I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)

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"I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)"
I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad) (1911).jpg
Sheet music cover
Composer(s)Harry Von Tilzer
Lyricist(s)William Dillon

I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad) (sometimes shortened to "I Want A Girl") is a popular song of 1911 composed by Harry Von Tilzer and with lyrics by William Dillon, which has become a barbershop quartet standard.

Von Tilzer and Dillon had never written a song together before, but finding themselves on the same vaudeville bill, von Tilzer suggested they might collaborate on some songs while on the road. Dillon had already had some success with "girl" songs such as "I'd Rather Have a Girlie Than an Automobile", so von Tilzer suggested they try another in that vein. The song was finished in February 1911, and was published on March 11, 1911. While singers immediately took to it, Dillon and von Tilzer did not use it much themselves.[1][2]

Harry von Tilzer, composer

Yet, the song was one of the most popular of 1911, bested only by "Alexander's Ragtime Band" by Irving Berlin.[3] According to Dillon's 1966 obituary in The New York Times, the song sold over five million score sheets and recordings.[4]

Among many subsequent appearances in pop culture, the song appears in the 1944 film Show Business, the 1946 film The Jolson Story,[5] and an episode of the 1980s cartoon DuckTales.[6] The song also appears in the Whistleblower DLC for the survival horror video game Outlast.[7]

Since the song refers to a young man wanting to find a wife like his mother, it is perhaps inevitable that some commentators have suggested, with varying degrees of seriousness, that the song's title and lyrics promote an Oedipus complex.[8][9][10]


When I was a boy my mother often said to me
Get married boy and see how happy you will be
I have looked all over, but no girlie can I find,
Who seems to be just like the little girl I have in mind,
I will have to look around until the right one I have found.

I want a girl, just like the girl that married dear old Dad
She was a pearl and the only girl that Daddy ever had,
A good old fashioned girl with heart so true,
One who loves nobody else but you,
I want a girl, just like the girl that married dear old Dad.

Verse 2
By the old mill stream there sit a couple old and gray,
Though years have rolled away, their hearts are young today.
Mother dear looks up at Dad with love light in her eye,
He steals a kiss, a fond embrace, while ev'ning breezes sigh,
They're as happy as can be, so that's the kind of love for me.[11]

Notable recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Freeman, Larry. Top Ten Tunes In Rotary, Rotarian (September 1952), p. 25-25
  2. ^ Spaeth, S. (20 March 1949). The First Ten Since 1900: These songs have stood the harsh test of time, The New York Times
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Breaking Records: 100 Years of Hits, pp. 23-24 (2004)
  4. ^ (11 February 1966). Will Dillon dies; Lyricist was 89; Wrote 'I Want a Girl' With Harry Von Tilzer in '11, The New York Times
  5. ^ Patinkin, Sheldon. "No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance": A History of the American Musical Theater, p. 44 (2008)
  6. ^ Ducktales, Season One, Episode Thirty-Eight "Time Teasers"
  7. ^ "Don't Look Now, But The 'Creepy Cover Song' Isn't Just For Movie Trailers Anymore - GameRevolution". GameRevolution. 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  8. ^ Wylie, Philip. Opus 21: Descriptive Music for the Lower Kinsey Epoch of the Atomic Age, p. 149 (1949)
  9. ^ Harvey, Adam. The soundtracks of Woody Allen, p. 102 (2007)
  10. ^ Fuld, James J. The book of world-famous music: classical, popular, and folk, p. 289-90 (5th ed. 2005)
  11. ^ Sheet Music (1911)
  12. ^ Library of Congress archive - 1911 recording by American Quartet

External links[edit]