It echoes themes of a Christian evangelical revivalist meeting song.
It was the first song they wrote together, and was introduced by Ruth Etting in The Nine-Fifteen Revue in 1930.
Influenced by the Get Happy tradition, it is most associated with Judy Garland, who performed it in her last MGM film Summer Stock (1950) and in live concert performances throughout the rest of her life. The versions from Summer Stock finished at #61 in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. Garland sang this song with Barbra Streisand in a medley that also included "Happy Days Are Here Again" on The Judy Garland Show in 1963. In the 2010 Glee episode "Duets", Lea Michele and Chris Colfer (as their characters Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel) performed the song as part of the same medley that Streisand and Garland sang.
Forget your troubles Come on get happy You better chase all your cares away Shout hallelujah Come on get happy Get ready for the Judgment Day
The sun is shining Come on get happy The lord is waiting to take your hand Shout Hallelujah Come on get happy We're going to the Promised Land
We're heading 'cross the river Wash your sins away in the tide It's all so peaceful on the other side
Forget your troubles And just get happy You better chase all your cares away Shout hallelujah Come on get happy Get ready for the Judgment Day