Mares Eat Oats

Song Video


I know a ditty nutty as a fruitcake
Goofy as a goon and silly as a loon
Some call it pretty, others call it crazy
But they all sing this tune:.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy".

Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you-oo?
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

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Information About Mares Eat Oats

Originally titled Mairzy Doats, it was written in 1943 by Milton Drake. Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston. It was recorded for the first time by Al Trace and his Silly Symphonists. WOR New York was the first radio station to play the song.

The song is based on an old English nursery rhyme. Drake's four year old daughter came home reciting the old rhyme, and he found it interesting. It was made popular when it hit the pop charts in 1944 with the version performed by The Merry Macs.

RB singer Tommy Ridgely recorded a version in 1958, and Carlo Mastangelo of the Belmonts turned it into an up tempo rock and roll song in 1963. Sherry Lewis sang it several times on her program Lamb Chops Play Along.

Alan Alda, as Hawk Eye Pierce, used it to teach English to Koreans on the T.V. show MASH. It was even used as a computer password in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It has become so popular, that it has even been turned into a square dance call.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

This version has other animals in it

Dogs eat bugs and birds eat bugs.
And little owls eat liver.
A kid will eat liver too, wouldn't you.

Whailzy deals and sealzy deals
And baby fishy doysters,
A squiddley doysters too,
Wouldn't you?
Well if the words sound queer,
And funny to your ear,
All of you girlsters and boysters,
Say, ' Whales eat eels
And seals eat eels,
And baby fish eat oysters!"
Whales eat eels and seals eat eels
And baby fish eat oysters,
A squid will eat oysters too,
Wouldn't you?

A whale will eat oysters too,
A squid will eat oysters too,
A kid will eat ivy too,.

Wouldn't you?

Cowzy day and goatzy day
And little pigzy donuts;
A kiddely donuts, too, wouldn't you?
Now if the words sound queer,
And funny to your ear,
You think you're gonna go nuts,
Say cows eat hay, and goats eat hay,
And little pigs eat donuts.

This is just a single verse

Mares eat oats and
does eat oats and
little lambs eat ivy
kids will eat ivy to
wouldn't you?

Sing to this if you just want to sing about Mares

Mares eat oats
and does eat oats
and little lambs eat ivy
a kid'll eat ivy, too
wouldn't you?

Maresy doats and doesie doats
and little lambsidivie
a kidlley ivy too
wooden shoe?

Listen to this song's music


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John, United Kingdom

13 November 2015 at 11:45am

Liverpool's docklands run by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (MDHB) is always referred to by scouser as Mersey dotes and dozy dotes, presumably taken from the lyrics of this song and slightly altered.

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Pam, Coeur d Alene, Idaho

15 May 2015 at 2:38pm

I am 72 years old, a grandmother, of course, and about to be a great grandmother, I remember my granmother and mother singing this little song~ and loving it! Now that I know the whole thing, I plan to sing it with my grandchildren and "greats!" Thanks for putting the whole thing together!!!

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Gwen, West Virginia

3 January 2015 at 3:50am

The actual lyrics are: Mares eat oats and goats eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. A kid 'll eat ivy, too. Wouldn't you?

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Chaeyun, Japan

20 October 2014 at 1:29pm

I am 7 . These musics are very fun. I think this website will be very famous.

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adris dennis, Hilo, Hawaii

25 July 2014 at 8:52pm

In my 92 years on this mother earth I've stayed alive and cheerful by always having a tune in my heart and humming as I walked through my days. I loved the hymns in St. Joseph's school of nursing, Tacoma Wash, graduating Jan. 1944 -- (it's gone now) and then sang in cadence in boot camp at Ft. Dix N.J. Also kept my sanity through WWII in Berlin as a Aircorps nurse. Returned to Washington and retired an officer... got married and have seven children. How come nobody recites the other stanza...? Cowsy tweet & sowsy tweet and little bearsy tunny beesly tunny too wouldn't you.....! 8-)

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christopher, Canada

13 June 2014 at 4:25am

im in my sixtys now awas going threw old songs with my mother, it was a shock to hear my mother come out with her words to mares eat oats witch went,"Daisy-May laid in the hay an Lil abner jabed her I would jab her too wouldn't you

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Amanda M., United States

15 March 2014 at 12:56am

My gran grew up in England WWII., sung this song to my mom who sung it to me. Had to look up the words to make sure I had it all... just to sing to my munchkin. :)

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Carol, United States

29 October 2013 at 4:36am

I posted this last night. From what I understand it was a play on words, One time it would say wouldn't Ewe, then it would say wooden shoe

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Carol, United States

28 October 2013 at 2:00am

A kid will eat Ivy too Wouldn't Ewe!!

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Faith, United States

28 March 2013 at 4:04am

I remember this song. I didn't know it was so old. I am 34 and had it as part of a set of tapes of children's songmy grandmother bought off one our those commercials. Started humming it and decided to lookup the song to get the title.

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Emmett, United States

31 January 2013 at 1:00am

I'm 36 and my dad used to sing it to us and we marveled how easily he could sing it!

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Molly, United States

18 January 2013 at 2:45am

Ha ha old people I'm a kid and knew this song for a long time now.

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Linda, United States

16 January 2013 at 4:47am

I woke up in the middle of the night hearing this song in my mind. However, not really knowing the correct words, I am so happy I found the words on this site. My mother would sing this song and I always loved it. Now I am 73 years old and find it strange that it comes to me in the middle of the night so clear and remained in my mind all day.

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Georgia, United States

22 December 2012 at 9:31pm

My sister just informed me what the real words are, I've been singing it wrong all along! I'm 56

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Wileva, United States

1 April 2012 at 9:55am

When I was six years old, I took acrobatics and for a recital we did our act to this song. I remember it to this day. I am going to teach it to my grand daughters. I will also tell them about the time their grandmother wore a costume made out of fake fur and a cap with ears. This was sixty years ago.

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Fran, United States

16 March 2012 at 12:17am

I had the privalege of knowing milton drake, he was a ham radio operater.

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Beverly, United States

4 March 2012 at 11:50pm

My Dad would sing this to us too. I passed it on to my Son, and hope that he will pass it on to his Son. And that it will live till all generations pass.

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Lambie, United States

8 February 2012 at 2:40am

I used to sing this with my grandma too. The words I learned are: Now it may sound queer and funny to your ear. A little bit jumbled and jivey. That mares get oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. Kids do eat ivy too wouldn't you?

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Sharon, Australia

13 January 2012 at 2:38am

I am 55 and this song goes through my head all the time, Mum used to sing it to me and just to herself more often than not, she would sing it to me on long trips and I would have to sing it right back at her, made the drive fun, I now have my first Grandchild and he will be singing back to ME! I used to also burst into song at work and rattle this off, only ever came across 1 man just a bit older than me who had ever heard it, so glad to read if was a favorite of many people around the world.

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Grace Kvamme, United States

6 December 2011 at 1:24pm

Two thumbs up for music appreciation. This week I will see that all my 10 grandkids know that historical ditty. Yes, it's appropriate.

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