Tag Archives: playmate

North Dakotan German-Russian Childhood Folk Song – “Oh Playmate”

Transcribed Lyrics Sung by Informant

Oh playmate, come out and play with me

And bring your dollies three

Climb up my apple tree

Chuck down my rain barrel

Slide down my cellar door

And we’ll be jolly friends

Forever more

Say, Say, oh playmate

I cannot play with you

My dolly’s got the flu


Ain’t got no rain barrel

Ain’t got no cellar door

But we’ll be jolly friends

Forever more, more, more, more, more


Informant recalls that she learned this song from fellow classmates at recess during her elementary school years in North Dakota. She would sing this song with friends and classmates, and also alone, “if I were doing chores or whatever” she mused. “I don’t really know to interpret the song…it’s just a little jingle about friendship I guess…I think the melody’s the more important part of it.”

My Analysis

I agree with the informant that the melody is very strong and catchy, and probably the reason why the song’s remained a part of the German-Russian North Dakotan folklore. It reminds me a lot of songs I would sing on the playground as a kid, which I think speaks to the universality of childhood songs, even if the melodies and lyrical content are different across cultures.