Polly Oliver


“Polly Oliver,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 26, 2022, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31791.

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>


Polly Oliver


One leaf typewritten on the front side. The document is in good physical condition. The document was laminated. There is a minor tear at the upper right edge. There is a minor tear at the left lower edge. The document was folded horizontally and vertically into sixths. The informant citation follows the song text.


Ballads, English -- United States Love -- Songs and music Soldiers -- Songs and music Male impersonators -- Songs and music

Alternative Title

Pretty Polly


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University

Date Created



I. G. Greer


The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.








Polly and the Soldier Boy

One night as pretty Polly did lay on her bed
There came a queer notion that run through her head.

Neither father nor mother can make her false prove
“I’ll dress like a soldier and follow my love.”

So early next morning pretty Polly did arise with a case of bright
pistols and a sword by her side,
On her fathers best gilding pretty Polly did ride.

She went to the stable, she viewed all around,
She picked her out one that could measure the ground.

With her long yaller hair, down her head it did hang,
In every degree it looked like some young man.

She rode till she came to the first English town
The first one she met was the captain for Polly’s true love.

“To lie with the captain is a dangerous thing,
Although I’m a soldier from Washington came.”

“Your waist is too slim and slender, your fingers are too small
Your cheeks are too red and rosy to face a cannon ball.”

“I know my waist is slim and slender, my fingers very small,
It would not daunt me to see ten thousand fall.”

This battle it was ended, she took a circle round,
Among the dead and dying her darling love she found.

She picked him up all in her arms and carried him to a London town,
She sent unto a doctor to heal his mortal wound.

Thus couple they got married so well they did agree
This couple they got married and why not you and me.


Classification Title

Polly Oliver

Document Title

Polly and the Soldier Boy



Scholarly Classification

Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 97 Laws, N 14 Cox, 122 Sharp, 54

Dimensions - Original

212 mm x 280 mm

Upload Date


File name


Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Leila E. Weinstein

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>