School Days was written by Will D. Cobb in 1907, music by Gus Edwards.
Nothing to do, Nellie Darling,
Nothing to do you say?
Let's take a trip on memory's ship,
Back to the bygone days.
Sail to the old village school house,
Anchor outside the school door.
Look in and see
There's you and there's me,
A couple of kids once more.
School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days,
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick.
You were my queen in calico,
I was your bashful barefoot beau,
And you wrote on my slate, "I love you, so."
When we were a couple of kids.
'Member the hill, Nellie Darling,
And the oak tree that grew on its brow?
They've built forty stories upon that old hill,
And the oak's an old chestnut now.
'Member the meadows so green, dear,
So fragrant with clover and maize?
Into new city lots and preferred business plots,
They've cut them up since those days.
You can hear an mp3 of School Days sung by Byron G. Harlan and chorus in 1907 at the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.
Louis Jordon created a jazz version of School Days that mentions nursery rhyme themes.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
The image above is the cover for the sheet music "School Days" ("When We Were a Couple of Kids"), 1907.
Thanks so much!