Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Eileen Barton, “If I Knew You Were Coming, I’d’ve Baked A Cake”

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Oh, I have a good one for you today, when the prompt(s) is(are) “Birthday, Cake, Gift, Party, Surprise” (maybe because Jim, our fearless leader in this endeavor, is having a birthday?). I know for a fact it’s my high school friend Mark’s birthday. Mark, if you’re reading this, Happy Birthday, and don’t forget, better over the hill than under it.

Today’s song is Eileen Barton’s “If I Knew You Were Coming, I’d’ve Baked a Cake.” Here’s what The Blogger’s Best Friend ™ says about it:

“If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake” is a popular song written by Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill, and Clem Watts and published in 1950.

The best known version of the song was recorded by Eileen Barton in January 1950. The recording was released by National Records as catalog number 9103. When the song became too big a hit for National to handle, it arranged with Mercury Records to help with distribution. The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 3, 1950 and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1. The song was one of Tom Dowd’s first hits as a producer.

In 1962, Barton’s recording of the song was included in a list of 101 Perennial Singles Hits compiled by Billboard – a group “For year-round programming by juke box operators and radio stations … a catalog of standards that can provide consistent earnings for operators and a wealth of material for discussion by broadcasters.”

Here are the lyrics, ftom Lyrics.com, though hers are a little different on the record:

Well, well, well, look who’s here.
I haven’t seen you in many a year.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake,
baked a cake, baked a cake.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake.
How-ja do. How-ja do, How-ja do.

Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a band,
grandest band in the land.
Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a band
and spread the welcome mat for you.

Now I don’t know where you came from
’cause I don’t know where you’ve been.
But it really doesn’t matter
grab a chair and fill your platter
and dig dig dig right in.

If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake,
hired a band, goodness sake.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake.
How-ja do. How-ja do. How-ja do.

If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake,
baked a cake, baked a cake.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake.
How-ja do. How-ja do, How-ja do.

Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a hall,
great big hall, band and all.
Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a hall
and spread the welcome mat for you.

Now I don’t know where you came from
’cause I don’t know where you’ve been.
But it really doesn’t matter
grab a chair and fill your platter
and dig dig dig right in.

If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve kept the pot,
coffee pot nice and hot.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake.
How-ja do. How-ja do. How-ja do.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for April 5, 2020.

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Song of the Day: Love Unlimited, “Walking In The Rain With The One I Love”

Glodean James (the future Mrs. Barry White), her sister Linda, and their cousin Diane Taylor were Barry White’s backing singers, and later he produced singles for them as “Love Unlimited.” “Walking In The Rain With The One I Love” was their first, which came out in 1972. It reached #14 on the Hot 100 (#7 on the Cash Box survey), and #6 on the Soul Singles chart, and earned a Gold record. It also reached #14 in the UK.

Song of the Day: Robert Cray, “Walk Around Time”

From his 1990 album Midnight Stroll, “Walk Around Time” was written by The Robert Cray Band’s keyboardist Jimmy Pugh, drummer Kevin Hayes, and Oscar Washington. Besides them and Robert on guitar and vocals, the track also features Richard Cousins on bass, Tim Kaihatsu on rhythm guitar, and the Memphis Horns (Wayne Jackson, trumpet & trombone and Andrew Love, saxophone).