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

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Def Leppard Quiz

Def Leppard QuizMusic Quiz

Can you name Def Leppard's only #1 hit in America? Get rocked with this adrenalized quiz.

Producer Ron Nevison

Producer Ron NevisonSong Writing

Ron Nevison explains in very clear terms the Quadrophenia concept and how Heart staged their resurgence after being dropped by their record company.

Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Dan Reed

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.