Historic Sheet Music Collection

Document Type


Publication Date



MacIntosh Collection

New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. (1919)

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the library or the institution.


[Verse 1]
All alone in her pagoda,
Waiting for her sailor man,
Poor Butterfly,
Would sit and cry;
Someone came along and showed her,
How to keep him in Japan;
He just came back for a day, but she said, “I guess you’ll stay.”

Poor little Butterfly has learned to roll her eye,
And when she shimmies she’s as cute as can be;
Say, when this baby shakes,
She’s got just what it takes,
To keep her sailor boy from going out to sea.
She knew the “Ball-in’ Jack,”
Was bound to bring him back,
She learned to do an Oriental dance and how; wow!
Wow! You ought to see,
You ought to see, the way she shakes her Japan knee,
Poor little Butterfly is a fly gal now.

[Verse 2]
In her Japanese pagoda,
In her lover’s fond embrace,
Poor Butterfly,
Has dried her eye;
‘Mid the cherry blossom odor,
She keeps smiling in his face;
She knows that her sailor boy,
Will never say “Ship a-hoy.”



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.