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Language English
Released 1957
Genre show tune
Length 2:21
Songwriter(s) Meredith Willson
Track listing
"Gary, Indiana"
"Till There Was You"

"Shipoopi" is a song in the 1957 musical The Music Man by Meredith Willson.[1] The song is sung by the character Marcellus Washburn, a friend of Harold Hill, and is about finding love. It occurs at about the same time in the play that Marian begins to fall for Professor Hill's wooing.

The dialogue surrounding the song does not explain the meaning of the term shipoopi, which Willson invented for the song. The chorus implies that it means a "girl who's hard to get", and the first stanza says a woman who waits until the third date to kiss is a shipoopi.

In the 1962 film version of The Music Man, the character of Marcellus Washburn was played by Buddy Hackett. According to the film documentary included with the extended DVD release, choreographer Onna White was able to take someone not known as a dancer, and make him into a dancer for this number.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the TV series Lateline, the song was featured in an episode about a false report of the death of Buddy Hackett.
  • Vern Fonk, an auto insurance provider in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, known for off-color and humorous commercials, uses the phrase "shipoopi" in his commercial "Dance"