"I'll be all in clover, and when they look you over, I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade."
My mother explained to me that it was not like the Thanksgiving Day parade (with the Easter bunny on the fire truck instead of Santa Claus?), and not like the Mummers' Day Parade either, but rather it was just folks out walking around in their best clothes on this day of leisure. But I didn't ask her what it meant to be "all in clover."
At the time I assumed it meant wearing a complete outfit from Strawbridge and Clothier, which was often mispronounced Strawbridge and Clover and which had special sales events called "Clover Days" and which soon after that opened a discount chain called Clover.
But the song was released in 1933, and other songs make it clear that the expression means "feeling very well." So now I assume it comes from the fact that a cow in a field full of clover would be as happy as the proverbial pig in excrement. But that could be just as wrong as what I thought as a child. Does anyone have more information about it?
From the D.T. and Google:
– "The ship's all right, the crew is tight, the Old Man's all in clover" in "Miss Lucy Loo (Rolling Down To Trinidad)" and "Down Trinidad."
– "On shore we were all in clover" in "The Irish Rover."
– "Well my heart was wrapped up in clover" in "At Last" sung by Etta James.
– "I'm all in clover; I'm glad all over; I wanna shout hurray" in "Lucky Day" sung by Judy Garland.