Where Did You Get That Hat?
DESCRIPTION: The singer, to inherit his grandfather's property, is required to wear grandfather's hat. Now, wherever he goes, people cry out to him, "Where did you get that hat?... Isn't it a nobby one, and just the proper style...."
AUTHOR: Joseph J. Sullivan
EARLIEST DATE: 1888 (sheet music published by F. Harding)
KEYWORDS: clothes humorous marriage
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Stout 105, pp. 133-134, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1 text plus a fragment)
Geller-Famous, pp. 42-44, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 137-138, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gilbert, p. 151, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Robert A. Fremont, editor, _Favorite Songs of the Nineties_, Dover Publications, 1973, pp. 351-354, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1 text, 1 tune, the 1888 sheet music)
Margaret Bradford Boni, editor, _Songs of the Gilded Age_, with piano arrangements by Norman Lloyd and illustrations by Lucille Corcos, Golden Press, 1960, pp. 120-121, "Where Did You Get that Hat?" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST SRW137 (Full)
Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, "Where Did You Get That Hat" (Columbia 15097-D, 1926)
Edith Perrin, "Where Did You Get That Hat?" [excerpt?] (on USWarnerColl01)
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(97b), "Where Did You Get That Hat," Poet's Box (Glasgow), c. 1880-1900
NOTES [140 words]: According to Gilbert, Sullivan, a blackface minstrel, found a very tall hat one day while rummaging through his parents' attic. He being short, he thought the tall hat would make a humorous addition to his act. To test this, he went out one day wearing the hat. A gang of urchins harassed him, asking "Where did you get that hat?" Hence this song.
We should note, however, that there are variations on this legend: All agree that Sullivan found a hat and tried it in his act -- but according to James J. Geller, the humor lay in the fact that the hat was small and Sullivan quite hefty; the hat didn't fit him.
The fact that there is a story associated with this song causes me to accept the attribution to Sullivan, but I should note that Peter Davidson, Songs of The British Music Hall, Oak, 1971, p, 211, credits it to J. C. Heffron. )- RBW
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