Submitted by Kim Wallach

I chose “Bibble A La Do” as the Song of the Month for a number of reasons. I grew up singing along with the mournful “Johnny’s Gone for a Soldier” as sung by Peter, Paul and Mary. Also known as “Buttermilk Hill” and “Shule Aroon,” “Shule a Ghra” and “Siúil a Rún” (and many other names as well), all these songs lament a lad gone for a soldier, sometimes one for whom the singer has sold everything to supply with the tools of war, only for them to die anyway.

While I still love a sad song, there’s something about the jauntiness of the rhythm and the change of modality from minor to major just at the end of “Bibble A La Do” that I love. There are tons of recorded versions of “Johnny’s Gone for a Soldier,” but only two I know of for “Bibble A La Do”—Art Thieme on Thieme04, and Deborah Robins on Home Fires (.99 to buy, but buy the whole CD, it’s worth it!).

Listen to Kim singing “Bibble A La Do:”

Sheet music for "Bibble A La Do"
Click to download the sheet music for “Bibble A La Do.”


Come and listen to my song
Awful pretty and it won’t take long
Sang it all the way from here to Hong Kong
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie

Shoe rye shoe rye shoe rye roo
suga raka suga raka shoe rye roo
When I saw my little bobolink 
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie

Gonna buy me an old grey hoss
The Alleghenies I will cross
Gonna find the true love that I lost
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie


I was staying on a South Sea isle
Folk down there all greet you with a smile
I wrote back home, well, I think I’ll stay awhile
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie


My true love has gone to France 
There his fortune to advance
When he comes home gonna have a little dance
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie


Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill
Here I sit and cry my fill
Every tear could turn a mill
Come a bibble a la do shy dorrie

Repeat first verse

Siúil, siúil, siúil a rún
Siúil go socair agus siúil go ciuin
Siúil go doras agus ealaigh lio
Is go dte tu mo mhuirnin slan
Walk, walk, walk, O love, 
Walk quickly to me, softly move; 
Walk to the door, and away we’ll flee, 
And safe may my darling be.

Kim Wallach is a singer of original, traditional and wonderful songs dwelling in southwest New Hampshire. Thankfully retired as a public school music teacher just prior to the pandemic, she is enjoying playing music for Firebird, a molly and border team, going to Monadnock area outdoor “pub” sings, caring for her adopted “malted” dog and even doing the occasional gig for grownups or children. You can still contact her through her website, and order all her CDs including the latest, Chatter of the Finches, through CDBaby and other online sources.