Down by the Bay

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"Down by the Bay"
Writer Traditional
Recorded by Raffi

"Down by the Bay" is a traditional children's song. A famous version was performed by Raffi and appears on his 1976 album Singable Songs for the Very Young. It is possibly of Greek origin: a traditional Cephalonian kantada song called "Yialo Yialo" has the same melody. In recent years, the song had gained popularity as a campfire song among the Scouting Movement in Britain.


The song lyrics are usually as follows:

"Down by the bay,
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home,
I dare not go,
For if I do,
My mother will say:"

Usually follows some kind of variation on "Did you ever see a _____, _____ing a _____", with rhyming words, for example:

  • "Did you ever see a snake baking a cake?"
  • "Did you ever see a cat, wearing a hat?"
  • "Did you ever see a whale, with a polka-dot tail?"

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song "Polka Dot Tail" from Ween's 1997 album The Mollusk contains lyrics taken from "Down by the Bay," including original variations on the pattern.
  • The song is sung on two occasions by Nellie in the 1995 film 'Angela' written and directed by Rebecca Miller, including the rhyme 'Did you ever see a teacher kissing a creature?'.
  • Sillywhim, the Jingleheimers and the Fruggy Frogs sang this song in "Wee Sing in Sillyville".
  • In the movie The Guns of Navarone, the Greek version of the song is sung during the wedding scene.
  • A version of the song is featured on the album Diego, Dora & Friends' Animal Jamboree, performed by Dora and her cousin Diego of the series Dora the Explorer.
  • Around the beginning of "Franklin Goes to Day Camp" on Franklin, the main characters perform a variation of the song.
  • On the episode "The Berenstain Bears Go To Camp" on The Berenstain Bears, Brother, Sister, and some other cubs sing this song on the way to camp.
  • The Barney and the Backyard Gang video "Rock with Barney" was done with puppets and featured the verses, "Did you ever see a bee with a sunburnt knee?", "Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose?", "Did you ever see a whale with a polka-dot tail?", "Did you ever see a bear try to curl somebody's hair?", "Did you ever see a guy playing tennis with a fly?", "Did you ever see a green dog jumping on a yellow log?", "Did you ever see a rhino kissing a dino?", and "Did you ever see some friends having fun that never ends?".