"Polly put the kettle on" was published in 1797. The origin of "Polly put the kettle on" was based on the author having five children - two boys and three girls. There were constant arguments as the boys wanted to play soldiers and the girls wanted to play house! When the girls wanted to play without their brothers they would pretend to start a game of tea party "Polly put the kettle on" and the daughter, called Polly, would put the toy kettle on! As soon as the brothers left Sukey (or Susan) would take it off again! Their father was so amused by this ploy that he set it to words and added the music which were subsequently published.