The Playmates

[a.k.a. "Oh, Jolly Playmate", " Oh, Playmate, Come Out & Play With Me",

"Playmates" & "Poor Jolly Playmate"]

Words & Music:

Saxie Dowell


Master songhound Piet Van Allen ROCKS!  I had learned this as the dual hand games, "Oh, Jolly Playmate" and "Poor Jolly Playmate".  Piet tracked it down.  This was recorded as "Playmates" by the Kay Kyser Orchestra and was also the title of a 1941 film comedy starring Kay Kyser, John Barrymore & Lupe Velez.  He then tracked down the composer, Saxie Dowell, and the original words.  Saxie wrote the words & music (published Saintly-Joy-select, Inc., 1940) and it was a hit for Hal Kemp & The Smoothies.  It was also a hit for Wayne King & Gerry Mulligan!  Here they all are...does anyone have the chords to the original song?


1. Original version:


There's a catchy little tune a floatin' through the air,

You hear it here and there, they sing it ev'ry where

How it started, where it started, seems nobody knows.

But what's the diff'rence where it came from, here's the way it goes:



Oh, Playmate, come out and play with me

And bring your dollies three.  Climb up my apple tree,

Look down my rain barrel, slide down my cellar door

And we'll be jolly friends forever more.



It was a rainy day, She couldn't come out to play,

With tearful eyes and tender sighs

I could hear her say:



I'm sorry Playmate, I cannot play with you

My dollies have the flu, Boo-hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo.

Ain't got no rain barrel, ain't got no cellar door

But we'll be jolly friends forever more.



2. "Oh, Jolly Playmate" hand game version:

Oh, jolly playmate!  Come out and play with me.

Come, bring your dollies three, climb up my apple tree!

Slide down my rain barrel and through my cellar door.

And we'll be jolly friends forevermore, more, more, more, more.



3. "Poor Jolly Playmate" hand game version:

Poor jolly playmate!  I cannot play with you.

My dolly has the flu.  Boo-hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo!

I have no rain barrel, I have no cellar door.

But, we'll be jolly friends forevermore...



“Oh” = arms crossed, tap your upper arms

“jol-“ = slap your thighs

“-ly” = clap your hands


Then go into the pattern for the hand game:

Clap right hand to right hand.

Clap your own hands together.

Clap left hand to left hand.

Clap your own hands twice.

Arms crossed, slap upper arms.

Slap your thighs.

Clap your hands.




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