“Sally Come Up”


A song in praise of Sally that manages to stress all her bad features: "Sally has got a lubly nose, Flat across her face it grows, It sounds like thunder when it blows.... Sally come up, oh, Sally come down, Oh, Sally, come twist your heels around...."


The earliest printed text of this piece credits the words to T. Ramsey and the music to E. W. Mackney, but as early as 1862 other names began to appear. Paskman and Spaeth believe the song to be a spoof of "Sally in Our Alley." - RBW

Having finally read the lyrics to "Sally in Our Alley," I think Paskman & Spaeth are all wet. The only common element is the name "Sally." - PJS

Note that they don't call it a parody; it's just supposed to be based on the same cahracter. Still a stretch, I allow.

There is a parody, though, by a well-known author -- none other than Lewis Carroll! Carroll's diary forJuly 3, 1862 mentions hearing the Liddell sisters singing this song (obviously implying some amount of oral currency by then), and in the original draft of _Alice in Wonderland_, he had this Mock Turtle's Song:

Salmon, come up! Salmon, go down!

Salmon, come twist your tail around!

Of all the fishes of the sea

There's none so good as Salmon!

Cazden et al list a number of other early parodies (including the above, though I'm getting my information from Martin Gardner's _The Annotated Alice_, which is more detailed.) - RBW


  1. FSCatskills 148, "Sally Come Up" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, FSC148


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1859 (sheet music)
Keywords: humorous
Found in: US(MA,MW)