Sung by: Mrs. Ollie Gilbert
Recorded in Timbo, AR 10/13/59

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Way down in the lonely valley,
Pretty Polly did dwell,
Who was courted by a captain,
Who loved her so well.
Her father and mother
Came this for to know,
And parted pretty Polly
And her own true love.

One night she was musing
On the bed.
A very strange notion
Came through Polly’s head.
She went to her father’s stable
And viewed them all ‘round
And picked out a horse
Could travel the ground.

Then first a vest coat
She put on,
And ever degree
She seemed like a man,
With a brace and a pistol
Swung by her side.
Like a United States soldier,
Pretty Polly did ride.

She rode, she rode,
‘Till she came to the town,
And there she put up
Beside of the Crown.
The first one she met with
Was a English, oh, Lord.
The next one was a captain,
Pretty Polly’s true love.

“What news from your country?
What news do I hear?”
She handed him a letter
From Polly, oh, dear.
He opened the letter;
Ten pennies he found,
Saying, Polly is a soldier,
With the men all around.

Pretty Polly, being wearied,
She hung down her head.
She called for a candle
To light her to bed.
The captain replied,
“Have a bed at my ease,
And you may lie with me,
Kind sir, if you please.”

“To lie with a captain
Is to lie with a king.
I’m a United States Soldier;
From George Washington I came.
I’ll fight for my liberty
By sea and by land.
If you be my captain,
I’ll be your command.”

Now Polly is married;
She lives at her ease.
She goes when she gets ready,
Returns when she please.
She left her old parents
To grieve and to mourn,
Saying, “Polly, oh, Polly,
When will you return.”

Also found in Brown, Vol. II, #97, “Polly Oliver.”

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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