1943 (This is all I know of this song.)

There are some records from 1946. I think David is singing all of these.

*Poughkeepsie - DML, Jul 1946  (See Button Button below)
*No one gives out - DML Jul 1946 
Audiodisc recording blank, NY, USA. 78 rpm
(DML is David McCord Lippincott)

*A Gentleman Must Always Be Obliging - DML Jul 1946 
*You Had to Happen to Me - DML, Jul 1946  (See Button Button below)
Audiodisc recording blank, NY, USA. 78 rpm

The Whiffenpoofs of 1949

Members in unknown order: Malcolm "beg your" Barton, Sevier "easter" Bonnie, Kemerer "We're goin' b" Edwards, William "hotel" Gard, Richard "sugar-cured" Hamilton, Ralph "gasp" Hanes, Frederick "yours for the as" King, David "slip o' the" Lippincott, Richard "seedless" Mapes, John "he's had his" Philbrick, Joseph "popocatepetl" Selden, Jay "old dog" Tracey, William "paddy" Wagner, Edwin "pitchpipe" Wolff (Pic from the Whiffenpoofs website)

While an undergraduate at Yale he is credited with writing three shows: "Whoosh!", "Button, Button" and "Mind the Music".

8/16/11 I discover one song from Whoosh called Schwizz. See the Whiffenpoof website for the sheet music.

Here is some info on Button Button. I scanned a copy of the program from a May 8 & 9, 1947 version of the show produced at Yale. It was produced by Pundit-Whiffenpoof Productions. The inside cover describes its raison d'etre as "just for fun". (Front coverinside coverinsideback cover)

The characters include: Jerry, William RK Biffle, "Needles" MacGowan, Crosby, TZ Richards, Dr Tweedy, Igor, Drunk, Maude, Mildred, Mabel, Mr Merlin, Xantippe, Geronimo, Mr Mills, Mr Devere, Deborah, Referee, MacDougal, Clothilde (played by David Lippincott) and Cupid. John Gile played the piano. You can see the names of anyone playing these parts and those behind the scenes by looking at the above scans.)


Prologue: Corner of Church and Chapel Streets, New Haven
Song: Mory's Mory's (I discover a recording of this done by the Whiffenpooofs on 8/16/11. See their website.)

Act 1

Scene 1: The Backroom of Mory's
Songs:    Poughkeepsie
              The World's Full of Yearners

Scene II: The Bar-room of the Hotel Taft
Songs:   We're Saving Ourselves For Yale
              Don't Ever Say Goodbye
              Scramble, Scramble
              Daddy Is A Yale Man (1947 Whiffenpoof recording discovered 8/16/11! See their website.)

Scene III: Office of the Assistant Dean of Astrology, somewhere over New Haven
Songs:   Kinda Cruisin' Around
Reprise: We're Saving Ourselves For Yale

Act II

Scene I: Yale Bowl
Songs:   Here's To A New Crop of Talent
              To Be A Bulldog
              You Had To Happen To Me

Scene II: Outside Prison Yard, New Haven Jail
Song:     Evenin' and Me (1949 Whiffenpoofs recording discovered 8/16/11! See their website.)

Scene III: Inside Prison Yard
Song:     Matters of the Past
Reprise: Don't Ever Say Goodbye


I recently discovered a new song that David had written called The Old Whiff Song. I found some sheet music that credits him with the words and music. It is copyrighted 1953. 8/16/11 I discover a 1949 recording of this on the Whiffenpoof website.


I discover some recordings of and info on some new songs (to me). One I only have info on is Glee Club Takeoff. See Whiffenpoof website for more info.



I wrote to the Yale Archives, asking what they might have of David's music, and received this response:
"Thank you for sending us copies of the program for Button, Button. While we do not have a copy of this program in our records we do hold photographs of the production in the records of the Yale Dramat (RU 300) and of the Whiffenpoofs (RU 156). We also hold photographs and a program for Whoosh (RU 156) and photographs, a script, score, and poster for Mind the Music (RU 300). You are welcome to visit Manuscripts and Archives to see these materials. We can also make photocopies of the six folders containing these items at a cost of $30.00 per folder plus shipping. If you would like to order copies, please send us a postal address to which we can send forms and an invoice.
I was unable to find any information about Peter Matthiessen, except that he is a member of the class of 1950 and lives in New York State. (There is a Peter Matthiessen listed as a stagehand in the program.)
The Pundits were founded in 1884 as a society of “campus wits.”  In certain eras, their presence on campus has been more visible than at others.  They have a history of rebelling against Yale tradition, often through elaborate pranks.  On their Flickr site they describe themselves as, "The elite senior society 
whose activities consisted of drinking, running around naked, and mocking authority.""

Diane E. Kaplan
Head of Public Services
Manuscripts and Archives
Yale University Library


David graduated from Yale in 1949. Some of his songs do appear on later Whiffenpoof recordings.

*I'll be Ready (When You Are) - credit says Lippincott (2:08) 
The Whiffenpoofs of 1950 (Jim Symington, who sings on The Body in the Seine is on this album as well.)
Cover says "I'll Be Ready When You Are not on Saving Ourselves for Yale." LP has side 2 info on both sides of the lp.
(Also appears on the Whiffenpoofs Golden Anniversary album of 1959 with different singers, of course.)

*Mildred, Maud and Mabel (aka Saving Ourselves For Yale)  (See Button Button above)
The Whiffenpoofs of 1951
Thomas Babbitt is underlined in red on the album back cover. He might sing the lead on this. 

*Daddy is a Yale Man (2:33)  (See Button Button above)
The Whiffenpoofs of 1952 
Samuel F Babbit and Mark W Potter are underlined in red on the album and may be featured. 
(Also appears on the Whiffenpoofs Golden Anniversary album of 1959 with different singers, of course.)

*Crusin' Around Solo 
Whiffenpoofs 1964 (1947 Whiffenpoofs recording discovered 8/16/11! See their website.)
I have an LP, from Mom (originally from Lanie), with autographs of 8 of the singers on it. 
The song is listed as:
Cruisin Around (1:55)
Solo: Ostrich (John Herbert "The Wizard of" Ostrich, West Hartford CT) 

*Anytime, Anywhere 
GoldSwan Productions, 78 rpm 
GS # 39. 3/29/56 
(on both sides)
Unknown man singing with female background singers and piano (and bass?) accompaniment.

The only recording I could listen to of his work as the creative director at McCann-Erickson is:

*Nabisco Fig Newton Eaters, McCann Erickson, 7/25/62 
a) : 60 
b)  :30 
c)  Sales Marketing version 1:30

Another recording from that period is: 
*Bring Home the Coke 
Olmstead Sound Studios, 1 East 54th St, New York, 22, NY 
Lateral 78 rpm, outside start 
band 1 vocals 
band 2 other versions - a) instrumental - nice trumpet playing, b) vocals, c) dixeland instrumental version, d) vocals (You can hear version d in this YouTube video, starring Sandra Dee.)
Coke is a registered trademark, produced by McCann Erickson Inc, OSS-1050

At some point, in the (40's or) 50s, David wrote a musical  called the Body In the Seine. The album I've seen is from 1953. I have scanned the front and back covers. I was able to listen to two recordings of this, one is the show itself, the other is selections from the show sung by different people than the cast listed on the album.

*The Body in the Seine 
A Musical Tour de Force through Paris (44:26) (front and back covers)

Wikipedia has this article on it (current as of 1/24/16. Much of that info, as well as David's bio on Wikipedia, was acquired from this page!):

"The Body in the Seine
 is an original "album musical" created by songwriter David M. Lippincott and given a limited release in 1954. Because of its rarity, many collectors of original cast albums consider it "the holy grail" of recordings.[1]

Although The Body in the Seine (subtitled "A Musical Tour de Force Through Paris") sounds like the cast album of a Broadway musical, it actually was complete in itself, with no accompanying stage show. Lippincott, was working as a jingle writer (Coke, Fig Newton, etc.) at McCann-Erickson, a New York advertising agency,[2] when he released this collection of twelve songs, hoping to find an experienced writer who would create a book to accompany his tunes. A note on the back of the album read: Help Wanted. Musical score requires immediate services of bright, clever "book." Must be mature, sophisticated and willing to travel.[3]

What makes The Body in the Seine interesting to collectors of Broadway cast albums is the theatrical performers assembled for the recording, includingAlice PearceGeorge S. Irving, Barbara Ashley and future U.S. Congressman, Jim Symington. The album's orchestrators, Joseph Glover and Ralph Norman Wilkinson, were both experienced music arrangers, and Buster Davis, who conducted the orchestra and chorus, had worked on such Broadway musicals as High Button ShoesGentlemen Prefer BlondesTop Banana and Make a Wish."

I've been in touch with James W Symington, who sang the role of  the cowboy. I had asked him a few questions and for his reminisces. He has kindly given me permission to include his response below. (I added the "dy" to Daddy Is A Yale Man...)

"Starting from the top.  I knew David slightly from afar, not being in the same college (I was Silliman; can't recall David's - maybe
Saybrook).  I first learned of him at a Saybrook Sing organized by Saybrook College Master, Duke Henning - a great lover of quartet
singing.  David was a member of the vaunted O's and B's (Orpheus and Bacchus Society), a principal competitor of the Whiffs.  They organized in their sophomore or junior year, and thus had a year's more practice than the Whiffs, who only formed up to sing their senior year.

David's original songs became folded into the Yale song tradition, especially "Dad(dy) is a Yale Man", and "Mildred, Maud and Mabel", both classics and great fun to sing.  It was impossible to get an O and B to quit the group and become a Whiff.  They were too good, too loyal, and had too much fun with their own camaraderie.  David was an acknowledged genius, and would have given Cole Porter a run had he stayed with us longer.  Whenever David played or sang a crowd would gather.  He was an iconic composer and performer.

After graduating I moved to New York to attend Columbia Law School, and did some singing around town, particularly at the Sherry Netherland Hotel.  David undoubtedly heard about it, and having heard me sing with the Whiffs must have thought I could handle "Body in the Seine".  It was good fun to record in a New York studio - which one I forget - and I lost track of its fate.  I do remember that David was in some kind of negotiation for its production.  I only made one recording of "Body in the Seine" - without horse clops.  Again, I can't fill in much more on David's musical career.  Frank McGhee and John Hanes could fill you in if available.  They sang with the O's and B's.

I am, indeed, on that 1950 Whiff record, soloing in "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?", with a few solo notes in "Girl That's Pretty".  The latter was probably public domain, but "Dream" was a copyrighted song of the 30's.  "Barty", Marshall Bartholomew, was Yale's longtime Glee Club Director, the best.  I don't know the voice on the "Naval" song.

Further deponent sayeth not, at least not yet.  Will amplify with any late thoughts.

With warm regards, and renewed thanks for bringing to mind such an exceptional talent and admired friend.


Jim Symington"


Note: The songs "You really didn't have to do that" and "But Wonderful" are in reverse order on the lp cover. (I have fixed that below.)

1) Opening: See The World 
2) A Lady Like You 
3) Chacun a son Gout 
4) You Really Didn't Have To Do That 
5) But Wonderful 
6) Love On The Left Bank's A Wild, Wild Thing 
7) The Body in the Seine 
8) A Little Change of Scene 
9) Where Do I Go From Here?  (pdf)
10) Dirge 
11) Why Can't You Be You? 
12) Finale: What The Hell Is So Wide About the World?


I was able to listen to this lp which has one song from The Body In The Seine. It is a different version than the one on the show lp.

1) *The Girl With The Off Center Navel (2:18) 
Chris remembers this one. It has a very odd repetition of the word "navel" which is what is fun about this song.

2) *The Body in the Seine (4:15) 
This is sung by man with a strong vibrato, not Jim Symington who sang it in the original cast recording. This is a slightly different version with a Country and Western feel, with horse clip-clop sound effects/percussion.

12" 33 rpm lp - nothing on other side 
Robert Swanson Productions Inc., 689 5th Av, NY 22, NY 
Telephone MUrray Hill 8-4355


This pic is the back cover of one of David's books, The Voice of Armageddon. See my brother to buy a copy of any of his books.


The following two 78s have selections from the show. There are two copies of each one.

Alden Shaw 
AVB 665-A (side A) 78 rpm 
*Chacun Son Gout 
From the Body in the Seine 
General Music Pub Co Inc (ASCAP) 
Vocal with Orchestra Directed by B Davis 
Don Liberto (singing) 
Time 3:10

AVB 665-B (side B) 78 rpm 
*Why Can't You Be You 
From the Body in the Seine 
General Music Pub Co Inc (ASCAP) 
Vocal with Orchestra Directed by B Davis 
Don Liberto (singing) 


Alden Shaw 78 rpm 
AVB-666-A (side A) 
*But Wonderful 
General Music Pub Co Inc (ASCAP) 
Vocal with Orchestra Directed by B Davis 
Barbara Ashley (singing) 

AVB 666-B (side B) 78 rpm 
*Where Do I Go From Here? 
General Music Pub Co Inc (ASCAP) 
Vocal with Orchestra Directed by B Davis 
Terry Turner (singing) 


The following are pop songs. I am not sure when they came out but I have made some guesses. In rough chronological order:

*I Wish I Could (2:19) 
Olmstead lp, "2 cuts identical" - label 
This has an unknown, good female singer with a 50s style band and backup vocals. It swings and is one of David's most unforgettable tunes. Listen to it a few times and you won't be able to get it out of your head.

after 1956 
*Sleepy Sunday (2:30) 
Bernie Nee with Ray Conniff and his Orchestra 
Columbia 45 rpm, 4-40980 
This is more of a novelty/pop tune. I think David was influenced by the calypso craze that hit when Harry Belafonte had a big hit with Day-O. This is more Muzak than calypso. I place this sometime after 1956. 

possibly 50s, 60s. 
*Too Fat To Be Santa Claus (2:20) 
Bill Darnell and the Smith Brothers, with Sid Bass and his orchestra 
45 rpm, "X", a product of Radio Corporation of America, record preview, coming attractions 
Harmon Music, ASCAP, E4-LW-5728, 4X-0067 
This is another novelty tune. This has Muzaky/white backup singers but could be be sung by black Caribbeaners. See the All Music Guide for more info on Darnell and Sid Bass. 


I have no idea when the following recordings were made.

*Step Down
(sung by) Three Beaux and a Peep 
Rock Hill Recording, 78 rpm 
(Sounds like 1940s) 

*Too Fat
 (on one side) 
male singer with background singers and small band (different version than the other one)
*If They Only Knew (on other side) 
group vocal with small band
GoldSwan Productions, 78 rpm 
Audio Video Recording Co Inc, 730 Fifth Ave, NY 19, NY 

Some notes on things that came up while looking into these recordings:

- Note for The Body in the Seine: "You really didn't have to do that" and "But Wonderful" are reversed on the record compared to the order on the lp cover.

- Other Whiffenpoof albums were not listened to (except "Barty Concert") since I didn't see any familiar titles or credit to Lippincott.

- The scans of the covers of Little Boy Blue and The Body In the Seine were stitched together since they are too big to be scanned in one pass. I did not transcribe the liner notes but have some info on them in my notes above.

8/26/15: Thank you, Scott Henderson, for that pdf of Where Do I Go From Here.

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