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Croaking Out A Tune:
    Won't You Come Over to My House

Michigan J. Frog And The Songs of One Froggy Evening

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The frog sings Won't You Come Over to My House while his owner rushes to open the curtain.

Written: 1906
Words by Harry H. Williams (1872-1922)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne (1882-1951)
Wav clip from OFE


The sentimental tune Won't You Come Over to My House was one of a number of popular songs created by the team of Egbert Van Alstyne and Harry H. Williams during the early part of the 20th century.

The song tells the story of a woman who sees a lonely baby girl crying. The woman is moved by the sight, picks her up and invites the girl to come play at her house. At the end of the song we realize why she was so moved by the child - she had a girl like her who had died "not long ago".

Van Alstyne was a bit of a child prodigy, playing the organ at his Methodist church in Marengo, Ililnois when he was only 7. After college he toured awhile but then joined up with Harry Williams in a vaudeville show. Around 1900 they stopped in New York and Van Alstyne went to work as as staff pianist for some Tin Pan Alley publishing houses. Soon he was writing songs and Williams was creating the lyrics for them. During this time they had several successful songs with the biggest hit being In The Shade of the Old Apple Tree. After 1910 he would go on to collaborate with other lyricists.


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Williams and Van Alstyne
(from the sheet music cover to Santa Fe, 1910)
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Won't You Come Over to My House was able to make the music charts in 1907 when sung by Byron G. Harlan, and then charted a second time a month later when performed by Henry Burr.


Byron Harlan           Henry Burr



The time was in June,
The bees humm'd a tune
The perfume of rose fill'd the air,
When just o'er the way,
Sat a baby one day,
All alone and so one one seem'd to care,
But one passer by,
Turn'd and look'd with a sigh,
At the tears and the eyes swollen red,
Then close to her breast,
The young darling she press'd,
And tenderly to her she said,

[CHORUS]
Won't you come over to my house,
Won't you come over and play,
I've lots of playthings, a dolly or two
We live in the house 'cross the way,
I'll give you candy and sweet things,
I'll put your hair in a curl,
Won't you come over to my house,
And play that you're my little girl.

Perhaps you don't know,
That not long ago,
These toys I am giving to you,
Were my little girls,
Yes, my one little Pearl's,
And her eyes were like yours, large and blue,
But one night I found,
That the angels came 'round,
And they took her way up to the sky,
So don't stay away,
But come over each day,
Or you'll make your new Mama cry,

 
 
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Sheet music cover
from 1906
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download the
sheet music)
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Egbert Van Alstyne


If you want to learn even more about this song and the people behind it, here are few webpages you might want to check out.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
give your 2 cents at Blog the Frog
Hello, Ma Baby | Michigan Rag | Come Back to Erin | I'm Just Wild About Harry
Throw Him Down, McCloskey | Won't You Come Over to My House
Largo al factotum | Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

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