Where Did You Get That Hat?

Album: Music Hall Days (1888)
  • The sheet music for "Where Did You Get That Hat?" appears in the 1937 collection Sixty Old-Time Variety Songs: Song Book No 2, which was published by The News Chronicle Publications Department; the News Chronicle was a British national newspaper that was published between 1930 and 1960. Herein, this novelty song is credited as written by James Rolmaz, sung by J.C. Heffron, and copyright by Francis, Day & Hunter of London.

    The singer relates "Grandfather died and left to me his property and money..." but at the reading of the will he was told that to claim the lucre he would have to wear his hat.
  • Although "Where Did You Get That Hat?" was popular in the English music hall, and the lyrics as printed in the above publication have a parochial feel, the original was actually written by the American performer Joseph Sullivan in 1888. According to The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia, Sullivan found an old top hat while going through his late father's effects, and when he wore it in the street a young boy accosted him with the six words that would pass into the English language as a catchphrase.

    The melody is based partly on a leitmotiv from Wagner's Lohengrin, which was "another inside joke" at that time, and the song was sung by Gene Kelly in the 1949 film Take Me Out To The Ball Game. It was also recorded by the English comedian Stanley Holloway. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlUm...I think the person who wrote this was on something...although I know I'm going to be singing this all week :(
see more comments

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?