"Come on-a My House
" is a song by Rosemary Clooney
from her album Come On-A My House
, released on June 6
. The song was written by Ross Bagdasarian
and William Saroyan
in summer of 1939 but did not become a hit until its release by Clooney. It was probably Saroyan's only effort at popular songwriting, and it was one of Bagdasarian's few well-known works that was not connected to his most famous creation, Alvin and the Chipmunks
The song (written by two Armenians
) touches upon traditional Armenian customs of inviting over relatives and friends and providing them with a generously overflowing table of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods.
The song was a major hit for Clooney in 1951; it was the first of a number of dialect songs that she did. She recorded the song with Mitch Miller and his orchestra and harpsichordist Stan Freeman in the early part of 1951, and the song reached #1 on the Billboard charts, staying in the top position for eight weeks.
Although she performed "Come on-a My House" for many years, Clooney later confessed that she hated the song. She told the story that she was given a practice record of the song and told Miller that the song wasn't for her. Miller gave her an ultimatium - record the song or be fired. During a 1988 interview Clooney said that whenever she listens to the recording she could hear the anger in her voice for being forced to sing the song. Little did she know that the song would become one of her biggest hits.
The song was covered by Ella Fitzgerald
, as one side of a single whose other side was also a cover of a Clooney hit, "Mixed Emotions
," on Decca Records
The song was later performed by Kay Starr, who added a few lines with funny, nearly surrealistic details and who ended the song with an even more explicit offer. Della Reese also covered the song in 1952, and it is her version that Madonna mimes to in the remake of Swept Away. The song was later used as the theme for the reality television series The Girls Next Door performed by the Nasty Tales and their orchestra. The Surf Punks also remade the song in the late 1980s. The composers even performed the song themselves (Bagdasarian singing, Saroyan offering occasional narration) for Coral Records. The song is sung briefly by Miss Miller (voiced by Dody Goodman) in the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure.
And Alvin and the Chipmunks also sang this for their Thanksgiving episode- "The Chipmunk Celebration".
In late 1951 MGM
Records released a novelty response song, "Where's-a Your House?", which charted on the Cash Box Hot 50 list. Sung by Robert Q. Lewis
in dialect, the tune details the singer's frustrated attempts to follow up "Rosie's" invitation.