We Won't Go Home Until Morning

DESCRIPTION: "We're all met here together (x3) To eat and drink good cheer." "(For) we won't go home until morning (x3) Till daylight does appear." "We'll sing, we'll dance and be merry (x3) And kiss the lasses dear." "The girls they love us dearly (x3)..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1842 (arrangement by William Clifton published by Thomas Birch) (tune dates to 1783 or earlier)
KEYWORDS: drink friend nonballad
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Wolford-ThePlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 22-23=Wolford/Richmond/Tillson-PlayPartyInIndiana, pp. 139-140, "All Go Down to Rowser's" (1 text, 1 tune)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 146-151, "We'll All Go Down to Rowsers" (1 text, 1 tune, plus sheet music reprints of "Malbrouck" and "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow")
Randolph 528, "We'll All Go Down to Rowser's" (3 texts plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Spurgeon-WaltzTheHall-AmericanPlayParty, pp. 168-169, "Rowser's" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 141-143, "The Game of 'Howsers'" (1 text with game instructions, seemingly most closely related to Randolph's version but probably a combination of several game songs)
Jackson-PopularSongsOfNineteenthCenturyAmerica, pp. 226-228, "We Won't Go Home Until Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
Pound-AmericanBalladsAndSongs, 119, pp. 237-238, "We'll All Go Down to Rowser's" (1 text, with "Rowser's" and "Pig in the Parlor" verses)
Messerli-ListenToTheMockingbird, pp. 64-64, "We Won't Go Home Till Morning" (1 text)
Fuld-BookOfWorldFamousMusic, pp. 231-233, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow -- (Malbrouk -- We Won't Go Home till Morning! -- The Bear Went over the Mountain)"
ADDITIONAL: Richard M. Dorson, _Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States_, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 378-379, "Let's Go Down to Rowsha's" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, _Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889_, R. R. Bowker, 1941, plate 20, shows an early sheet music cover

ST RJ19226 (Full)
Roud #4251
cf. "Malbrouck" (tune)
cf. "The Bear Went over the Mountain" (tune)
cf. "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" (tune)
cf. "Christ Was Born in Bethlehem" (tune)"
cf. "Old Tippecanoe (I)" (tune)
cf. "Pig in the Parlor" (floating lyrics, form)
cf. "Chickens They Are Crowing" (floating lyrics in a few texts)
cf. "I'll Never Get Drunk Any More (III)" (tune)
cf. "I'm Glad I Live In Wyoming" (tume)
The Bear Went Over the Mountain (File: DTbearmt)
Malbrouck (File: K108)
For He's a Jolly Good Fellow (File: FSWB250)
Christ Was Born in Bethlehem (File: MA189)
Old Tippecanoe (File: Wa073)
The Reformed Drinker (Logan, pp. 231-232)
I'll Never Get Drunk Any More (III) (File: CrPS096)
I'm Glad I Live In Wyoming (File: CAFS2577)
We Are Table Number One (File: ACSF285W)
All the Best Things (Harbin-Parodology, #36, p. 36)
NOTES [301 words]: The earliest dated example of this tune ("Malbrouk") comes from 1783, though there are hints that it was in circulation in France for some decades before this (it is reliably reported to have been sung to one of Marie Antoinette's children in 1781, and see the tune cited for Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN1337, "I sing not the battle (so famed) of Lepanto"). Its origin is unknown, though fanciful stories (e.g. of Spanish or even Arabic origin) are common. (Spaeth compares it with a Chanson of 1563, "Le Convoi de Duc de Guise.")
After 1783 the tune became popular in France, and was used by Beethoven in 1813, but no evidence of English versions is found until the 1840s. The American sheet music of "We Won't Go Home..." dates to 1842; the English is undated but probably dates between 1841 and 1846.
By 1854, the song was popular enough that crowds were using it to heckle Senator Douglas when he spoke in favor of the Kansas/Nebraska Act in Chicago. (Douglas said he would silence the mob if it took all night, and the crowd answered with this song.)
"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" appears to have been first printed in 1870; "The Bear Went over the Mountain" is not attested until 1920, but is probably older.
All four of Randolph's versions mention "Rowser" or "Rowser's" in the first verse, but the only tune given is this one, three of the four are about drink (the fourth, Randolph's "D" text, could possibly be a separate piece), and the "A" text has the "We won't go home until morning" stanza.
Pound describes her text (also a "Rowser's" version) as a "game song," but offers no further details.
Linscott, in her notes to "A Bear Went Over the Mountain," claims the tune "is said to have been sung by Crusaders under Godefrey de Bouillon in the latter part of the eleventh century." Uh-huh. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: RJ19226

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.