Adding to Joyce Brite's comment in today's MMD about the same
melody being used for different songs, I would say that the history
of Tin Pan Alley seems to be shot through with examples of borrowing,
imitating, parodying, and even copying other composers' successful
hits. It was probably a combination of imitation being the sincerest
form of flattery, of simple coattail riding, and of unconscious
imitation of phrases and patterns that were current in everyone's
head at the moment.
Such examples range all the way from probably unintended copying,
as in the case of Jerome Kern's "Ka-Lu-A" imitating phrases in Felix
Bernard & Johnny S. Black's "Dardanella," to what seems to be
unmistakable thievery, as in the melody of Joseph Woodruff's
"After The War Is Over Will The Be Any Home Sweet Home" being used
thirteen years later, with no credit to Woodruff, by Will Havlin in
his "Somewhere In Old Wyoming."
The Alley was a tight-knit but very competitive business. And