Bring It On Home to Me

"Bring It On Home to Me" is a song by American soul singer Sam Cooke, released on May 8, 1962 by RCA Victor. Produced by Hugo & Luigi and arranged and conducted by René Hall, the song was the B-side to "Having a Party". The song peaked at number two on Billboard Hot R&B Sides chart, and also charted at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has become a pop standard, covered by numerous artists of different genres. It is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


"Bring It On Home to Me", like its A-side, "Having a Party", was written while Cooke was on tour for Henry Wynn. The song was initially offered to fellow singer Dee Clark, who turned it down. While in Atlanta, Cooke called co-producer Luigi Creatore and pitched both numbers; he was sold and booked an immediate recording session in Los Angeles scheduled for two weeks later. The session's mood "matched the title" of the song, according to biographer Peter Guralnick, as many friends had been invited. "It was a very happy session," recalled engineer Al Schmitt. "Everybody was just having a ball. We were getting people out there [on the floor], and some of the outtakes were hilarious, there was so much ad lib that went on." René Hall assembled an eighteen-piece backing group, "composed of six violins, two violas, two cellos, and a sax, plus a seven-piece rhythm section that included two percussionists, two bassists, two guitars, and a piano."

The song is a significant reworking of Charles Brown's 1959 single "I Want to Go Home", and it retains the gospel flavor and call-and-response format; the song differs significantly in that its refrain ("Bring it to me, bring your sweet lovin', bring it on home to me") is overtly secular. The song was the first serious nod to his gospel roots ("[He] felt that he needed more weight, that that light shit wouldn't sustain him," said J.W. Alexander). The song was aiming for a sound similar to Cooke's former group, the Soul Stirrers. The original, unreleased first take includes vocals from Lou Rawls, J.W. Alexander, Fred Smith (former assistant A&R rep at Keen Records), and "probably" the Sims Twins. A second, final take leaves Lou Rawls as the only echoing voice.


"Bring It On Home to Me" was recorded on April 26, 1962, at RCA Studio 1 in Hollywood, California. The engineer present was Al Schmitt, and the session was conducted and arranged by René Hall. The musicians also recorded "Having a Party" the same day. Credits adapted from the liner notes to the 2003 compilation Portrait of a Legend: 1951–1964.
  • Sam Cooke – vocals
  • Lou Rawlsbacking vocals
  • Clifton White – guitar
  • Tommy Tedesco – guitar
  • René Hall – guitar
  • Adolphus Asbrook – bass guitar
  • Ray Pohlman – bass guitar
  • Ernie Freemanpiano
  • Frank Cappdrums, percussion
  • William Green – saxophone

  • Cecil Figelski – cello
  • Armand Kaproff – cello
  • Wilbert Nuttycombe – viola
  • Irving Weinper – viola
  • Myron Sandler – violin
  • Joseph Saxon – violin
  • Ralph Schaeffer – violin
  • Marshall Sosson – violin
  • Elliot Fisher – violin
  • Marvin Limonick – violin

    Cover versions

    The most significant cover versions of the song include versions by:
  • The Big Three, 1964 single, Decca Records – the first British cover of the song
  • The Animals in 1965 as a single, recorded in tribute to the then-recendly killed Cooke. It was their last single to include original organist Alan Price. Their version reached #7 in the UK and #32 on the US Hot 100.
  • Sonny & Cher on their 1966 album The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher.
  • Otis Redding and Carla Thomas on their 1967 album King & Queen.
  • Eddie Floyd's cover version hit #4 on the R&B charts and #17 on the Hot 100 in 1968 as a single from his 1968 studio album I've Never Found a Girl.
  • Aretha Franklin on her 1969 studio album Soul '69.
  • Dave Mason (ex-Traffic vocalist/guitarist/bassist) on his 1974 fifth studio album Dave Mason.
  • Rod Stewart released this song in 1974 as part of a medley with "You Send Me" and charted it on the UK Singles Chart at #7 as a double A-side with "Farewell".
  • Van Morrison included a cover version of the song on his 1974 live album, It's Too Late to Stop Now, and again on his 2017 album, Roll with the Punches.
  • John Lennon covered the song on his 'Rock 'n' Roll album.
  • Mickey Gilley hit number one on the country chart in 1976 with his cover version single taken from his 1976 studio album Gilley's Smokin'. He also reached #101 on the Billboard Pop chart.

  • Paul McCartney on his 1988 album CHOBA B CCCP which consists entirely of covers and was released originally only in Russia and then in 1991 internationally.

  • Status Quo on their 1991 studio album Rock 'til You Drop.

  • Rita MacNeil covered the song on her 1992 album Thinking of You. It was released as the album's first single and charted on the RPM pop and country charts.

  • Sister Hazel covered ‘’Bring it on Home to Me’’ on their self-titled debut album released in 1994.

  • American country singer Martina McBride covered this song as a duet with Gavin DeGraw on her 2014 studio album Everlasting, which features covers of famous soul, pop, and R&B songs.

  • Mandy Moore covered the song alongside Sam Trammell in a 2017 episode of the American drama series, This Is Us.

    Charts and certifications

    Original version

    The Animals version

    Eddie Floyd version

    Lou Rawls version

    Mickey Gilley version

    In popular culture

    The song was featured in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

    The song is featured in a 2018 Walmart Christmas commercial about a teddy bear that wanders the store's aisles at night until he's brought home to a little girl for Christmas.

    The film Gerald's Game features the song during the opening scene.

    Green Day lifted the song's melody for the verses of their song "Brutal Love."

    The song is featured in the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting