Old Songs

The Bumbastories Old Song Preservation Society has a couple for ya. We here at Bumbastories like the old songs, and like to try to keep them alive. Why? I’m not sure. We suffer from a bit of nostalgia it seems. A longing for a bygone era – an era which, when you think about it a bit, probably never existed in the first place. So, having thought about it for a bit, I tend to look down my nose at nostalgia. Bah humbug is what I say – and not just during the holiday season. One must admit that Nostalgia is a bit of a cheap thrill, a too-easy-to-come-by pleasure. Still, as I say, we at Bumbastories just like a lot of the old songs. And, we think that an awareness of history and cultural heritage, is a healthy thing. I think there’s a paucity of remembering these digital days. I’ve talked in the past on the blog about the importance of remembering the old folk music. These songs connect us to our past. And because the songs are so darn good, we can connect to them, and they remain current and enjoyable. We hope you will enjoy these songs. And even sing along.

These three songs are written songs, products of a commercial music business.

Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey? was a highly popular song in its day. I haven’t heard it recently, though, so I thought I’d do it. It’s a tremendous, fun song. Written by Hughie Cannon in 1902, it’s been played and recorded by everyone starting with the early ragtime/jazz players. I remember seeing Pearl Bailey doing it on TV, on one of the live Variety shows they used to have, probably Ed
Sullivan. Given the common Bailey moniker, the song was a natural part of her repertoire. Pearl Bailey was some terrific performer and singer. Which Maybank and I are not. Tough. Here’s Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?


Another old written song is Alexander’s Ragtime Band written by the great Irving Berlin in 1911. It was Irving Berlin’s first hit, first recorded by Bessie Smith, and then by a zillion of other singers. It’s a classic. And, like Bill Bailey, it’s fun to play and sing.


Here’s another old, written song that I’ve known since I was a kid. I apparently heard it performed so many times that I still know the lyrics.

Side By Side, written in 1927 by Harry Woods quickly became a vaudeville standard. I bet you know the lyrics, too.


3 thoughts on “Old Songs

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