“Little Pink”


"My pretty little Pink, I once did think, That you and I would marry." The singer complains that the girl has taken too long to make up her mind. In some versions he is a soldier who sets out to see the sights and fight in the Mexican War

Supplemental text

Little Pink
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

My Pretty Pink

From W. W. Newell, Games and Songs of American Children, item
#175, p. 245. From east Tennessee.

My pretty little pink, I once did think
  That you and I would marry,
But now I've lost all hope of that,
  I can no longer tarry.

I've got my knapsack on my back,
  My musket on my shoulder,
To march away to Quebec town,
  To be a gallant soldier.

Where coffee grows on a white-oak-tree,
  And the rivers flow with brandy,
Where the boys are like a lump of gold,
  And the girls as sweet as candy.

          *** B ***

My Pretty Little Pink

From Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, p. 166. "The first verse
and melody are from Lillian K. Rickaby of Riverside, California, as
she heard then when a girl in Galesburg, Illinous; the other two
verses are from Neeta Marquis of Los Angeles as learned by her
mother in Kentucky in the late 1840's."

1 My pretty little Pink, I once did think
  That you and I would marry,
  But now I've lost all hopes of you,
  And I have no time to tarry.

2 I'll take my knapsack on my back,
  My rifle on my shoulder,
  And I'll march away to the Rio Grande,
  To view the forest over.

3 Where coffee grows on white oak trees,
  And the river flows with brandy,
  Where girls are sweet as sweet can be
  And the boys like sugar candy.

Cross references

  • cf. "We're Marching Down to Old Quebec" (floating verses)


  1. Sandburg, p. 166, "My Pretty Little Pink" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph 793, "Careless Love" (3 texts, 1 tune, but the "B" text belongs here if it belongs anywhere)
  3. BrownIII 287, "Darling Little Pink" (1 text); also 78, "Coffee Grows on White Oak Trees" (7 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more, but almost all mixed -- all except "H" have the "Coffee grows" stanza, but "A" also has verses from "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss"; "and "C" through "H" are mostly "Little Pink"; "B" is mixed with "Raccoon" or some such)
  4. Hudson 85, p. 212, "Going to the Mexican War" (1 fragment, with the "Knapsack on my Shoulder" text and also the "Coffee Grows" stanza; there isn't much "Little Pink" in it, but it clearly goes with the Brown texts cited above)
  5. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #808, p. 301, "(My little pink)" (a fragment that appears related but may be a by-blow)
  6. ST San166 (Full)
  7. Roud #735
  8. BI, San166


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1914 (Brown)
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)