Sam Neely – The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)

In February 1983, with the end of M*A*S*H rapidly approaching, MCA Records quickly released a song titled “The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)” to radio stations. Performed by Sam Neely, a country singer who had minor success in the early-to-mid-1970s, the song was a tribute to and celebration of M*A*S*H. Written by Lobo and Jeff Raymond and produced by Ron Chancey, it peaked at 78 on the Country Singles chart (according to AllMusic).

According to The Associated Press, the song was recorded in late January 1983. Neely explained that the song “strikes you as familiar to the ‘M*A*S*H’ theme song. It gets right into the chorus, saying goodbye to the characters still on the show. It tells you about each one, where they are from and so forth. it’s a neat little song.”

Listen to an Excerpt from “The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)”
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The song is just over three and a half minutes long. As far as I know, it was issued only as a promotional 45 (MCA-52194) and was never released commercially as a single or included on an album. Two versions of the promotional 45 exist. One features another Sam Neely song, “What Do I Tell My Heart” while the other has “The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)” pressed on both sides.

MCA-52194, The Party's Over (Everybody's Gone)
MCA-52194, “The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)”
Lyric Sheet to The Party's Over (Everybody's Gone)
Lyric Sheet to “The Party’s Over (Everybody’s Gone)”

The above lyric sheet included with the promotional 45 has a number of mistakes. Here are the complete, correct lyrics:

Goodbye, Hawkeye, so long Houlihan.
B.J. and Klinger, Winchester and
Father Mulcahy and Colonel Potter’s gone.
The party’s over but the players will live on.

The party’s over, everybody’s gone.
Now I know just how it feels to really be alone.

Was his dad down at the station
When he reached Crapabble Cove?
Was momma waving from the kitchen?
Was his cow down by the road?

Did they throw a bash in Boston?
Were the little girls all grown?
Did they turn out in Toledo
To watch their man come marching home?

Goodbye, Hawkeye, so long Houlihan.
B.J. and Klinger, Winchester and
Father Mulcahy and Colonel Potter’s gone.
The party’s over but the players will live on.

Laughter was the remedy
You prescribed for every wound.
Even suicide was painless.
You even laughed at doom.

Every week was something
That needed to be shown.
You sometimes hid the message
But you always brought it home.

Goodbye, Hawkeye, so long Houlihan.
B.J. and Klinger, Winchester and
Father Mulcahy and Colonel Potter’s gone.
The party’s over but the players will live on.

(repeat twice & fade out)

The song itself makes one mistake: it states Hawkeye’s father and mother are waiting for him in Crabapple Cove but aside from one or two references to the contrary, Hawkeye’s mother had passed away at some point prior to his time in Korea. As Jeff Raymond points out in the comments, the “Was momma waving from the kitchen?” line refers to Radar, not Hawkeye. I apologize for the mistake.

Sam Neely passed away in 2006.

References:
“Last ‘M-A-S-H’ Episode Tonight.” Durant Daily Democrat [Durant, OK]. United Press International. 28 Feb. 1983: 1.
“Texas singer kisses Hot Lips goodbye.” Modesto Bee. Associated Press. 10 Feb. 1983: B-6.

2 Comments

  • Jeff Raymond says:

    I wrote this song along with my friend Kent Lovoie AKA Lobo. And the mother line refers to Radar no Hawkeye. Radar was always telling stories about uncle Ed and his mom, that’s why we put the line in there.

  • Roger says:

    The show itself made the mistake regarding hawkeye’s mother. in the first few episodes, his mother is still alive, and I think he has a sister

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