Come On-a My House

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"Come on-a My House"
Single by Rosemary Clooney
B-side "Rose of the Mountain"[1]
Released June 6, 1951 (1951-06-06)[1]
Format 78 rpm record
Recorded 1951
Genre Traditional pop
Length 2:02
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Ross Bagdasarian, William Saroyan
Producer(s) Mitch Miller
Rosemary Clooney singles chronology
"The Lady Is a Tramp"
"Come on-a My House"
"Find Me"

"The Lady Is a Tramp"
"Come on-a My House"
"Find Me"

"Come on-a My House" is a song performed by Rosemary Clooney and originally released in 1951. The song was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, Armenian American Pulitzer Prize winning author William Saroyan, in the summer of 1939, while driving across New Mexico. The melody is based on an Armenian folk song. The lyrics reference traditional Armenian customs of inviting over relatives and friends and providing them with a generously overflowing table of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods.

It was not performed until the 1950, off-Broadway production of The Son. The song did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.

It was probably Saroyan's only effort at popular songwriting, and it was one of Bagdasarian's few well-known works that was not connected to his best-known creation, Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bagdasarian, as David Seville, went on to much fame with his Chipmunks recordings.

Rosemary Clooney's original hit version[edit]

The song was first performed during 1950 in an off-Broadway production of The Son, but did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.

The song was a major hit for Clooney in 1951; it was the first of a number of dialect songs she did. She recorded the song with Mitch Miller leading an ensemble of four musicians, including harpsichordist Stan Freeman in the early part of 1951, and the song reached #1 on the Billboard charts, staying in the top position for six weeks.

Clooney sang the song in the 1953 film The Stars Are Singing in a scene where she ended up mocking the song and said no one would listen to it.

Although she performed "Come on-a My House" for many years, Clooney later confessed that she hated the song. She said she had been given a practice record of the song and told Miller that the song wasn't for her. Miller gave her an ultimatum: record the song or be fired. During a 1988 interview, Clooney said that whenever she listened to the recording she could hear the anger in her voice for being forced to sing it. Little did she know that the song would become one of her biggest hits.[2][3]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Ella Fitzgerald, as one side of a single whose other side was also a cover of a Clooney hit, "Mixed Emotions," on Decca Records (catalog number 27875).[4]

Louis Prima covered this song (with an Italian spin) alongside Keely Smith on Sing Loud, released in 1960 by Coronet Records. He also recorded it in 1951 on Robin Hood Records, and again in 1958 on Moonglow.

The song was also a hit for Kay Starr, who added a few lines with funny, nearly surrealistic details and ended the song with an even more explicit offer. In 1952, Japanese singer Chiemi Eri covered the Kay Starr version. Della Reese also recorded the song, and it is her version that Madonna mimes to in the remake of Swept Away. Many have offered a untraditional twist to the song, such as Mickey Katz singing in Yiddish, Julie London oozing a more blatant sexiness in her version, and Eartha Kitt performing a rendition in Japanese.

The song was later used as the theme for the reality television series The Girls Next Door, performed by the Nasty Tales and their orchestra. The Surf Punks remade the song in the late 1980s.

The composers performed the song themselves – Bagdasarian singing, Saroyan offering occasional narration – for Coral Records. Bagdasarian also performs the song on his album The Mixed-Up World of Ross Bagdasarian and Alvin and the Chipmunks sang it for their 1994 Thanksgiving television special A Chipmunk Celebration. In the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure, it is sung briefly by Miss Miller, voiced by Dody Goodman.

American Country music artist K. T. Oslin covered the song on her 2001 album, Live Close By, Visit Often. Her version reached #40 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts.

It was covered by Captain & Tennille as a bonus track on their 2002 More Than Dancing...Much More CD.

Actress Janis Hansen can be heard singing a version a cappella while showering in "To Steal a Battleship," an episode of the 1968 television series, It Takes a Thief.

Salsa Legend Celia Cruz also did a cover called "Ven A Mi Casa" with both Spanish and English lyrics.

Bette Midler included a version of the song on her 2003 Rosemary Clooney covers album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook.

Actress/Singer Bernadette Peters performs a cover of the song in the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle (Season 2, Episode 4, "Touché Maestro, Touché") [5]


In late 1951 MGM Records released a novelty answer song, "Where's-a Your House?", which charted on the Cash Box Hot 50 list. Sung by Robert Q. Lewis in dialect, the tune details the singer's frustrated attempts to follow up "Rosie's" invitation.

In 1974, American rock band Sparks titled their third album Kimono My House, a pun on the song's title.