“Miss Polly had a Dolly” is a song of mysterious origins. It appears that no one in the whole wide world knows about where it came from. Well, there wasn’t anything significant about Miss Polly or her dolly when Songs with Simon performed a quick google search.

Perplexed, we went to specific sites in our search:

  • Wikipedia’s only listings for Miss Polly had a Dolly were in reference to the various groups that had performed the song over the years.
  • Wiki.answers asked the question and then stated that no one had provided an answer.
  • Songmeanings yielded no results.

Miss Polly is not even among those investigated in Linda Alchin’s book, The Secret History of Nursery Rhymes. (WARNING: If the themes on this book’s front cover are anything to go by, this is not a book for children!)

With this absence of history on the World Wide Web, Songs with Simon would like to petition you, the reader. Where did Miss Polly come from? What was the nature of her doll’s illness? Why did the doctor take advantage of this poor, apparently single mother, issuing a bill for a pill that would have no effect on a well-loved but ultimately inanimate object?

Songs with Simon welcomes any answers you may offer, but please remember that thousands of children frequent our site so your origin stories may be moderated for inappropriate language or themes.