The Return of the Happy Wanderer


One of the many songs I took great pleasure in lustily singing during my childhood and young adulthood was called The Happy Wanderer.  When I headed out for a day in nature, I sang this song. I taught it to my children when they were growing up so that we could all sing it together when we went for a hike. It would provide some momentum for them to keep going.  Plus, if they were singing, they couldn’t complain.   Guess who sang the loudest?

OK,  I admit it’s just a step beyond Patti Page’s insipid How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

No, I never ever went around singing Patti Page songs.

I haven’t thought of The Happy Wanderer for years. It’s never appears on any Best of the Oldies Goldies lists.  What brought it to mind, was the pleasure I’m taking from being out of doors on the quiet and beautiful Noto Penninsula of Japan.


Here are the abbreviated lyrics.  I particularly loved the ha ha ha ha, and could come close to tears at the poignancy of the final stanza.

“The Happy Wanderer”
I love to go a wandering 
Along the mountain track
And as I go
I love to sing
My knapsack on my back

Val-deri, val-dera
Val-deri, val-dera
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
My knapsack on my back

I wave my hat to all I meet
And They wave back to me
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green wood tree

Val-deri, val-dera ,etc.

Val-deri, val-dera, etc.

Come join my happy song

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die
Oh, may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky.

Repeat chorus.

Laugh if you will, but I hope my post suggests there’s still time for another happy song.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.


One Comment on “The Return of the Happy Wanderer

  1. Hi, Dianne,

    I used to sing that all the time. I’ll probably start again.

    I also sang Patti Page, including: “How much is that Doggie in the Window!”

    Thanks for the memory!

    Xox. April

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