Hallelujah! I'm A Bum

Album: Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1928)

Songfacts®:

  • "Hallelujah! I'm A Bum" was written and performed by Harry McClintock, whose most famous composition was "The Big Rock Candy Mountain." Although he was not a bum, McClintock traveled a great deal in his youth, and the song is clearly based on his philosophy of life, and he certainly led a colorful one, running away as a boy to join the circus, working in Africa and China, and later presenting a children's program in the early days of radio, as well as appearing in several Gene Autry films.

    McClintock is said to have written "Hallelujah! I'm A Bum" in 1902, but it was not recorded until 1928 when it was released on the Victor label; it was re-released in 1941 on Bluebird.
  • The well-known hymn "Revive Us Again" contains the refrain "Halleluhah! Thine the glory", and the music is strikingly similar, but it would require a copyright lawyer to decide definitively if the songs are the same.
  • "Hallelujah! I'm A Bum" is listed in the Roud Folk Song Index, number 7992. Authorship has also been credited to an anonymous member of the "Wobblies" and the music to John J. Husband - composer of the above hymn - in 1815. The Wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) published it in 1908, and their Spokane, Washington branch used it as their anthem - a curious choice. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

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