"Das Glühwürmchen", with music by Paul Lincke and German lyrics by Heinz Bolten-Backers, was introduced on March 31,1902 in the Apollo Theater in Berlin, in the operetta Lysistrata.
Rhythmically, the song is in the form of a gavotte.
In the operetta, it is performed as a trio with three female solo voices (Caecilie Carola, Emma Malkowska and Kathi Herold playing the roles of Lysistrata, Chrysis and Bacchys) singing alternately and the women's chorus joining in the refrain.
The song, with its familiar chorus, was translated into English and became an American popular song. It was originally translated into English by Lilla Cayley Robinson, in the early 20th century, and was used in the 1907 Broadway musical The Girl Behind The Counter.
American lyricist Johnny Mercer later expanded and greatly revised Robinson's lyrics, for his 1949 recording. The 1952 Mills Brothers cover became a million-seller, and subsequently has been performed by several others.
The Glow-Worm - Wikipedia
(o) Berliner Elite-Orchester (1902) (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Recorded 1902 in Berlin
Released on Gramophone Record # 40573
(c) Kaiser Franz Garde Grenadier Regiments (1902/1903 ?) (as "Glühwürmchenidyll")
Recorded in Berlin
Released on Gramophone Record # 40501
(c) Guido Gialdini (1902) (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Recorded 1902 in Berlin
Released on Gramophone Record # 49302
Also recorded in 1905 in Berlin
Released on Gramophone Record # 49325
(c) Johannes Semfke (1904) (as "Wenn die Nacht sich niedersenkt (Glühwürmchen)"
Recorded January 1904 in Berlin
Released on Edison Cylinder # 15054
(c) Robert Leonhardt (1904)
Recorded in 1904 in Berlin
Released on Columbia # 40062 and D3166
(c) Edward F. Rubsam (1904) (as "Dance of the Fireflies")
Recorded 1904 in New York
Released on Columbia 1879
Also released on Oxford 1879
Also released on United A232
(c) Franz Porten (1907) (as "Glühwürmchen Lied")
Released on Homophon Record # 1735
Listen to a sample here: http://media.slub-dresden.de/fon/snp/b/006298/fon_snp_b_006298_02_hp.mp3
After the song was translated into English by Lilla Cayley Robinson and introduced by May Naudain in 1907 in the Broadway Musical: The Girl Behind the Counter, 2 versions topped the US Charts.
(c) Lucy Isabelle Marsh (1908) (Nr 1 USA)
Recorded in 1907 in New York
Released in 1908 on Columbia 3791 reissued as A-435
Also reissued on Harmony A-435 and Diamond A-435
Columbia matrix 3791. The glow worm / Lucy Isabelle Marsh - Discography of American Historical Recordings
Or to a sample here:
1908: "Take Me Out with the Crowd" ⋆ Archeophone Records
(c) Victor Orchestra (1908) (Nr 1 USA)
Recorded March 12, 1908 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Victor 5408
Reissued on Victor 17227
Victor matrix B-6005. Glow worm / Victor Orchestra - Discography of American Historical Recordings
78 RPM - Victor Orchestra - Glow Worm – Intermezzo / In Lover's Lane - Victor - USA - 17227
(c) Arthur Pryor's Band (1908)
Recorded September 23, 1908 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Victor 35015
Victor matrix C-6450. The glow-worm : Intermezzo / Arthur Pryor's Band - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Elise Stevenson (1908)
Recorded December 17, 1908
Released on Victor 5657
Victor matrix B-6632. The glow-worm / Elise Stevenson - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Elizabeth Wheeler (1909)
Recorded October 22, 1909
Released on Victor 5657 and also on Victor 16932
Victor matrix B-8314. The glow-worm : Idyll / Elizabeth Wheeler - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Prince's Orchestra (1909)
Recorded May 1909 in New York
Released on Columbia A-711
Also released on Standard A-711 and United A-711
Columbia matrix 4093. The glow worm / Prince's Orchestra - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Hofkapellmeister Gille (around 1910)
Released on Pathe Disc # 15235
In 1910 Ballard Macdonald and Harry Carroll wrote "Nix On The Glow Worm, Lena", sort of a parody and using elements of Paul Lincke's "Glow Worm".
It was introduced in the Broadway Musical "Ziegfeld Follies of 1910"
The same year Ada Jones and Billy Murray recorded versions of that song
(c) Ada Jones (1910) (as "Nix On The Glow Worm, Lena")
Billy Murray (1910) (as "Nix On The Glow Worm, Lena")
Listen here: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/mp3s/3000/3798/cusb-cyl3798d.mp3
In 1913 the great ballerina Anna Pavlova performed an orchestrated version of "The Glow-Worm".
The Pavlova Gavotte - a social ballroom dance 1913
Subsequently versions were released using the title "Pavlowa Gavotte".
(c) Prince's Orchestra (1914) (as "Pavlowa Gavotte")
Recorded April 28, 1914 in New York
Released on Columbia A5566
Columbia matrix 36942. Pavlowa gavotte / Prince's Orchestra - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Victor Military Band (1914) (as "Pavlowa Gavotte")
Recorded September 3, 1914 in Camden, new Jersey
Released on Victor 35403
(c) Fred Kornau 1915
Recorded March 12, 1915 in New York
(c) Victor Salon Orchestra 1925 (as"The Glow-Worm")
Recorded August 18, 1925
78 RPM - Victor Salon Orchestra - The Glow-Worm / Nola - Victor - USA - 19758
(c) Jack Hylton (1928) (as "Glow Worm")
Recorded August 30, 1928 in London
Released on HMV B-5525
Recorded again on November 28, 1933 in London
Released on Decca F-3857
Also released on Electrola EG 1023
(c) Lunapark-Orchester (1929) ( as ""Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Recorded February 1929
Released on Odeon O-2799
In 1929 Paul Lincke conducts an orchestra playing his own composition
(c) Paul Lincke mit Grossem Symphonie-Orchester 1929 (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
(Mitglieder der Staatskapelle Berlin)
Recorded March 28, 1929
Released On Odeon O-11298
Also released on Gloria 10543
(c) Otto Dobrindt (1929) (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Recorded April 8, 1929 in Berlin
Released on Parlophon P 9543-II
(c) Tempo-Special-Orchester (& Paul Hagedorn) (1935) (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Released on Brilliant #349 and also on Tempo #349
(c) Adalbert Lutter mit seinen Konzertsolisten (1937) (as "Glühwürmchen-Idyll")
Recorded April 1937 in Berlin
Released on Telefunken A 2235
78 RPM - Adalbert Lutter - Glühwürmchen-Idyll / Toselli - Serenade - Telefunken - Germany - A 2235
Glühwürmchen-Idyll / Toselli-Serenade by Tanzorchester Adalbert Lutter (Single): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music
(c) Erna Sack (1937)
Recorded May 26, 1937 in Berlin
Released on Telefunken E 2273
78 RPM - Erna Sack - Gluhwurmchen-Idyll / Gold Und Silber - Telefunken - Germany - E 2273
And off course in 1946 Spike Jones recorded his own parody on "The Glow Worm"
(c) Spike Jones (1946) (as "The Glow Worm")
78 RPM - Spike Jones And His City Slickers - The Glow-Worm / Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai) - RCA Victor - USA - 20-1893
Already on November 30, 1944 Spike Jones introduced his parody in Bing Crosby Radio Show in the Kraft Music Hall.
And in 1948 Bing Crosby sang a version of "Glow Worm" in one of his radio shows, that already laid the foundation of the future Johnny Mercer / Mills Brothers versions.
In 1949 Johnny Mercer revised the Lilla Cayley Robinson lyrics most inventively and recorded his version for the Capitol-label.
(c) Johnny Mercer 1949 (as "The Glow Worm")
with The Blue Reys (vocal group: Jimmy Joyce, Tom Kenny, Ralph Hall, Blossom Dearie) and with Alvino Rey and his Orchestra.
Recorded in LA, December 23, 1947
Released on Capitol 15412
Re-issued in 1952 on Capitol F2248 in the wake of the Mills Brothers cover-version
This re-issue was a # 30 Hit in the USA.
78 RPM - Johnny Mercer - The Glow Worm / Conversation While Dancing - Capitol - New Zealand - CP192
45cat - Johnny Mercer And The Blue Boys - The Glow Worm / The New Ashmolean - Capitol - USA - F2248
In 1952 the Mills Brothers exactly copied the Johnny Mercer-cover and made a Millionseller out of their version. also reaching the Topspot of the US charts.
(c) Mills Brothers (1952) (as "The Glow Worm")
Recorded July 7, 1952.
Released on Decca 28384
Mills Brothers* And Hal McIntyre And His Orchestra - After All / The Glow-Worm (Shellac) at Discogs
In 1964, Johnny Mercer wrote some new Christmas lyrics for a Bing Crosby TV special.
(c) Bing Crosby and Dorothy Collins (1965)
Aired on December 25, 1965 in The Bing Crosby Show Christmas Special
In 1964 Allan Sherman parodied the song as "Grow, Mrs. Goldfarb".
(c) Kermit the Frog (1971)
From the Muppet show 1971
In 1992 Mel Tormé sang his own version of the Christmas version of "Glow Worm".
More (old) versions here:
Paul Lincke | Objekte und Geschichten | Stadtmuseum Berlin
And even more versions here: