N°1 US. Ragtime influence. Introduced by minstrel John Queen in vaudeville.
Jesse Young [as fiddle tune]
Ann Christy [posthumous release in 2005 as Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey]
The real Bill Bailey was a black vaudeville performer, part of duo Bailey & Cowan. After the show he liked to hang out with his friends (author Hughie Cannon being one of them), much against his temperous wife's advise. This time, his friends, aware of her reputation and considering Bill's condition, payed him a hotel bed instead of delivering him home. It worked wonders. The next day his wife started begging him back, unconditionally. The song inspired a couple of spin-off's: I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Won't Come Home and Since Bill Bailey Came Back Home.