Dusty Turtle


Location: Northern California
Country: USA

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Polly Wolly Doodle

musician/member name:
Duration: 00:02:44
Some fun before leaving for work. I am playing a mountain dulcimer (the first one I ever bought--almost 5 years ago) made of mahogany and spruce by Johnie Nicholson of Unicorn Woodworks. I should probably thank Leon Redbone who showed us all about 35 years ago just how cool this old tune can be.
Helen Seiler
05/05/14 05:28:51AM @helen-seiler:

Dusty, I got busy and didn't get a chance to watch this thru. I am so glad I remembered to look it up. This is a real blast. I love your strum variations and very cheeky ending. (any gigs lately?).

Rob N Lackey
04/30/14 06:01:26PM @rob-n-lackey:

Actually, the antepenultimate and the penultimate verses give "Diddy Wah Diddy" its conclusion:

Went to church, put my hat on a seat

A lady sat on said, "that sure is sweet"

Your diddy wah diddy, etc

Come on babe, I got to go.

Gimme that thing you're a-sitting on

My diddy wah diddy, etc.


Dusty Turtle
04/30/14 12:49:12PM @dusty-turtle:

I totally forgot about those other tunes, Rob, and that detergent ad, too! Leon Redbone himself has posted that whole album on YouTube: clickLeon Redbone's On the Track

Thanks, Bobby. It's amazing the meanings and memories a simple song can bring up, isn't it?

04/30/14 08:46:34AM @bobby-maxspop-bingham:

Outstanding, Dusty! Songs like this remind me of days of innocence long ago and long bygone! We kids had things like homemade toys, chores, meaningful homework and family to keep us busy! Thanks for the tune. BTW, guess you'll have to ask Manfred Mann what "Do Wah Diddy" means! Like many other nonsense phrases, we didn't know what they meant, but it sure sounded good and we acted like we knew what it meant!! And, what I like about this site is--made up of people who are "salt of the earth!"113.gif

Rob N Lackey
04/30/14 05:20:21AM @rob-n-lackey:

Yes, Dusty, and before his SNL appearance he was on Austin City Limits which is where I 1st saw/heard him. "When it's time to relax...." and then the All detergent commercial and the theme song for Mr Belvedere. He was hot property. There was also "Ain't Misbehavin'," "My Walking Stick" and "Big Chief Buffalo Nickle" which were part of my LR set at the time.

Dusty Turtle
04/29/14 09:48:25PM @dusty-turtle:

Wow! What praise, Cindy. Thank you so much.

And Rob, I remember so vividly getting that first Leon Redbone album. I think he was on Saturday Night Live around the same time and even did a cool Bud commercial. Lots of good material on that album in addition to this song, including Lazybones, Marie, and my favorite, Lulu's Back in Town.

Rob N Lackey
04/29/14 07:35:07PM @rob-n-lackey:

Ah yes, now that's the ticket! Actually, Dusty, next year will be the 40th anniversary of Leon's "On the Track" LP. I used to do about 1/2 that album in a Leon Redbone set back then. Got to see him live for the 1st time about 10 years ago, but that's another story. You done good!

Cindy Stammich
04/29/14 07:00:32PM @cindy-stammich:
This is the best version of Polly Wolly Doodle that I have ever heard! Soo much fun!!!I love it!!!
Dusty Turtle
04/22/14 10:55:29PM @dusty-turtle:

Carrie and Patty, thanks so much! Your encouragement means a lot. And Patty, I don't know what a doodle is, but your comment reminds me of another fun song, "Ditty Wah Ditty." The chorus goes "I wish somebody would tell me what ditty wah ditty means."

Patty from Virginia
04/22/14 10:18:40PM @patty-from-virginia:

Wonderful!!!113.gif41.gif I love those lyrics. That's putting a bit of liveliness in that tune. Now I need to find out what a doodle isGrin.gif

Carrie Barnes
04/22/14 10:11:07PM @carrie-barnes:

Nothing staid about this one Dusty! Sometimes we just have to revert to being a kid to realize how much we don't allow ourselves to just cut loose! Loved it!113.gif

Dusty Turtle
04/22/14 09:49:23PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, John and John. Leon Redbone did this tune on his first album, which must have come out when I was about 12. It opened my eyes and ears to how to find what was cool in old staid tunes.

John Keane
04/22/14 06:44:15PM @john-keane:

That's really cool! I love the reference to Leon Redbone. Grin.gif

John W. McKinstry
04/22/14 06:07:36PM @john-w-mckinstry:

Hey Dusty, So good to hear you. It was jazzy. Smile.gifSmile.gif

Dusty Turtle
04/22/14 05:22:00PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, Robin and Geekling. Yes, I think having a kid has re-ignited my love for silly children's songs. There is a simple joy to be found in some music that we lose when we get too serious. I was getting stuck in a 17th-century English dance tune, 37.giftrying to get every note perfect. What a relief it was to play this instead.35.gif

Robin Thompson
04/22/14 04:44:42PM @robin-thompson:
Cool boogie- woogie feel, Dusty! Your singing gives just the right flavor to this tune many of us first heard as children.
Dusty Turtle
04/22/14 04:38:43PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, Ken. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ken Longfield
04/22/14 03:25:59PM @ken-longfield:

Dusty, I echo what Jan says. This is wonderful rendition of this old song. Thanks for sharing it.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dusty Turtle
04/22/14 02:20:01PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks so much, Jan! Only the first line "going down south for to see my gal" seems to be in every version of this song, so I just kind of mixed and matched and pulled verses from here and there. I made up the second line (chillin' in a lush locale") and got the verse about the caterpillar from Leon Redbone's version. The line about watermelon comes from another folk song I learned from Pete Seeger and have been singing all my life. The verse about a good woman who "won't hide my liquor and try to serve me tea" comes from innumerable old blues tunes dating from the days of a strong temperance movement. Since all you need are two lines that rhyme in order to have a verse, it's easy just to make stuff up.

Thanks for such encouraging words! It's amazing how fun this old two-chord song can be!

Jan Potts
04/22/14 01:34:14PM @jan-potts:

This is so cool! Love your voice and your playing techniques--you're quite an entertainer! Your version of this song made me wonder, "What's gonna be in the NEXT verse?" You're leaving your audience wanting more and that's great!113.gif