Polly Wolly Doodle All Day!

Placing some recent correspondence between a woman named Michelle and myself. We both thought you'd get a kick out of this. Sure made my morning!



I am going crazy trying to figure out where a song came from. I just called my mother and she helped me figure out some of the lyrics, but I am having no luck finding anything about this song. I was hoping you could help me.


I only know parts of the song, and what got me on it in the first place was the saying “Scotty Watty Doo-doo” popped into my head. That led me to start trying to find that, but the only thing that came up was some idiot who has a blog for goodness sakes! Anyway, my son, who is only 15, said, “Doesn’t it go Scotty Watty Doodle all the day?” How do our kids know these things?!?!


The lyrics that I can remember go like this:


“Fare thee well, fare thee well, fare thee well my bonny bell…..gonna sing my song….

Singing Scotty Waddy Doodle all the day”


I am missing all kinds of words, but it has those words in it. I would love to get the words to this song and to know where it came from. My mother said it could be from WWI even, but I can’t imagine it is from that far back. I’m only 47, so I can’t think where I would have heard a song from that long ago. I love the music from the 40’s and 50’s, as does my youngest son. I figure that I had a teacher who taught this to me when I was young. That is why I think it is from the 40’s.


Is this just too ridiculous a request for you? If it is, I completely understand.


With gratitude,

Michelle Marconi



Dear Michelle:


Oh my gosh, what a great way to start off my day. I just woke up, and started reading your letter and laughed out loud. This is just too adorable.


At first nothing struck, but when I got down to the line about your son singing, it immediately popped into my head and I started singing, "Polly Wolly Doodle All Day".


It's actually a southern tune (minstrel tune) and has been around since approximately the 1840's. Although it's been disputed, credit is often given to Dan Emmett. It was very popular during the civil war.




Here's a very popular version done by none other than Shirley Temple, from the movie, Littlest Rebel. Note the change in lyrics!




Well this sure was fun. Now, you'll never get that song out of your head.





Dear Marion,


I love you! Thank you so much for the answer to my silly question. I have already clicked on the link and it is absolutely the correct song! I am sitting outside by our pond, all bundled up in a blanket, singing the lyrics to my husband. I think he thinks I have lost my mind! I can’t tell you how much this means to me. It is so wonderful to be able to reach out and talk to someone who has the knowledge. I marvel at the wonders of modern technology. I would have had no way to figure this out even just 10 years ago. Say what you will, the internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes!


Can I keep you e-mail on file just in case I have some other question in the future? I know my son would love to get on your site, as he truly loves the music from the forties.


Very sincerely,

Michelle Marconi



Dear Michelle:


I was hoping to hear back from ya! Another great letter to begin my day! I could picture you wrapped up in your "blankie" singing to you husband. How funny!


Yes, yes, keep me on your contact list. It will be refreshing to exchange letters.


Oh, just read your response to my hubby this morning and he says, "Make sure you send her the Leon Redbone version." I told him I thought about that, cuz it's a great one.


So here it is; enjoy!



Hey can I post this conversation on my forum, for I'm sure my readers would get a kick out of it? If not, that's okay too, of course.


Yes, you are absolutely correct about the internet. Hey if it wasn't for cyberspace, I would have never been able to research my father's WWII history, nor meet the hundreds upon hundreds of people from around the world, and also been inspired to share the music of the forties with people like you and your family. Trust me; I am truly grateful.


I am never going to be able to hear Polly Wolly the rest of my life, without thinking of you. I can picture myself when I am 85, relaxing in my chair, when someone will play that song and your letter will flash back into my head. Ah the joy it will bring!


Smiles and love,




Absolutely, you may use my letter. I am happy to know it might help someone else find a song they have been thinking about. Thanks for the 2nd link. I actually ended up sending the words to my mom, as she is from originally from Arkansas. I’m a born and raised California girl, but I seem to love all things Southern – as do my kids. Thanks again.




Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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