Children's Songs Part Four previous table of contents

The Carnival King
-contributed by Laura Ross

Oh, the carnival king with the big nose ring
Fell in love with the husky mai-ai-aid*
And every night by the pale moonlight
Across the lake she's wa-a-ade

He'd hug and kiss her, that pretty little miss
In the shade of the bamboo tree-ee-ee
And every night by the pale moonlight
It sounded like this to me-e-e

A root (kiss! kiss!)
A root! (kiss! kiss!)
A root diddy ah de ay-ay-ay
A root! (kiss! kiss!)
A root! (kiss! kiss!)
A root diddy ah de ay-ay-ay!

(refrain)
Build me a bungalo big enough for two
Big enough for two, my honey, big enough for two
And then when we're married, happy we'll be
Underneath the bamboo --
Underneath the bamboo tree
Boom, boom! Boom, boom! Boom boom, boom boom, boom boom!

If you'll be M-I-N-E mine
I'll be T-H-I-N-E thine
I'll L-O-V-E love you
All of the T-I-M-E time
You are the B-E-S-T best
Of all the R-E-S-T rest
I'll L-O-V-E love you
All of the T-I-M-E time

Rack 'em up, stack 'em
Any ol' time!
Match in the gas tank!
Boom boom!

(refrain)

If you'll W-A-L-K walk me
Through the P-A-R-K park
I'll K-I-S-S kiss you in the D-A-R-K dark
You are the B-E-S-T best
Of all the R-E-S-T rest
I'll L-O-V-E love you
all of T-I-M-E time

Rack 'em up, stack 'em up
Any ol' time!
Match in the gas tank!
Boom boom!

* My mom used to know the version "The cannibal king with the big nose ring/Fell in love with the dusty old maid"

The Closing Of The School
Contributed (and composed) by Terence Chua

"One of my very first parodies, in Secondary Two (8th Grade), commemorating the odd policy that year of only releasing the mid-year examination results *after* the term holidays (we were used to knowing our fates before going off for a month in June) was to the Battle Hymn of the Republic:"

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the closing of the school
The teachers are all leaving
The exams are finally through
The results'll come out next term
So we pray that they are good
Let's pray our marks are good!

Glory, glory to the teachers
Let's just hope they please our parents
"Bad marks," they're sure to say,
"You'll kiss your birthday cash away!"
Let's pray our marks are good!

And so forth. I was 14. Gimme a break. :-)

The Coming Of...
Contributed by Eloise Beltz-Decker

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He was cruisin' down the alley in a pink and yellow Ford.
One hand was on the throttle, and the other on a bottle of
Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer!

Refrain went something like:

Glory, Glory, what's it to ya?
Glory, Glory, what's it to ya?

The Deacon Went Down
Contributed by Pete Granzeau (last line and chorus from Joe Bethancourt)

Oh, the Deacon went down (repeat)
To the cellar to pray (repeat)
But he got drunk (repeat)
And he stayed all day (repeat)
(repeat verse, double time)
(last line, also double time)
Gonna grieve my Lord no more

chorus: Ain't gonna grieve my Lord no more (6X)

Two other verses from Joe Bethancourt

Oh you can't get to Heaven
In a Rocking chair
'cause the Lord don't 'low
no lazybones there!

Oh you can't get to Heaven
On rollerskates
'Cause you'll roll right past
Them pearly gates!

And another verse from Kihe Blackeagle

Oh you can't get to Heaven
In John B.'s shoes
'cause the Lord don't 'low
such big canoes!

and a few verses from Lucy Kennedy

Oh you'll never get to heaven (repeat)
In an old Ford car (repeat)
'cos an old Ford car (rep)
Won't get that far (rep)
(repeat each line double time)
I ain't gonna grieeeeeeeeve
My Lord no more

I ain't gonna grieve my Lord (rep)
I ain't gonna grieeeeeeeeeeve
My Lord no more.

Oh you'll never get to heaven
On a boy scout's knee
'cos a boy scout's knee
's too knobb-er-ly!

... In a biscuit tin
Cos the Lord don't let
no crumblies in!

... In a baked bean tin
Cos a baked bean tin
's got baked beans in!

Brownie & Girl Guides, South London, 1991-1995

My (Pete's) kids, 20 years ago, also had a version several verses long about taking a walk in the woods, meeting a bear, jumping for a tree limb, and missing it. The last verse was

Now don't you fret
and don't you frown,
'cause I caught that branch
on the way back down!

Caitlin Shaw remembered it as follows:
The Bear
(call and response, then repeat each verse as a chorus)

leader: the other day
(the other day)
leader: i saw a bear
(i saw a bear)
leader: a great big bear
(a great big bear)
leader: oh way up there
(oh way up there)

all: the other day i saw a bear
a great big bear oh way up there

he looked at me
i looked at him
he sized up me
i sized up him

he said to me
"why don't you run?
i see you ain't
got any gun"

and so i ran
away from there
and right behind
me was that bear

ahead of me
there was a tree
a great big tree
oh lucky me

(there might be another verse here)

and so i jumped
into the air
and missed that branch
oh way up there

now don't you fret
and don't you frown
i caught that branch
on the way back down

the moral of
my story is
don't talk to bears
in tennis shiz (rhyme "shoes" with "is")

And as recalled by Nancy MacDonald (in Canada)

(call and response, then repeat each verse as a chorus)

leader: the other day
(the other day)
leader: i saw a bear
(i saw a bear)
leader: a great big bear
(a great big bear)
leader: oh way up there
(oh way up there)

all: the other day i saw a bear
a great big bear oh way up there

he looked at me
i looked at him
he sized up me
i sized up him

he said to me
"why don't you run?
i see you ain't
got any gun"

and so i ran
away from there
and right behind
me was that bear

ahead of me
there was a tree
a great big tree
oh lucky me (oh deary me)

(there might be another verse here) and so there is.(g)

(the nearest branch)
(was 10 feet up)
(I'd have to jump)
(and trust my luck)

and so i jumped
into the air
and missed that branch
oh way up there

now don't you fret
and don't you frown
i caught that branch
on the way back down

(that's all, that's all,)
(there ain't no more)
(unless I meet)
(that bear once more)

the moral of
my story is
don't talk to bears
in tennis shiz (rhyme "shoes" with "is")

The Dirty Water Company
From Mitch Marmel
(to the tune of "The Electric Company" theme:)

We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna turn on the show-er
Gonna break up the tub
So that you can see
To eternity...
Goddammit, I missed!
Just look where I pissed!
It's terrible to see!
The Dirty Water Company!

The above was written by elements of my fourth grade class (circa 1974 or so) when we took swimming lessons at the old Fairmount Park Waterworks in Philadelphia. The changing area was rather grungy, you see...

The Hearse Song
From Susan Russell

Never laugh when a hearse goes by
Cause you could be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
And bury you down about six feet deep.
Then the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
And the worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes and they eat your nose.
They eat the junk in between your toes.

(I think there was more to this one, but can't remember right now)

From Kay Shapero

Whenever you see a hearse go by.
You know that you are the next to die.
First you're sick and then you're worse
And then they put you in a hearse.
They wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
And drop you down about fifty feet.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout,
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
And then you turn a perty green,
And pus comes out like shaving cream,
They wrap it up in moldy bread.
And that's your supper when you are dead!

From Michael Fink

Did you ever think when a hearse goes by
That you might be the next to die
They wrap you up in a great white sheet
And drop you down about six feet deep
All goes well for about a week
Then your coffin begins to leak
The worms crawl in
The worms crawl out
The worms play pinochle on your snout
Now there's one little worm
He's not so shy
He's up your nose and out your eye
Your stomach turns to slimy green
And pus runs out like whipped up cream
You slop it up on moldy bread
And that's what you eat when you are dead

From DABaker (or Alvin Schwartz?)
THE HEARSE SONG
By Alvin Schwartz

Don't you laugh when a hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box,
And cover you up with dirt and rocks
All goes well for about a week.
And then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that's what you eat when you are dead.

The Littlest Worm
Words: traditional camp song
Tune: "Sipping Cider Through a Straw"
Contributed by Susan Grant

The littlest worm (repeat)
I ever saw (repeat)
Got stuck inside (repeat)
My soda straw (repeat)
(Repeat the whole verse)

From Kylie Avis

The Littlest Worm
Words: traditional camp song
Tune: "Sipping Cider Through a Straw"
Contributed by Kylie Alvis ( deajavu@aol com )

The cutest worm (repeat)
I ever saw (repeat)
was stuck inside (r)
my soda straw (r)

repeat all with no additional repeats

He said to me (r)
dont take a sip (r)
for if you do (r)
ill shurly slip (r)

repeat no additional repeats

i took a sip (r)
that work went down (r)
down in my pipes (r)
he musta drown (r)

repeat yadda yadda yadda

( slowly and saddly )

he was my friend (r)
he was my pal (r)
(happy)
but he aint no more (r)
this is the end (r)

repeat yadda yadda yadd

From "Sillygirl"

the littlest worm (repeat)
i ever saw (repeat)
was stuck inside (repeat)
my soda straw (repeat)

he said to me (repeat)
don't take a sip (repeat)
cause if you do (repeat)
you'll really flip (repeat)

i took a sip (repeat)
and he went down (repeat)
right through my pipes (repeat)
he must have drowned (repeat)

i coughed him up (repeat)
and he was dead (repeat)
so i buried him (repeat)
in my mothers bed (repeat)

The Old Grey Mare
The Old Grey Mare she went to the county fair
Sat in the electric chair burned off her underwear
--Dr Pepper

The Titanic
contributed by Tim Lupton

OK, this one was almost certainly written by an adult, but generations of kids have made it their own, and the bit at the end of this version strikes me as pure kidlore. As you'll see if you do a websearch, there are many, many versions of this about - this site has what may be the earliest.

Well, they built the old titanic
To sail the ocean blue
When they thought they had a ship that the water couldn't go through
But the good lord raised his hand
Said the ship would never land
It was sad when the gray ship went down!

Oh, it was sad, boo hoo
Oh, it was sad, boo hoo
It was sad when the gray ship went down
To the bottom of the (seeeeeeeeeeeeeea) ( Sing "Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"
Fathers and wives, little children lost their lives (-- While others sing this part
It was sad when the gray ship went down (- Everybody!

They were near the other shore
When they heard a mighty roar
And the rich refused to associate with the poor
So they put them down below
Where they were the first to go*
It was sad when the gray ship went down

Oh it was sad, boo hoo
Oh it was sad, boo hoo
It was sad when the gray ship went down
To the bottom of the seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea
(Some kids would yell: The captain rang the bell, and the counsellors went to hell)
It was sad when the gray ship went down

Boo hoo it sunk!
What a lousy piece of junk!
P U It STUNK!

* "They" presumably being the poor, since the rich got the lifeboats...

From David Paktor

Well, they built the ship titanic
To sail the ocean blue
And they thought they had a ship that the sea would never go through
But t'was on her maiden trip
That an iceberg hit the ship
Oh, it was sa-ad when the grea-eat ship went down!

Oh, it was sa-ad, (so sad)
Oh, it was sa-ad, (so sad)
It was sad when the grea-eat ship went down
(To the bottom of the .. )

Uncles and aunts, little bitty children lost their pa'(re)nts
It was sa-ad when the grea-eat ship went down

. . .

Oh, they built another ship
And they called her Mary-Lou
And her bow was painted pink and her stern was painted blue
And they christened her with beer
and she sank right off the pier,
It was sa-ad when the grea-eat ship went down ...

The Weenie Man

-collected by Laura Ross

I know the weenie man
He owns a hotdog stand
He sells 'most anything
From hotdogs on down
He has a weenie life
Someday I'll be his wife
Hotdog! I love that weenie man!
(smooching noise)

Collected by Denise Poling

I know a weenie man
he owns a weenie stand
one day his weenies were a runnin' around
someday i'll get them back
i'll put them in a sack
hot dog, I love that weenie man....

From Jeannee McKinley Jones

I know a weenie man
he owns a hot dog stand
he sells most everything from French fries on down.
Some day I'll change his life
I'll be his weenie wife.
Hot dog I love that wiener man.

Texas, 1960's



There Goes...
Contributed by Raylene Fokeri(?)

There goes (insert name) floating down the Deleware
Chewin' on his/her underwear
Couldn't find another pair
Six days later eaten by a polar bear
Poor old polar bear!

This Land Is My Land
From Caitlin Shaw

this land is my land, this land ain't your land
i've got a shotgun and you don't got one
if you don't get off, i'll blow your he-ead off
this land was made for me not you

From Marisa "Mayonnaise" Jane G.

This land is my land, it isnít your land,
Cause I got a shotgun, and you ainít got one,
So ya better get off, Ďfore I blow your head off,
This land was made for only me!

Upstate NY, in the Early 90ís.

Three Little Angels
-collected by Laura Ross

Three little angels all dressed in white
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a kite
But the kite broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Two little angels all dressed in white
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a kite
But the kite broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

One little angel all dressed in white
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a kite
But the kite broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Three little devils all dressed in red
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a thread
But the thread broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Two little devils all dressed in red
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a thread
But the thread broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

One little devil all dressed in red
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a thread
But the thread broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Three little martians all dressed in green
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a string
But the string broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Two little martians all dressed in green
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a string
But the string broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

One little martian all dressed in green
Tried to get to heaven on the end of a string
But the string broke and down they all fell
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to --

Don't get excited, don't lose your head
Instead of going to heaven, they all went to bed

from Kay Shapero

We sang this one with the last line of each being:

One went to heaven, the other(s) went ...well..

We also had a chorus which may have migrated in from a different song with the same tune:

On the Tumbleweed Line, on the Tumbleweed Line
Rain or shine I'll pay my fine
Rain or shine I'll pay my fine
To ride ride ride, on the Tumbleweed Line!

Los Angeles, early 1960s
Three Little Girls
From Peter Mork

(This was called The Dummy Line where I came from.)

(chorus)On the Dummy Line, on the Dummy Line
Rain or shine I'll pay my fine
Rain or shine I'll pay my fine
Ride, ride, ridin' on the Dummy Line

Three little girls all dressed in white
Tried to get to heaven on the tail of a kite
The kite tail broke and down they fell
They didn't get to heaven but they got to -

(chorus)

Bought a pair of combination underwear
To keep out the cold and the frizzle-y air
Worn six months without irritation (this last word was stretched out)
Couldn't get 'em off because I lost the combination

(chorus)

(There were also at least two verses that started "Little Willie, home from school", but I can't remember the rest. I think a stick of dynamite may have figured into one of them. Must ask my big brother.)

Massachusetts, 1960s

Tom the Toad
-contributed by Laura Ross
Tune: "O Christmas Tree"

O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?
O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?
You used to be so green and fat
And now you are so red and flat
O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?

O Possum Pete
O Possum Pete
There's nothing left but fur and feet
O Possum Pete
O Possum Pete
There's nothing left but fur and feet
You did not see the truck come by
[Can't remember this line]
O Possum Pete
O Possum Pete
There's nothing left but fur and feet

The Twelve Days of Christmas
From Peter Mork

On the first day of Christmas, Kruschev gave to me
A five-hundred megaton bomb

(All I remember.)

Massachusetts, 1960s

Twinkle, Twinkle
From Joel Polowin

Scintillate, scintillate, globule orific
Fain would I fathom thy nature specific
Loftily poised in the ether capacious
Strongly resembling a gem carbonaceous

Up A Hill
From David Paktor

Up a hill, down a ramp
We have run away from camp,
And the couns'lors are hot on our trail!

Summer day camp, Essex County New Jersey, late 1950s

We Must
(a chant that goes along with a special exercise)
-collected by Laura Ross

We must!
We must!
We must improve our bust!
The bigger the better!
The tighter the sweater
The more the boys like us!

We Three Kings
From Peter Mork

We three kings of Orientar
Tried to smoke a rubber cigar
It was loaded, it exploded...

(The song just ends there. "Orientar" was assumed to be a place name.)

Massachusetts, 1960s

From Kay Shapero

We Three Kings of Orient Are
Tried (or Trying) to smoke a big black (or fat) cigar
It was loaded, it exploded
Thowing us very far...

(After which we'd just carry on ad lib; I don't think we sang it the same way twice.)

Los Angeles, CA late '50s early '60s

From Dana Nance

We three kings of orient are
trying to smoke a loaded cigar
BANG

We two kings of orient are
trying to smoke a loaded cigar
BANG

We one kings of orient are
trying to smoke a loaded cigar
BANG

ORÖ

We three kings of orient are
trying to light a loaded cigar
BANG

We two kings of orient are
trying to light a loaded cigar
BANG

We one kings of orient are
trying to light a loaded cigar
BANG

Malibu, CA circa 1967.

When You're Hot
From Kit Peters

When you're hot you're hot
When you're not you're not
But when you're sittin' on the pot
You gotta give it all you got
and eat your snot!

Central Illinois, 1980s

While Shepherds Washed
From Anastasia Silver
Tune: While Shepherds Watched

While shepherd washed their socks by night,
All seated round the tub,
An Angel of the Lord came down
And lit up all the suds. (There were variations on this line.)

"Fear not!", said he, for mighty dread
Had scared their socks away.
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
New socks for you this day."

Whistle
Words: traditional kids song
Tune: Whistle While you Work...
contributed by Joey McKangaroo

Whistle While you work,
'Cause Hitler is a jerk,
Mussolini
bit his weenie (?!?!?!)
Now it doesn't work!

Addendum from Dave Aronson

I heard it as "Hitler likes to jerk" ("off" being implied), and
"Mussolini broke his weenie".

From Steve Kane

Hitler is a jerk
Mussolini is a meanie
and the Japs are worse.

From Brooklyn in the early 1940's

From Peter Mork

Whistle while you work
Stevenson's a jerk
Eisenhower, fanny power
Whistle while you work

(A friend taught me this - by the time I learned it, it was stale - but still funny!)

Massachusetts, 1960s (ok, probably '50s in this case)

Winston
From Randall Stukey

Winston tastes bad
Like the last one I had
No filter, no flavor
Just a rotten piece of paper.

some different last lines:

From Rich Brown

Tastes just like toilet paper.

From Kay Shapero

Just cotton-pickin' paper.

Worms
From Smokey Layton

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me
I think I'll eat some worms
Long tall skinny ones,
Short fat dumpy ones,
Itsy squishy, eenie meany worms.

First you bite their heads off,
Then you suck their guts down,
Feel how they squirm
First you bitr thier heads off,
Then you suck their guts down,
Itsy squishy, eenie meany worms!

From Mitch Marmel

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
Goin' down the back to eat worms
Long red skinny ones
Big fat juicy ones
Wriggle in me tummy type worms

I love the way they wiggle as they slide down me throat
So much nicer than a turtle or a goat
Oh, nobody likes me, everybody hates me
Goin' down the back to eat worms

Take your chicken
Take your steak
Buttered scones
And ice-cream cake
I'd much rather have worms...

(repeat first verse)

I love the way they wiggle as they slide down me throat
So much nicer than a turtle or an all-i-ga-tor
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
Goin' down the back to eat worms
Goin' down the back to eat worms.

Methinks, judging by the accent of the singer and the reference to "Goin' down the back," that this was an Australian ditty...

Yellow Submarine
From Mitch Marmel

We all live in a yellow submarine,
A rotten tangerine,
A can of Vaseline.

I also recall miming along to the song "Yellow Submarine" and pretending to vomit at the point at the end of the bridge where the flushing sound effect plays...

From Joe Raftery
as sung in Dublin, (Ireland) mid 60's

We all live in a jaques in Stephens Green
a jaques in Stephens Green, a jaques in Stephens Green
repeat ad infinitum
(Jaques = public toilet, pronounced 'jacks')
(Stephen's Green = a park in central Dublin)

I seem to detect a trend here... :-> KS

Some notes: Songs contributed by Kay Shapero were from Los Angeles in the late '50s and early '60s. "Teacher, Teacher..." overheard in the midwest, mid '60s