In Gypsy, the song appears at the end of the first act and is performed by Rose, the main character, whose favorite daughter, June, has just eloped. Her elder daughter, Louise, and her longtime fiancee, Herbie, are relieved that Rose's pursuit of June's stardom is finally over. However, Rose now has plans for Louise to become a star. Rose will live her dream through her daughters at any cost, so the title is really a pun. Besides "roses" representing happiness, it alternately means "Rose's" as in Rose's way or "Rose" as in Rose becoming a star herself, through her daughter.
According to Sammy Cahn, the song had its genesis in the 1947 musical High Button Shoes, for which he was the lyricist. Cahn wrote lyrics for a song sung by a female character who can't decide between two men; the lyrics began, "I'm betwixt/ I'm between/ Can't make up my mind which way to lean." Jule Styne, who was that musical's composer, wrote music for it, but the director, George Abbott, decide the song didn't fit well into the show, and removed it. When composing Gypsy, Styne decided to re-use the music for what became Everything’s Coming Up Roses, with new lyrics by Sondheim.
A version of the song set to a disco beat was recorded by Ethel Merman for her infamous Ethel Merman Disco Album in 1979.
You'll be swell! You'll be great! Gonna have the whole world on the plate! Starting here, starting now, honey, everything's coming up roses!
Clear the decks! Clear the tracks! You've got nothing to do but relax. Blow a kiss. Take a bow. Honey, everything's coming up roses!
Now's your inning. Stand the world on its ear! Set it spinning! That'll be just the beginning! Curtain up! Light the lights! You got nothing to hit but the heights! You'll be swell. You'll be great. I can tell. Just you wait. That lucky star I talk about is due! Honey, everything's coming up roses for me and for you!
You can do it, all you need is a hand. We can do it, Mama is gonna see to it! Curtain up! Light the lights! We got nothing to hit but the heights! I can tell, wait and see. There's the bell! Follow me! And nothing's gonna stop us 'til we're through! Honey, everything's coming up roses and daffodils! Everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus! Everything's gonna be bright lights and lollipops! Everything's coming up roses for me and for you!
This song was also featured in the end of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Ben's Birthday"