I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep


Irving Berlin_WWII_1

I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep (Irving Berlin)

From The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet (2001), p. 358:

Published. Copyrighted June 18, 1942. Introduced by Private William Horne and an “Octette” consisting of Sergeant Zinn Arthur, Corporal James Burrell, and Privates Orville Race, James Farrell, Thomas Chetlin, William Collier, Earl Lipp, and Donald McCray. The idea for the song came from the Yip, Yip, Yaphank song “Dream On, Little Soldier Boy.”* Leading recording by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra (Decca).


Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra, vocal: Terry Allen — recorded on 19 June 1942 and issued in 1942 on the 78 rpm single (US) Columbia 36658, b/w “Rock-A-Bye Bay”; issued in Canada on Columbia C687 with the same B-side


Kenny Baker with Harry Sosnick and his Orchestra — recorded on 26 June 1942; issued on Decca 18442, c/w “I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen”


Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra, vocal: Bob Eberly — recorded on 14 July 1942; issued in August 1942 on the 78 rpm single Decca 18462, b/w “Ev’ry Night About This Time”


Hal McIntyre and his Orchestra, vocal: Jerry Stuart — recorded on 22 July 1942; issued on Victor 27951, b/w “This Is the Army, Mr. Jones”


Pvt. Stuart Churchill and Soldier Octet with Orchestra and Octet Under Direction of Cpl. Milton Rosenstock — recorded on 28 July 1942; released on the 78 rpm single Decca 18475, as the B-side of “The Army’s Made a Man of Me”; also released in 1942 on the 4 disk original all-soldier Broadway cast album This Is the Army, Decca A-340, and the LP single disk version of the album, Decca DL 5108


Victor “First Nighter” Orchestra, with vocals by Brad Reynolds (lead) and Men’s Chorus — recorded on 30 July 1942 and issued 21 August 1942 on the 78 rpm single Victor 27956, b/w “That’s What the Well Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear” (B-side vocal by Fats Waller and Men’s Chorus)


(below) Review of the Barry Wood single Bluebird B-11572, featuring “I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep” as the A-side, from the 22 August 1942 issue of Billboard magazine

Barry Wood – issued c. mid-August 1942 on the 78 rpm single Bluebird B-11572, b/w “Why Don’t You Fall in Love with Me (As Long As You’re Not in Love With Anyone Else)”


Harry James and his Music Makers, vocal: Johnny McAfee — from the album Live broadcast from the Astor Roof on August 28, 1942, released (according to Discogs.com) in 1979


Dennis Day — medley: “I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep” / “I’ll See You In My Dreams”; in a transcription of the “Liberty Ship” episode of the Jack Benny Show (radio), broadcast on 6 December 1942


Stuart Foster — from, according to the video provider, “January 19, 1943 Victory Parade Of Spotlight Bands orchestra directed by Ina Ray Hutton”


Dinah Shore — from, according to the video provider, “February 3, 1943 Eddie Cantor It’s Time To Smile radio program”


James Burrell (singing double: Stuart Churchill) and chorus — in the 1943 film This Is the Army, which was based on the Irving Berlin musical of the same name


“I’m Getting Tired So I Can Sleep” (Irving Berlin) lyric:

Out on a hike all day, dear
Part of the army grind
Weary and long the way, dear
But really I don’t mind

I’m getting tired so I can sleep
I want to sleep so I can dream
I want to dream so I can be with you

I’ve got your picture by my bed
‘Twill soon be placed beneath my head
To keep me company the whole night through

For a little while, whatever befalls
I will see your smile till reveille calls

I hope you’re tired enough to sleep
And please sleep long enough to dream
And look for me, for I’ll be dreaming too

Richard Chamberlain — from the 1967 album Ben Bagley’s Irving Berlin Revisited, MGM SE-4435


* “Dream On Little Soldier Boy” (m. Irving Berlin, w. Jean Havez), published in 1918 — Sheet music for the song is available at the New York Public Library Digital Collections, and at the Levy Sheet Music Collection @John Hopkins University. The first page of the music (p. 2) in the sheet music at the NYPL Digital Collections says “words by Jean Havez.” The credit on the cover (p. 1) of both words and music to Sergeant Irving Berlin, evidently refers to the author of songs in the show Yip, Yap, Yaphank in general rather than to the writers of this particular song.

Since Berlin didn’t write the lyric to “Dream On Little Soldier Boy,” the song is omitted from the “Yip, Yap, Yaphank 1918” chapter (pp. 164-172) of The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet (2001).

Dream On, Little Soldier Boy (m. Irving Berlin, w. Jean Havez) — from the Rilla of Green Gables Original Cast Recording album, released on 14 March 2016



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: And please sleep long enough to dream | Songbook

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