He Goes to Church on Sunday

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"He Goes to Church on Sunday"
Written by Vincent Bryan, E. Ray Goetz
Published 1907
Recorded by Billy Murray

"He Goes to Church on Sunday" is a popular song, first published in 1907, and written by Vincent Bryan and E. Ray Goetz. The song tells the story of a "crooked" man, who steals stuff from people, but is considered an honest man because he goes to church on Sundays. However, the song doesn't appear to be a criticism of religion, and the tone of the song is humorous and light-hearted. Billy Murray recorded and released at least four different versions of this song in one year, on Columbia Records, Standard Records, Victor Records, and Edison Records. All four versions are in the public domain. Its popularity was attested by British children's rhymes in 1959's The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren:

Mr. MacDonald is a good man
He goes to church on Sunday.
He prays to God to give him strength
To whip the boys on Monday[.]

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