|"Come on-a My House"|
|Single by Rosemary Clooney|
|"Rose of the Mountain"|
|Released||June 6, 1951|
|Format||78 rpm record|
|Ross Bagdasarian, William Saroyan|
|Rosemary Clooney singles chronology|
"Come on-a My House" is a song performed by Rosemary Clooney and originally released in 1951. It was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, Armenian American Pulitzer Prize winning author William Saroyan, while driving across New Mexico in the summer of 1939. The melody is based on an Armenian folk song. The lyrics reference traditional Armenian customs of inviting over relatives and friends and providing them with a generously overflowing table of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods.
It was not performed until the 1950 off-Broadway production of The Son. The song did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.
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 best-known creation, Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bagdasarian, as David Seville, went on to much fame with his Chipmunks recordings.
The song was first performed during 1950 in an off-Broadway production of The Son, but did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.
A major hit for Clooney in 1951, it was the first of a number of dialect songs she did. She recorded it in the early part of 1951, with Mitch Miller leading an ensemble of four musicians, including harpsichordist Stan Freeman. It reached #1 on the Billboard charts, staying in the top position for six weeks.
Clooney sang the song in the 1953 film The Stars Are Singing, in a scene where she ended up mocking it, remarking that no one would listen to it.
Although she performed "Come on-a My House" for many years, Clooney later confessed that she hated the song. She said she had been given a practice record of it and had told Miller it wasn't for her. Miller gave her an ultimatum: record the song or be fired. During a 1988 interview, Clooney said that whenever she listened to the recording she could hear the anger in her voice from being forced to sing it.
Louis Prima covered it (with an Italian spin) alongside Keely Smith on Sing Loud, released in 1960 by Coronet Records. He also recorded it in 1951 on Robin Hood Records, and again in 1958 on Moonglow.
The song was also a hit for Kay Starr, who added a few lines with funny, nearly surrealistic details and ended with an even more explicit offer. In 1952, Japanese singer Chiemi Eri covered the Kay Starr version. Della Reese also recorded the song, and it is her version that Madonna mimes to in the remake of Swept Away. Many have offered an untraditional twist, such as Mickey Katz singing in Yiddish, Julie London oozing a more blatant sexiness in her version, and Eartha Kitt performing a rendition in Japanese.
The composers themselves performed it – Bagdasarian singing, Saroyan offering occasional narration – for Coral Records. Bagdasarian also performs the song on his album The Mixed-Up World of Ross Bagdasarian and Alvin and the Chipmunks sang it for their 1994 Thanksgiving television special A Chipmunk Celebration. In the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure, it is sung briefly by Miss Miller, voiced by Dody Goodman.
American Country music artist K. T. Oslin covered the song on her 2001 album, Live Close By, Visit Often. Her version reached #40 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts.
It was covered by Captain & Tennille as a bonus track on their 2002 More Than Dancing...Much More CD.
Salsa Legend Celia Cruz also did a cover called "Ven A Mi Casa" with both Spanish and English lyrics.
In late 1951 MGM Records released a novelty answer 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.
In 1978, on the episode of M*A*S*H entitled "Major Topper," the eccentric "Boot" Miller (played by Hamilton Camp), apparently believing that he is Rosemary Clooney, sings "Come On-a My House" into a ladle in the mess tent.