Words: Ren Shields; Music: George Evans (1902)

Lyrics

In the good old summer time,
In the good old summer time,
Strolling through the shady lanes
With your baby mine.

You hold her hand
And she holds yours,
And that’s a very good sign
That she’s your tootsy wootsy
In the good old summer time.

Background

Shields and Evans were unsuccessful at trying to sell “In the Good Old Summer Time” to big New York publishers. The publishers thought the song was doomed to be forgotten at the end of the summer season – how wrong they were! When the song appeared in the 1902 musical comedy The Defender it was a hit from the opening night, and soon became one of the big hits of the era. It has remained a standard, often revived in decades since.

The song appeared in many films, including the Judy Garland film named after it: In the Good Old Summertime.

Performances

Here is a recording from 1902 featuring the popular Billy Murray. Skip to 0:35 for the chorus.

And here is a 1905 recording by Sousa’s band (yes, the Sousa who wrote “Stars and Stripes Forever”). Skip to 0:30 for the chorus.