Show Me the Way to Go Home

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"Show Me the Way to Go Home" is a popular song written in 1925 by the pseudonymous "Irving King" (the English songwriting team James Campbell and Reginald Connelly). The song is said to have been written on a train journey from London by Campbell and Connelly. They were tired from the traveling and had a few alcoholic drinks during the journey, hence the lyrics. The song is in common use in England, Ireland, and North America.


The music and lyrics were written in 1925 by Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly. They self-published the sheet music and it became their first big success, selling 2 million copies and providing the financial basis of their publishing firm, Campbell, Connelly & Co.[1] Campbell and Connelly published the sheet music and recorded the song under the pseudonym "Irving King".[2]

The song was recorded by several artists in the 1920s, including radio personalities The Happiness Boys,[2] Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra,[2] and the California Ramblers.[3] Throughout the twentieth into the twenty-first century it has been recorded by numerous artists.

Popular culture[edit]




  • In the premiere episode of the World War II TV show Combat!, "Forgotten Front", Albert Paulsen plays a captured German soldier who shows his love for American music by singing this song.
  • In an episode of Family Guy ("A Fish out of Water"), where Peter and his friends are on his boat hunting a feared fish, they recreate the scene from Jaws and sing this song as they become weary.
  • The character Harry Hewitt sings a portion of this song in a drunken stupor in an early episode of Coronation Street, transmitted in early 1961.
  • Davy Jones sings this during the "Listen To The Band/Chaos" segment of The Monkees TV special "33 and a 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" (NBC, 1968.)
  • In an episode of Red Dwarf ("Thanks for the Memory"), the main characters get drunk after finding a planet with a breathable atmosphere, afterwards singing the song while piloting a shuttle back to the ship, altering the words "And it's gone right to my head" with "To celebrate Rimmer's death" (BBC2, 1988.)
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Meditations on the Abyss", Garibaldi is singing this to himself while he is very drunk.
  • In the English dub version of Ghost Stories, one of the main characters uses this song as a chant to trap a ghost.

Popular Music[edit]


  1. ^ J. J. Kennedy (4 November 2011). The Man Who Wrote the Teddy Bears' Picnic: How Irish-Born Lyricist and Composer Jimmy Kennedy Became One of the Twentieth Century's Finest Songwriters. AuthorHouse. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4678-8569-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Marvin E. Paymer; Don E. Post (1999). Sentimental Journey: Intimate Portraits of America's Great Popular Songs, 1920-1945. Noble House Publishers. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-881907-09-1. 
  3. ^ Howard T. Weiner (6 November 2008). Early Twentieth-Century Brass Idioms: Art, Jazz, and Other Popular Traditions. Scarecrow Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8108-6246-3. 
  4. ^ "Frank Crumit Collection 1925-1934 (COMPLETE)". 78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings. Internet Archive. Retrieved 15 February 2015.