“Roll Your Leg Over”


In this quatrain ballad, singers hypothecate that if the girls were ducks, rabbits, bricks, etc., they would be drakes, hares, masons, and euphemistically enjoy lustful pleasures.


This more or less recently composed bawdy song -- the earliest text recovered dates from the second world war -- is ultimately descended from "The Twa Magicians" (Child 44). See Cray, pp. 306 ff. - EC

G. Legman offers extensive notes in Randolph-Legman II. - EC

Paul Stamler suggests that this is a strongly bawdy version of "Hares on the Mountain." The dependence, in lyrics and form, is obvious, but this text apparently has taken on a life of its own in army circles. I must admit that I question the connection with "The Twa Magicians." Cray concedes there are no intermediaries between "The Twa Magicians" and the "Hares on the Mountain/Sally My Dear" complex. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Cray, pp. 301-309, "Roll Your Leg Over" (5 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph-Legman II, pp. 643-647, "Roll Your Leg Over" (2 texts)
  4. Roud #10410
  5. BI, EM301


Author: unknown
Found in: Australia [from an American student] Canada US(MW,So,SW)