Reclaiming (or at least remembering) my childhood

I can’t believe I’ve forgotten so many kids’ songs. I was swinging with Hayden in our backyard yesterday and couldn’t remember children’s song lyrics. I got a few lines or a chorus of

  • “Polly Wolly Doodle”
  • “Buffalo Gal”
  • “Oh Susannah”
  • “On top of Old Smokey” (the real words; I can remember “On top of Spaghetti”)
  • And I completely forgot the title verse of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” All I could get was the part about Dinah.
  • And I tried really hard, but can only remember the title of “Camptown Races.” And the part about the bay.

And then Ryan was singing Hayden a Cub Scout camp song he calls “Patsy Odie Odie Ay”—and he forgot half the words.

We’re going to have to remember all these. Can’t let the rich American folk song heritage die with this generation!

Let’s get these lyrics. I don’t want to Google them—restore my faith in our collective memory. Who knows these songs?

5 thoughts on “Reclaiming (or at least remembering) my childhood

  1. Peanut Sitting on a railroad track
    polly wally doodle all the day….

    Buffalo Gal won’t you come out tonight….

    Oh Susannah oh won’t you cry for me, for I come from Lousiana for to see my Susiana singing polly wally doodle all the day (wait, what?)

    NO IDEA

    I’ve been working on the rail road all the live long day
    I’ve been working on the rail road just to pass the time away.
    Can’t you hear the whistle blowing? Oh so early in the mornin?

    Camptown Races?

  2. I got one. Camptown Ladies sing this song—Do dah, do dah
    Camptown racetrack’s five miles long
    Oh do dah day.
    somethingsomething Night
    somethingsomething day
    Bet my money on a something nag
    Somebody bet on the bay

  3. “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” (not Ryan’s Patsy odie odie ay version)

    I’ve been working on the railroad
    All the live-long day!
    I’ve been working on the railroad
    Just to pass the time away
    Can’t you hear the whistle blowing?
    Rise up so early in the morn?
    Can’t you hear the captain shouting?
    Dinah blow your horn!

    Dinah won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow,
    your hor-r-r-n ?

    Dinah won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow,
    your hor-r-r-n ?

    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
    Someone’s in the kitchen I know
    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
    Strumming on the old banjo

    and singing

    Fee Fie Fiddly eye oh
    Fee Fie Fiddly eye oh
    Fee Fie Fiddly eye oh
    Strummin’ on the ol’ banjo!

  4. On top of old smokey:
    On top of old smokey, all covered with snow,
    I lost my true lover by courtin’ too slow.
    Now, courtin’s a pleasure, and partings a grief.
    But a false hearted lover is worse than a thief.
    A thief will but rob you of all that you save,
    but a false hearted lover will send you to your grave.

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