History of the Song: "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree"

Picture of Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree

"Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)" was a chart topping song that was made famous by Glenn Miller and by the Andrews Sisters. Its lyrics are the words of two young lovers who pledge their fidelity while one of them is away serving in World War II. I've included the recordings of both versions at the bottom of this article.

The song was originally titled "Anywhere the Bluebird Goes" and later changed to the name we know today.  The music was written by Sam Stept.  He based the melody off of an old English Folk song from 1833 titled "Long, Long Ago" by Thomas Bayly.  Stept updated the music to a more bouncier tempo.

The lyrics of the song were written by Lew Brown and Charles Tobias. "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)" debuted in the 1939 Broadway musical Yokel Boy. After the United States entered the World War II in late December of 1941, Brown and Tobias changed the lyrics slightly, with the chorus ending with "...till I come marching home".

In February of 1942, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded the song. This record spent thirteen weeks on the Billboard charts.  In May that same year, the song was featured in the film "Private Buckaroo" as a performance by the Andrews Sisters with the Harry James Orchestra. The Andrews Sisters then later released the song on Decca Records.

There has been many recordings of this song over the years made by so many different artists.  Kay Kyser, for instance, topped the charts with his recording for a time. 

Listen to: "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra

An Interesting Note:
Notice how carefully every word is enunciated in the Glenn Miller version of the song.  As Tex Beneke, once pointed out, Miller was quite strict about not slurring the lyrics.  "Don't sing, 'Don-si-tunder the yapple tree'" Miller would warn.  "Sing, 'Don't sit under the apple tree.'"  Yes, Miller was quite the perfectionist.

You can hear the many versions of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)" right here on Swing City Radio.

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