A Cottage for Sale

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Version of song as recorded by Julie London

"A Cottage for Sale" is a popular song. The music was composed by Willard Robison, and the lyrics were written by Larry Conley. The song was first published in 1929,[1] and over 100 performers have recorded versions of "A Cottage for Sale."[2] The first versions of the song were released by The Revelers in January 1930 and Bernie Cummins with the New Yorker Orchestra in March 1930.[3] There is, however, a story circulating that the song's true composer was William Noonan, who supposedly wrote the song when he was 20 years old. There is no evidence at all for this story and the suggestion that Willard Robison or Larry Conley, hugely successful composer and lyricist with many popular songs to their credit, would actually need to steal a song is as bizarre as it is unlikely.

Lyrics and Themes

The song uses an empty cottage as a metaphor of a failed relationship or the end of a long relationship perhaps in death.

A little dream in a castle
With every dream gone
It is lonely and silent
The shades are all drawn
And my heart is heavy
As we gaze upon
A cottage for sale
The lawn we were proud of
Is waving in hay
Our beautiful garden is
Withered away.
Where we planted roses
The weeds seem to say...[4]


The song has become a standard, with artists from a variety of genres creating many notable recordings. "A Cottage for Sale" was an early hit in 1930 for Victor vocal quartet The Revelers. Two of the most popular versions of the song were recorded by Frank Sinatra for his 1959 album No One Cares, and also Billy Eckstine.

Other versions are by Tiny Tim, Nat King Cole, Vic Dickenson, Dinah Washington, Jackie Gleason, Jack Hylton, Ruth Etting, Little Willie John, Johnny Mathis, Julie London, Peggy Lee and Teresa Brewer.

Chuck Berry sings the song, accompanied by electric guitar and Johnnie Johnson on piano, in an intimate backstage moment in his concert film Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll.

Les Deux Love Orchestra included "A Cottage For Sale" on their 2005 album, "King Kong," featuring Bobby Woods on vocals and Page Cavanaugh on piano.


  1. ^ "New Songs of Larry Conley". 2010. http://home.att.net/~bobhope/index.html. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  2. ^ "Willard Robison - Biography". Billboard. 2010. http://m.billboard.com/artist/willard-robison/234958#/artist/willard-robison/234958. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  3. ^ "Victor 22000 - 22500". 2010-02-01. http://www.78discography.com/vic22000.html. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  4. ^ Art Deco: The Crooners, Various Artists, Sony, CD, 1993. Liner notes by Michael Brooks.