Never underestimate a child’s fascination with the body and death. Children can be just as morbi as adults-and with their love all things gross, it stands to reason that songs like this have been floating around for decades.
…I admit that I remember singing this at Girl Scout camp. The pinochle line is what sticks out in my memory-I had no idea what a ‘pinochle’ was, but I was especially fond of that line. And a song about black socks being awesome because you don’t have to wash them, but that’s entirely relevant.
Supposedly this song was sung in the Crimean, which dates this back to at least some point in the 1800s. The song has multiple variations, and may be a form of gallows humor, especially since it was popular among the British troops of that campaign.
[I suppose that since this is Women’s History month and last month was Women in Horror month, I should point out now that maybe what we shouldn’t be underestimating is girls’ interest in the creepy crawlies?]
Oh, don’t you laugh when the hears goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They’ll wrap you in a bloody sheet,
Then drop you in a hole 6 feet deep.
Then all goes well for about a week,
Until your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, they worms crawl out,
They play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the goo between your toes.
Your stomach turns a mossy green,
And pus runs out like whipping cream
And there you are, without a spoon.
But I brought my straw! Slurp!
A slightly more adult and less…squishy version goes like this-
First you're sick and then you're worse And then it's time to call the hearse They put you in the cold, cold ground with all your relatives standing around. The worms crawl in The worms crawl out The worms they crawl all about The worms crawl in The worms crawl out They play pinochle on your snout! (First Version found here)(Second version found here) (photo found via pinterest)