Say Say Oh Playmate – Children’s Song


“Say say oh playmate, 

Come out and play with me, 

And bring your dolly’s three, 

Climb up my apple tree, 

Slide down my rainbow 

Into my cellar door 

And we’ll be jolly friends 

Forevermore more more more more more.”


JN is a 50-year-old freelance writer in Minnesota, where she grew up as well. She told me about a rhyme she used to sing as a child with her friends and said that they used to use it to jump rope to.  


This is an example of children’s folklore because it is an easy song to sing and remember, so kids can grasp onto it and use it in different contexts. Beyond it being used as a jump rope song, I’ve also heard it used with a handclapping game. Based on my experience, this song seems to be relatively common around the United States, as it has been around for a few generations at least which has given it lots of time to proliferate. It is likely that beyond its different uses there are other ways of singing this song as well, as something like this is a good contender for having different oikotypes in different places. It is a fun way to connect with friends by singing it, and it is likely something more used by young girls as a way to form connections and play together, as it includes some gender stereotypes by referring to playing with dolls, which is commonly seen as an activity done mostly by young girls.