Sheet Music: Polly Wolly Doodle

TitlePolly Wolly Doodle
ComposerTraditional American
Also attributed toDan Emmett (1815–1904)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG major
Time signature4/4
Tempo184 BPM
Performance time0:25
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (43 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (184 kB)
Date added2010-01-24
Last updated2010-01-24
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.2 (relatively unpopular)
Minstrel songs, Nursery rhymes, Traditional/Folk


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Sunday 24 January 2010

Tune of the Day: Polly Wolly Doodle

Traditional American folk song

This traditional American song is thought to have its origins as a slave song in the South, and its title is most likely a nonsense one without hidden meaning. It was first published in a Harvard student songbook in 1880, and it was not credited to any songwriter; today it is sometimes credited to Dan Emmett (possibly the most famous Blackface minstrel songwriter), but there's no evidence to that. We will probably never know where the college students got the tune and the words for this song.

“Polly Wolly Doodle” has become a common standard in children's music, and was also sung by Shirley Temple in the 1935 film, The Littlest Rebel. More recently, the melody of this song formed the basis for Boney M.'s 1979 hit “Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday”

Thanks to Emma for suggesting this song!