Stay Down Here Where You Belong

Stay Down Here Where You Belong

"Stay Down Here Where You Belong" was a pacifist song written by Irving Berlin in 1914. The lyrics depict a conversation between the devil and his son, the latter having a desire to visit the world above because things are too hot below, and his father exhorting him to "stay down here where you belong" because the people on earth do not know right from wrong, blindly obeying their rulers by going off to war.

While Henry Burr's recording of the song may have mirrored a large portion of American sentiment during the early days of World War I, the eventual entry of the United States into the conflict and the consequent reversal of the national mood turned the song into a major source of embarrassment for Mr. Berlin, who is much better known for his many subsequent patriotic songs. One of Berlin's main peeves was the penchant of Groucho Marx to sing the song in his presence (a rendition by Marx appears on his concert album, "An Evening with Groucho").

A rendition of "Stay Down Here Where You Belong" was also recorded by Tiny Tim. In the late 20th and early 21st century it has also been performed by the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra.


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