Oh Dear Doctor
DESCRIPTION: "Oh dear doctor, can you tell, What will make poor so-and-so well? She is sick and like to die And that will make poor so-and-so cry." Sometimes, the text continues that the boy has "the prettiest girl of Mrs so-and-so's daughters."
EARLIEST DATE: 1884 (Newell)
KEYWORDS: courting playparty doctor disease
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Opie-Game 32, "Oh Dear Doctor" (1 text)
Newell, #36, "The Doctor's Prescription" (1 text)
BrownSchinhanV, p. 540, "Oh, Dear Doctor" (1 short text, 1 tune)
NOTES [102 words]: The first four lines of Opie-Game are the same as the fourth verse of Jean Olive Heck, "Folk Poetry and Folk Criticism, as Illustrated by Cincinnati Children in Their Singing Games and Their Thoughts about These Games" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XL, No. 155 (Jan 1927 (available online by JSTOR)), #24 p. 19 ("Rain, rain high, and the wind blows cold"). Newell's version is the same four line rhyme (see the first quote in the description. - BS
According to Newell, it wasn't just children who played this game; in France, it was played by adults, and the doctor's prescription was a kiss. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.