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Dance to Your Daddy-O

[ Roud 2439 ; Ballad Index FSWB409 ; trad.]

Elizabeth Cronin (1879-1956) of Ballymakeera, Co. Cork, sang the short Irish dandling song Dance to Your Daddy-O in 1951 to Alan Lomax. This recording was included in 1955 on his Columbia anthology World Library of Folk & Primitive Music: Ireland. She also sang it in 1954 to Peter Kennedy; this recording was included in 1995 on the Saydisc anthology Traditional Songs of Ireland.

This dandling song is quite different from the widely more popular “fishy” song Dance to Your Daddy by William Watson. However, both songs are catalogued with the same Roud number and in the same Traditional Ballad Index entry.

The Teacups sang Dance to Your Daddy in 2013 on their first CD, One for the Pot. They commented in their liner notes:

Kate [Locksley] found the first verse of this Irish dandling song [sung by Elizabeth Cronin, I'd guess] whilst trawling through old recordings online. It was only a 25 second clip, so we wrote some more verses and made it into a full song.

This video shows them at Bromyard Folk Festival in 2013:

Lyrics

Elizabeth Cronin sings Dance to Your Daddy-O

Dance to your daddy-o, dance to your mammy-o.
Dance to your daddy-o, my own pretty child.

I’ll buy my child a saucepan, I’ll buy my child a spoon,
I’ll buy my child a writing desk and he will go to school.

The Teacups sing Dance to Your Daddy

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Dance to your daddy-o, dance to your mammy-o.
Dance to your daddy-o, my own pretty child.

I’ll buy my child a saucepan, I’ll buy my child a spoon,
I’ll buy my child a writing set and he can go to school.

I’ll buy my child a sailing ship, a-sailing on the sea,
I’ll buy my child a feathered hat, a captain for to be.

I’ll buy my child a diamond, I’ll buy my child a ring,
I’ll buy my child a crown of gold and he can be a king.