“Polly Put the Kettle On” is a nursery rhyme originating from England.

All sources indicate that it was first published in 1797, although its tune is known to have been used earlier, in the 1770’s.

In Ireland and the USA, in earlier versions of the song, the name Molly was used instead of Polly.

The song’s lyrics most probably tell the story of 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys) who were continuously fight over the games they should play, as the girls preferred house, while the boys preferred to play “soldier”. Thus, the girls pretended to have a tea together, and one of the girls, Polly prepared the kettle for it. As soon as their brothers left, Sukey (old name for Susan) took the kettle off and the girls were able to play house.

There are many variations of the lyrics, but below is one of the most used ones:

“Polly Put the Kettle On” Lyrics

Common version of the song:
Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
We’ll all have tea.
Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
They’ve all gone away.

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