I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard…

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie Reds. What a great movie, it just came out on DVD, but it was released in 1981 I think.

Anyways, in the movie, there is a repeating song, “I Don’t Want To Play In Your Yard” that they keep playing/singing. So I did some digging, found a crappy version from 1895 in the Internet archives.

I listened to that and then recorded it. Not the whole song, but just the main line. Catchy tune. It sounds weird, because it is a kids song, but, I still like it.

One part in the song says “sliding down our cellar door”. Cool because “cellar door” is considered by some to be the most beautiful phrase in the English language.

Here is my version: I Don’t Want To Play In Your Yard


Technorati tags: , ,

By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

17 replies on “I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard…”

That song swirls through my head too….I did not remember it from that movie…..I remember it from when I was a kid….I originally thought I heard it on a recording from Tiny Tim or someone as obscure….I am still looking



Loved your version of the song, I don’t want to play in your yard. I am in the middle of watching the movie, it’s fantastic. The song is in my head and I want to play it on piano, can’t find any sheet music without buying a whole book I don’t want. Where did you find the music? Thanks


i caught the last half of Reds 15 or 20 yrs ago ~ barely caught the tinkling piano keys in the background, & the tune has twirled around my head like a ghost ever since. there used to be an old record store here (south of chicago) where you could get almost anything ever recorded. a very sweet old man worked there ~ american-erstwhile-hippie-giapetto type ~ who knew every piece of music in every genre. my inquiry sent him into the sweetest a capella version … verse after verse til finally he stopped, saying there was lots more ~ the folks in line behind me just had to wait. they didn’t have it, & he knew of no one who would. but his face was very grateful for the memory, as he said he hadn’t remembered it since he sang it as a kid, & i was so grateful for one of the sweetest most genuine most memorable little impormptu performances there ever was. you’re brilliant for providing this!!!


one more ~ a question: do you still have access to the crappy 1895 version you reference? i do love old recordings, & would love to hear it.


Wow, the internet is so great! I just finished watching Reds on HBO (wonder who else out there is tracking down this song this morning too), and thanks so much for the recording here and the links. I used to sing this when I was a kid, but a different melody and not nearly as sweet.


Last night I heard this song in the high school play of “Meet Me In St Louis” (stared Judy Garland). I about died hearing this because in 1952 my second grade teacher, Mrs Adams, made us both learn and sing this. The music brought back instant memories of this rich experience. It was a lesson about selfishness well taught by some one I loved. Probably this play just made the song more popular.


I don’t want to play in your yard was James Cagney SR. favorite song and James Cagney JR. sings it in “The Oklahoma Kid” in honor of his father.


Hello. I am writing from Japan. I found this page as I was searching for this song.Nearly 30 years ago, I saw “Reds” in Tokyo. Though I was very young then, I still remember many scenes in the movie. Louise (Diane Keaton) sang this song when they were practicing for a play by Eugene O'Neill. And at the last scene, when Jack (Warren Beauty) passed away, this song was played as a background music. It was a very sad scene. I heard this song in a TV program today by accident for the first time in 30 years, that made me really suprise and happy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.