On the Good Ship Lollipop

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"On the Good Ship Lollipop"
Song by Shirley Temple
Composer(s)Richard A. Whiting
Lyricist(s)Sidney Clare

"On the Good Ship Lollipop" is a song composed by Richard A. Whiting with lyrics by Sidney Clare. It was the signature song of child actress Shirley Temple.[1][2] Temple first sang it in the 1934 film, Bright Eyes.[3]

In the song, the "Good Ship Lollipop" travels to a candy land. The "ship" referred to in the song is an aircraft; the scene in Bright Eyes where the song appears takes place on a taxiing American Airlines Douglas DC-2.[4][5]

400,000 copies of the sheet music, published by Sam Fox Publishing Company, were sold,[5] and one recording by Mae Questel (the cartoon voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl) reputedly sold more than two million copies.[6] It finished at #69 in the survey AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs of top tunes in cinema in the United States in June 2004.

In popular culture[edit]

In February 1974, the song was parodied on an episode of The Brady Bunch, the episode being "The Snooperstar" in which Cindy becomes convinced that Mike's fussy client Penelope Fletcher (Natalie Schafer) is a talent scout and is trying to make her into the next Shirley Temple.

The moniker "Good Ship Lollipop" was famously used by Chicago Outfit underboss Ernest "Rocky" Infelice and his inner circle to refer to the Cicero Crew, which he ran in the mid-to-late 1980s with his second in command, Salvatore "Solly D" DeLaurentis. It is unknown as to how the crew gained the nickname.

In the 1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Arsenal of Freedom, Commander Riker is able to outwit an artificially intelligent hologram masquerading as the captain of another starship by claiming that he is from the Lollipop, which Riker refers to as "a good ship". When the hologram asks about the weapon systems of the Lollipop, it is exposed as a fraud.

In October 1992, The Simpsons used the original recording in "Treehouse of Horror III", in which Shirley Temple was seen singing it during her concert before being devoured by King Homer, in a sketch parodying King Kong.[7] In May 2000, the same show parodied the song in "Last Tap Dance in Springfield". It was being sung as "On the Spaceship Lollipop" by Vicki Valentine (voiced by Tress MacNeille), herself spoofing Temple.[8]

In the 2007 film Shrek the Third, The Gingerbread Man is heard singing the song after Captain Hook threatens him.

Other recordings[edit]


  1. ^ "Shirley Temple Black, child star who became diplomat, dies at 85". Reuters. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  2. ^ Scott, Mike (11 February 2014). "Remembering Shirley Temple in song, from 'Good Ship Lollipop' to 'Animal Crackers in My Soup'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  3. ^ "5 films in which Shirley Temple shined - Washington Times". The Washington Times. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  4. ^ Curiously, in the film the floor of the airplane appears to be level, even though the DC-2 is a taildragger, and in real life it would be quite difficult to walk up and down the steeply sloped aisle while the plane is parked or taxiing.
  5. ^ a b Boyes, Laura. "Bright Eyes (1934)". Moviediva. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  6. ^ Lyman, Rick (8 January 1998). "Mae Questel, 89, Behind Betty Boop and Olive Oyl". The New York Times. p. 9. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ "TV Picks – Treehouse of Horror". theboar.org. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Season 11, Episode 20: Last Tap Dance in Springfield". hollywoodrevue.wordpress.com. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  9. ^ "The Online Discographical Project". 78discography.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 428. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  11. ^ "The Online Discographical Project". 78discography.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Crossland, Ken (2013). late Life Jazz: The Life and Career of Rosemary Clooney. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-19-979857-5.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 16 August 1969. Retrieved 3 December 2019.