By Cherrill P. Heaton ‘54
Arthur “Rag” Osborn loved Princeton music. His 1966 obituary in the Princeton Alumni Weekly reminded his class that
Music was an ever present and powerful interest in Rag Osborn’s life. Always ready to play his beloved piano, he earned his nickname early. While in college he composed with Joe Hewitt “The Princeton Cannon Song” and “The Guard of Old Nassau,” which Rag later converted into “The Princeton Band Song.” On his own, he composed “Princeton’s Sons,” “Princeton on Parade,” and “Nineteen Seven’s Back Again.”
His obituary continued: “Shortly after World War I, he was very active in the organization of the Princeton Marching Band. His support of the Band was constant and generous and was largely responsible for his coming to Princeton to live in 1950.“
The Marching Band’s annual awards, except one, have light-hearted names like Turkey of the Year, Grossest Member, and Freshman Lush and are intended to commemorate “a variety of outrageous acts.” The exception is the Osborn Cup, given to a senior or seniors for dedication and service to the Band.
After Osborn’s graduation, decades passed without a Princeton song from him. Then in 1954 he wrote to his class secretary, “I am still very much interested in the Princeton Band and attend their rehearsals every week.” He also reported that he and a friend “wrote a new football song a couple of years ago [in 1949] called ‘Here Comes That Tiger.’ The band plays it at the games and rallies. It’s a bit different from the ‘Cannon Song’ in that it contains a bit of syncopation or ragtime as we used to call it.” The Band continues to play “Here Comes That Tiger” throughout the year and at all of their Reunions performances.
As far as I know, the song’s words, by Osborn, never caught on. I doubt that any contemporary Princetonian can sing the verse:
Now the natives of Jersey had discovered quite early
All the things that Tigers eat
And that without any question they would have indigestion
If they didn’t get “Bulldog” meat
When the Army Mule is cooking
It’s just to his taste
Should they pass around some “Harvard Hash”
It won’t go to waste
And on Navy Day you’ll hear a growl from his throat
For what he likes best is a slice of their “Goat.”
The words of the chorus seem slightly familiar to me, but I don’t think I ever heard them sung at Princeton, and I was in the Band and Tigertones:
Oh! Boy! Oh! Boy!
HERE COMES THAT TIGER WOW!
He’s running wild! They’ll never stop him now
He’ll prowl around some and then let out a roar
When eleven tiger football players start to score.
Although I never knew the words of “Here Comes That Tiger,” the tune stuck with me, and I made use of it after graduation. My flag football team in graduate school, the El Rancho Chargers, needed a fight song, so I put some words to the tune:
We’re gonna win, we’re the El Rancho boys
We’re gonna win, go Chargers make some noise
We’ve got the team that can move that football
Down the field
We’ve got the spirit that will make the opposition yield
And so on.
Later I taught writing courses to groups of United Parcel Service drivers who had been made supervisors. I thought they needed a fight song, so to the tune of “Here Comes That Tiger,” I provided one:
We’re gonna win, United Parcel Boys
We’re gonna win, go drivers make some noise
We’ve got the team that can move right through that sort and load
We’ve got the drivers who can get those parcels
Down the road
We’re gonna win, United Parcel bunch
We’re gonna win, Post Office out to lunch
We’re gonna win, come on drivers, victory is near
It’s one-look here, Smith System there, and then lets
Have a beer
My rendition was always a hit, and the “UPS Fight Song” plus a picture of me and my guitar appeared in the UPS company publication.
* * *
Here is some background for certain highly public events of 1907 that involved Rag Osborn. Martin Maloney came to the United States from Ballingarry, Ireland in the 19th century. Starting in the Pennsylvania coal mines, he became a rags-to-riches millionaire in different utilities businesses. He built a palatial summer home, “Ballingarry,” for his family in Spring Lake, NJ.
A young Englishman named Samuel Clarkson, intent on marrying Martin Maloney’s beautiful young daughter Helen, visited Ballingarry in the fall of 1907. He and Helen went on a “shopping trip” to New York City under the watchful eye of a maid who was instructed not to let the couple out of her sight. They slipped away, disappeared, and the search for the beautiful young heiress became front-page news in the New York and Philadelphia papers for days.
MARTIN MALONEY’S DAUGHTER ELOPES WITH MAN OF HER CHOICE
FATHER WIRES EUROPE PORTS AND SENDS WIRELESS MESSAGES TO ALL SHIPS IN SEARCH OF HELEN
She Notifies Papa that She Is a Bride and Has Gone to England,
Her Husband’s Native Land
Helen Maloney had recently returned from Europe. According to a newspaper account, she “confided to her intimates that she had been taken abroad by her parents to escape the too ardent attentions of a Princeton student and an Italian of title.” She met Clarkson in Europe and they fell in love. He followed her home to pursue his suit.
Shortly after the news of Helen’s elopement appeared, a young New York stockbroker announced that Helen Maloney could not be married to Samuel Clarkson because she was already married--to himself. That young stockbroker was Arthur H. Osborn ‘1907.
Arthur and Helen met at Ballingarry in 1905 when he was a Princeton sophomore. He proposed marriage to her, but she said they should wait six months to see if their love lasted. He soon asked again, but she said her parents would think that, at 19, she was too young. On December 28, after discussing the titled foreigners being considered by her parents as possible sons-in-law, they drove to Mamaroneck, NY, and, because the Maloneys were strict Catholics, tried to be married by a Catholic priest, who declined. They then gave assumed names —Herbert Ogden and Helen Eugene—to a justice of the peace and were married. They returned to New York, Helen rejoined her family, and Arthur went back to Princeton.
This headline appeared soon after Osborn’s announcement:
HAS HELEN MALONEY TWO HUSBANDS?
STANDARD OIL MAGNATE’S DAUGHTER MARRIED TO ARTHUR OSBORN IN 1905 AND CONTRACTED SECOND MARRIAGE IN MONTREAL RECENTLY
An October 12, 1907 headline referred to Helen as
NOT A YOUNG GIRL BUT A MUCHLY MARRIED WOMAN
All of this was too much for the Maloneys. The New York Times reported:
Mr. Maloney and other members of his family were inaccessible at their Spring Lake, N.J., home today, Mr. Maloney’s condition being such that he was unable to see anyone. While he was shocked by the girl’s going away with Clarkson, that in itself probably would have no serious effect, but with the announcement of the marriage to Arthur H. Osborn which followed, he was prostrated. Mrs. Maloney’s condition is said to be little better than that of her husband, while Mrs. Osborn, mother of the young man to whom Helen Maloney was married nearly two years ago, who has been suffering severely since first told of the marriage, was in such a condition that she left her home in the Hotel Beresford for a retreat in the Adirondacks.
Meanwhile in London, Samuel Clarkson was announcing to a group of friends, “I’ve married the sweetest girl in the world, fellows, and I thank you for your congratulations from the bottom of my heart.”
Mr. Maloney had to cut short a trip he was on with President Theodore Roosevelt. He and some family members were soon in London, trying to find the couple. An October 15 headline read:
THE CLARKSONS STILL ELUDE HIM
MR. MALONEY STILL WAITING TO CLASP HIS SON-IN-LAW TO HIS PATERNAL BREAST
When Helen Maloney learned that she was still legally married to Arthur Osborn, she was shocked. Apparently neither she nor Arthur thought that they were really married. They viewed the ceremony with the Mamaroneck justice of the peace as a spur-of-the-moment joke, a “pleasantry.” William J. Fanning, the Maloney family lawyer, said of Helen, “She was always a lively, high-spirited girl, full of fun and ready for anything. I can readily imagine that if she was out on an automobile trip with a party of friends, and someone dared her to be married, she would go right ahead.” She did not even think about the legal aspects. He added that as a devout Catholic, she would not have thought a marriage by a justice of the peace rather than a priest to be binding. Helen later testified that she thought her use of a fictitious name had prevented her from being married.
By early November Helen had been found and returned to Philadelphia. She had not married Clarkson after all. The New York Times headline of November 7, 1907, revealed some surprising news:
OSBORN ACCEPTED BY THE MALONEYS.
WILL PUBLICLY RECOGNIZE HIM SOON AS THEIR DAUGHTER HELEN’S HUSBAND
NO REMARRIAGE PROBABLE
Mr. Maloney gave orders that his Philadelphia home should be renovated to make it more appropriate for an additional two residents. He “made the condition that the young couple live under his roof, where he can help and guide them.” After a talk with Mr. Maloney, Samuel Clarkson agreed to stay away from Helen. What one newspaper referred to as “one of the most remarkable international romances of the times” seemed settled.
But in January 1908, the newspaper headlines reflected another change in Helen’s heart:
MALONEY GIRL TO ANNUL TIE
MILLIONAIRE’S DAUGHTER ASKS FOR FREEDOM FROM OSBORN
WILL BE CLARKSON’S BRIDE
After conferring with the Maloney family, Osborn agreed to the annulment. Helen and Arthur thought of the marriage as “no more than a joke.” The annulment would “enable Miss Maloney to be married with the blessings of Rome, to Samuel Clarkson.” The grounds for the annulment were that Helen and Arthur had never lived together as man and wife and in fact had never even been alone together after the ceremony, that they considered the ceremony to be more of an engagement commitment than a marriage, and that they both understood the ceremony not to be a marriage nor was it intended to be. It was “only a precautionary measure to save Miss Maloney from the attentions of titled foreigners, which were regarded favorably by the parents of the young woman.” Miss Maloney stated that “both of them agreed that when the real marriage was solemnized, it was to be by a Roman Catholic priest in the presence of their mutual friends” and that they were not to live together until after a second ceremony had been performed by a priest.
During the annulment questioning, referee Colahan asked Osborn, “Have you ever considered Miss Maloney to be your wife?” He replied, “I am very doubtful on that point. I think I can say that I have not.” The referee was not similarly doubtful. He determined that the couple had not been married and made that recommendation to Supreme Court Justice Lehman, who signed an interlocutory decree in May of 1908 annulling the marriage, to take effect in three months.
But then the Maloneys reconsidered. The New York Times headline for August 29, 1908 read:
MALONEY CASE HALTS
RUMOR THAT FAMILY PREFERS NOT TO ANNUL OSBORN MARRIAGE
Just before the final decree was to be signed, the Maloney family attorneys asked for a postponement. According to the papers, “It is understood that Martin Maloney himself prefers young Osborn for a son-in-law….It was rumored today that the girl has had a change of heart and that the Maloney millions will be kept on this side of the water by the union which was celebrated at Mamaroneck.”
Not so fast. Despite the rumors, the annulment proceedings went forward. The final decree was issued. The Mamaroneck marriage was annulled. Helen was no longer Mrs. Arthur Herbert Osborn.
But not for long. She resumed that status in early 1909. On February 2 and 3, newspapers all over the country contained headlines like this one from the New York Sun:
HELEN MALONEY IS MRS. OSBORN FOR SECOND TIME
After Securing Annulment of Secret Wedding,
Daughter of Papal Marquis Marries Man of Her Choice
HAPPY ENDING TO INVOLVED ROMANCE
The New York Times reported from Spring Lake that
Miss Helen Maloney, daughter of Martin Maloney, Papal Marquis and tractor and gas magnate, was remarried here this morning to Arthur Herbert Osborn of New York City, the graduate of Princeton University to whom she was secretly married on December 28,1905, by Justice of the Peace E.A. Boyd of Mamaroneck. That wedding was recently annulled by the Supreme Court.
This time their marriage lasted 56 years, until Osborn’s death in 1965.
The happy couple may have begun their married life in Philadelphia under the supervision of Mr. Maloney, but they lived for many years at Spring Lake until 1950 when Arthur retired from the brokerage business and they moved to 113 Cleveland Lane in Princeton, so Arthur could be near the Band.
* * *
Princeton songs are written, naturally, by Princetonians. All of the Princeton songs in the Centennial Edition (1969) of Carmina Princetoniana: The Songbook of Princeton University are by Princetonians, plus faculty member Karl Langlotz who with H.P. Peck ‘1862 wrote “Old Nassau.” Why would anybody else but a Princetonian write a Princeton song?
But someone else did. Arthur Osborn’s collaborator on “Here Comes That Tiger” never had a Princeton connection that I could determine, other than his acquaintance with Osborn. He was born, lived, died, and was buried in Montclair, NJ. He lived on the same city block all his life. He was a songwriter for films and for Broadway shows, lived quietly with his mother, never married, and seems hardly to have gone anywhere except to the Tin Pan Alley section of New York--where composers and sheet music publishers gathered--and back to Montclair.
Rag Osborn’s biography in Carmina Princetoniana says that he “spent his life commuting between Wall Street and Tin Pan Alley,” so that is probably where Osborn and his collaborator met. For many forgotten films and Broadway shows from 1930 to 1950, Rag’s partner in composition wrote many forgotten songs, among them: “Sing Something Simple,” “I Gotta Get Up and Go to Work,” “Are You Making Any Money?” “A Hut in Hoboken,” “Goopy Geer” (he plays piano and he plays by ear) and “Down the Old Back Road.” Better known and recorded by several artists at the time—among them Rudy Vallee, Johnny Mercer, and Spike Jones--was “When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba” (1931). His “Let’s Put Out the Lights and Go to Sleep”(1932) was widely recorded. I remember hearing it on the radio in my childhood.
“Here Comes That Tiger” shows that Osborn’s Tin Pan Alley partner could write a snappy raggy tune. How was he as a lyricst? Let’s take a look at the prelude to one of his songs:
This day and age we’re living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension
Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein’s theory
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension
Not very promising. Hard to see how this man made his living writing songs. Maybe the song’s verse is better:
You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
Wait a minute! Do you mean to tell me that the fellow who wrote the music for “Here Comes That Tiger” also wrote “As Time Goes By”? HERMAN HUPFELD? Moonlight and roses, never out of date?
Yes, this greatest of movie love songs—about hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate--was written not by a wealthy, socially prominent, songwriting Princetonian who had been party to “one of the most remarkable international romances of the times” but by his friend and collaborator Herman Hupfeld, a quiet unmarried man who lived with his mother. I could have bought a two-line ad in the PAW to share this information, but I thought it was interesting enough to write about.
Here’s looking at you, Herman.
All quotations and headlines are from the New York Times 1907-1909 unless otherwise indicated.