The song was a plea (presumably by a soldier off to fight the war) to his sweetheart to wait for him until he could get back home. Like many war-themed songs, it enjoyed great popularity when it came out in 1944, and versions by The Mills Brothers and the Les Brown orchestra dominated the charts. The recording by The Mills Brothers was released by Decca Records as catalog number 18599. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on September 21, 1944, and lasted three weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 8 (a two-sided hit, backed by "You Always Hurt the One You Love"). It also topped the R&B charts.
Ten years later, the song once more became quite popular. Both a doo-wop version by Sonny Til & The Orioles and a traditional pop version by The Hilltoppers charted that year. The recording by The Hilltoppers was released by Dot Records as catalog number 15132. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on January 23, 1954, and spent 11 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 10.
The Mills Brothers' version of the song was featured on an episode of the TV show The Others entitled "Till Then" (April 29, 2000, Season 1 – Episode 10).
The song has recently been covered by the Missouri band The Cotton Mollies.