Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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When I was about 3 to about 5 years old there was a large group of neighborhood kids who played together in the field behind my house. I was one of the kids that was always there, with my two big sisters and my older brother.

One of the songs we sang was The Worms Crawl in, The Worms Crawl Out.

We would all hold hands to make a long chain. The person at one end would put their free arm stretched out against a tree. The person at the other end of the chain would arc around and go under the “tree” person’s arm and the whole chain would follow. We would sing, “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out” while we were doing this.

I’ve been trying to remember the rest of the lyrics we sang, so I could post it as a Halloween song. It seems so fitting! But, try as I might, I couldn’t quite get it all.

Finally, I spoke to my “big” sister Dawn. She’s one of the experts I consult about the songs I sang in my childhood. She recalls them better, since I was so young during that time period (she’s five years older then me). Here’s what she remembers…

The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out

The Worms Crawl In,
The Worms Crawl Out,
Into your stomach,
And out your mouth.

They eat your intestines,
They scramble your heart.
Now you feel like
You’re all apart.

This is how
It is to die
You end up looking
Like apple pie!

I’ve since found out that this song is often called The Hearse Song.

Here’s how we sang The Hearse Song (MP3).

There seem to be many other versions. Here’s a link for alternate versions to The Hearse Song.

It seems like this song has been around at least since 1923. Here’s some info on publication of The Hearse Song for anyone who’s interested.

I’d be happy if anyone would like to send me their version of The Hearse Song to post, please write me. I also welcome alternate recordings or midis of the tune!

-Lisa

UPDATE: Here you’ll find other versions of The Hearse Song. Feel free to add the version you know in the comments.

Also, Come read about The Origin of The Worms Crawl in the Worms Crawl Out a.k.a. The Hearse Song.

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This artilce was posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2005 at 8:37 pm and is filed under American Kids Songs, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Halloween, Halloween Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Mama Lisa, MP3's, Podcasts, Recordings of Songs, Songs by Theme, The Hearse Song, The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

155 Responses to ““The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out” or “The Hearse Song””

  1. Lisa Says:

    My brother wrote me this…

    “Ah memories of childhood. I don’t remember the tree but I do remember our “older” sisters orchestrating a show, in our house on Fir Grove, for the family on Sunday evenings. And I think we changed the words to ‘…they eat your intestines and scramble your heart now I feel like I’m gonna fart.'”

  2. Jason Pomerantz Says:

    All I can remember from my own childhood is:

    The worms crawl in,
    The worms crawl out,
    They turn your blood
    To sauerkraut…

    -Jason

  3. Stephen Skafte Says:

    The way I was taught the song:

    Do you ever dream, when a hearse goes by
    …that you might be that lucky guy?

    They wrap you up in a big black sheet
    And drop you down about six feet

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The ants play pinochle on your scalp

    Your stomach turns a slimy green
    And pus comes out like thick whipped cream

  4. Merman Says:

    The way I heard this song goes:

    Did you ever think when a hearse goes by,
    …that you too soon might die?

    They wrap you up in a bloody black sheet,
    And throw you down a thousand feet.

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    The ants play pinochle in your snout.

    The big black bug with big red eyes,
    Crawls through your innards and out your sides.

    You smush him up and put him on bread,
    And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

  5. Raye Says:

    This is kinda long, and much more grim than most versions, but it’s what I learned.

    Did you ever see a hearse go by,
    And think you could be next to die?
    They put you in a little box,
    Cover you up with dirt and rocks
    They take you to the family plot
    And there you stay, to stink and rot
    For you they make a flower wreath
    And chuck you in a hole so deep

    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…
    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…

    But maybe you’re not really gone
    You can hear the mourning song
    You scratch and fight and yell and beg
    But they assume you’re really dead
    They shove you down into the earth
    And now your lungs begin to hurt
    You yank the rope to ring the bell
    You call for god and you curse hell

    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…
    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…

    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    They eat your guts then spit them out
    There is a worm that isn’t shy
    In one in ear and out one eye
    And when your bones begin to rot
    The worms are there but you are not
    Your toes fall off, your teeth decay
    A rotten way to end the day

    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…
    I-ho
    I-ho
    Bum bum bum…

    [spoken] Oh darn. And me without a spoon…

  6. John Sharpe Says:

    I recall it starting with:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    the worms play pinnacle
    on your snout

    but that’s the only verse I ever heard (or at least remember).

  7. Lisa Says:

    Kris and Brenda Keith sent me this version…

    Don’t you ever dare laugh when a hearse goes by,
    For you will be the next to die.

    You won’t know where and you won’t know when,
    But you will never see the light again.

    Then a caretaker tall and thin,
    Digs a hole and puts you in,

    All goes well for about a week,
    Then your coffin starts to leak.

    And the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinicole on your snout.

    They eat your eyes and they eat you nose,
    They eat the jelly between you toes,

    The worms crawl in and your stomach turns green,
    And puss poors out likewhipping cream,

    You spread it on a peice of bread,
    And thats what you eat when your dead.

    Thanks for chiming in!

    -Lisa

  8. Kendyl Says:

    I learned it as:

    Don’t ever laugh as a hearse goes by
    or you may be the next to die
    they wrap you up in a big black sheet
    and send you down about 6 feet

    all goes well for about a week and the the 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 from in your toes
    a big green worm with rolling eyes
    goes in your stomach and out your eyes

    your stomach turns a slimy green
    and puss comes out like whipping cream
    they spread it out on a piece of bread
    and thats whta you eat when you are dead

  9. Rick Heinrich Says:

    This song was in a movie, I think, Zsa Zsa Gabor was in, but I don’t remember the name of it. All I remember was there was a doll and a little kid in it. If anyone remembers it I would love to know.
    Thanks

  10. Mary Says:

    this is how my friend and i learned it:

    the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinochle on your mouth
    the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    play pinochle on your mouth

    don’t laugh next time a hearse drives by
    for you may be the next to die
    they wrap you up in bloody sheets
    and bury you six feet deep

    they eat your eyes and then they eat your nose
    they like to eat the jelly between your toes

  11. Amy Says:

    My father (who was a mortician) taught us kids this version on his guitar …

    Don’t ever laugh when a hearse goes by
    or you may be the next to die.
    They wrap you up in fancy dress,
    only to end up a great big mess.
    They put you in a great big box,
    and cover you up with dirt and rocks.
    They take you to the family plot,
    and there you stay, decay and rot.
    For you, they make a flower wreath,
    and bury you under ’bout six feet deep.
    But maybe then your soul’s not free,
    ‘cause you can hear Psalm 23.
    You scream and fight and bang your head,
    but they assume you’re really dead.
    They shove you down into the earth,
    and now your lungs begin to hurt.
    You yank the rope to ring the bell,
    you call for God and you’re cursing Hell.
    Then all goes well for about a week
    and then the coffin it begins to leak …

    And … 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.
    There’s one little worm that’s not so shy …
    crawls in your ear and out your eye;
    Your guts turn a gassy green
    and snot comes out like thick whipped cream.
    And when your bones they begin to rot,
    The worms are there but you are not;
    Your ears fall off,
    your teeth decay,
    A rotten way to end the day

    (HMPH! and me without my spoon!)

  12. Jessica(Money maker) Says:

    Well i was readin’ scary stories #1 and this is how they got it done.

    The Worms Crawl In

    Did you ever think, as a hearse goes by,
    That you might be the next to die?
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    And bury you down about six feet deep

    They put you in a big black box,
    And cover you up with dirt and rocks,
    And all goes well, for about a week,
    And then the 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 great big 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 worms eat when you’re dead.

  13. Teena Says:

    I have been searching for ages to find the movie! I remember bits and pieces of the movie, but can not find the title, or remember for sure who was in it. The song The worms crawl in is in it. And it is about a little girl, and the family being killed, and she goes to live with an Aunt or something, who is actually the one responsible, wanting the family money. The diamond necklace is in the little girls doll. I hope someone can help.

  14. Lisa Says:

    Susan wrote me…

    I just found your blog and remember the ‘The Worms Crawl in, The Worms Crawl out, their in your stomache and out your mouth’ song from a movie like 30+ yrs ago. The Father wound up starting the house on fire with the mother in it (at the end) and he and the daughter walked away singing that song together. It was a pretty scary ending for 10 or so yrs old and to this day have been trying to find out what the heck movie it was. I have never found out. When I saw your blog I hoped I’d find the answer but didn’t seem to read anything. It was fun to find your blog though, thanks.
    Susan

    That gave me the clue I needed to find out that the name of the movie was Picture Mommy Dead from 1966.

  15. Vinnie Says:

    A friend’s father taught me “The Worms” version of “The Hearse Song” when I was a kid, and I was shocked and delighted years later when I heard it in “Picture Mommy Dead.” Unlike “Skin and Bones” (which I’ve heard many times over they years) I wasn’t aware, until seeing that film, that the “Worms” song wasn’t something my friend’s dad made up. Thanks for your research on it, Mama Lisa — now I finally know the real name of the song!

  16. Micheal Says:

    I remeber some small variations to those posted above; goes like this…

    Did you ever see a hearse go by,
    and wonder when its your turn to die,
    they put you in a little box,
    and cover you over with dirt and rocks

    ooooh
    aaah
    A happy we will be
    A happy we will be

    The worms crawl in,
    the worms crawl out
    They crawl in thin
    and crawl out stout

    oooh
    aaah
    A happy we will be
    a happy we will be…

    The rest escapes me, but I’m sure it could be made up from the other passages

  17. Melly Belly Says:

    the movie is called picture mommy dead

  18. Frank Says:

    My dad used to recite a poem when he was drinking. It went like this:

    Did you ever think,
    as the hearse goes by,
    That someday you and I,
    Will go riding by in that big black hack,
    Never thinking of coming back!

    Your chest caves in,
    Your ears all off,
    the green slime drips
    From your lidless eyes,
    And the worms crawl in and out!

  19. Lisa Says:

    It’s amazing to me how such a gruesome song/poem brings back such fond memories to so many of us!

    -Lisa

  20. Angie Says:

    Thank you so much!! I remembered only 2 lines of this song from a movie I saw as a child. Never could find out the name of the movie. Love ya for this one!

  21. Jen Says:

    I just heard someone sing this last night here is the version i heard:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    In your stomache and out your snout
    they use your bones as a telephone
    do me a favor…Drop dead

  22. Pete B. Says:

    What we sang was “The worms crawl in,the worms crawl out,they crawl all over your chin and your mouth.They`ll invite their friends and their friends friends too,and you`ll look like hell when they`re through with you.” Also the first line was “Don`t laugh when you see a hearse go by,for you may be the next to die.”

  23. Jean Says:

    The version I sang from childhood went thus:

    Did you ever think when a hearse rolled by
    That you may be the next to die?

    They drain your blood, they drain your blood,
    They bury you six feet under the mud.

    The worms crawl in. The worms crawl out.
    The worms play pinocle on your snout.

    A very shy worm, but not very shy,
    Crawls in your ear and out your eye.

    So do me a favor. Drop dead!

  24. Heather Says:

    The Hearse Song is featured in the child’s scary story book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. The book, as well as the song was a HUGE favorite of mine as a kid. Still an awesomely scary book, our children are sure to LOVE! ;)

    Oh, and this version of The Hearse Song is from Brooklyn in the 1940s.

    Don’t you ever laugh as the 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 with dirt and rocks.
    All goes well for about a week,
    Until 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,
    The 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 piece of bread
    And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

  25. Fred Says:

    I can’t believe it that so many people remember it! My Mum sang it to me on the tube one day coming home from somewhere, and all the passengers were laughing. The version I remember was:
    When you see a hearse go by,
    Remember that you have to die – ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo ooo.
    They wrap you up in a great white sheet,
    Aan cover you over with dirt and peat – ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo.
    The worms crawl in, and the worms crawl out,
    They go in thin, and the come out stout, ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo.

    That’s all I can remember – reading the lyrics, I’M GLAD! Lol!

  26. Robert Bodmer Says:

    The verse I remember:
    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    The ones that crawl in are lean and thin
    The ones that crawl out are fat and stout

  27. sherrae cunningham Says:

    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out, in your stomach and out our mouth and if you see the herse go by, then you know your gonna die

  28. greg Says:

    u can easily get this movie at ebay.com or amazon.com ,15 to 20 bucks .

  29. Vanity Says:

    Hmm, I remember this song. I first heard it when my cousin sang it to me. I remember it like this:

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by
    Or you may be the next to die

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms play pinocle on your snout

    And then there’s one that’s really shy
    That crawls in your ear and out your eye

    And then you turn an icky green
    And your guts fall out like sour cream

  30. Zub Says:

    The band “The Accüsed” made a “cover” of that song in 1988 in their album “Martha Splatterhead’s Maddest Stories Ever Told”. In that album there is also an amazing cover of “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Splatterhead%E2%80%99s_Maddest_Stories_Ever_Told

  31. Carolyn Magnani Says:

    We used to sing it this way:

    One day a hearse will pass you by
    One day you know you’re gonna die
    They put you in a wooden box
    And cover you over with dirt and rocks

    The worms crawl in, The worms crawl out
    They crawl in your ears and come out of your mouth

    There are other verses but I can’t remember.

    This was the Brooklyn or Staten Island, New York version I guess.

  32. cindy Says:

    Wow that song and that movie. When I was in 4th or 5th grade my older girlfriends (one year) saw that movie and told me about it. They kept singing that eerie tune…The worms go in…The worms go out…crawl in your stomach and out your mouth….Picture Mommy Dead….never saw the movie but never forgot the tune or plot…..Still gives me the creeps about a zillion years later.

  33. katie Says:

    in Elementary school i learned:

    The worms crawl in,
    the worms crawl out,
    the ants play pinochle in your mouth.
    The worms crawl in,
    the worms crawl out,
    play pinochle in your mouth

    Don’t laugh next time a herse goes by,
    for you may be the next to die.
    They wrap you up in bloody sheets,
    and bury you six feet deep.

    They eat, your eyes,
    and then they eat your nose.
    They like, to eat,
    the jelly between your toes.
    oohhh…..

  34. Alice Says:

    I remember my mother singing:

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out;
    In your stomach and out you mouth;
    If you ever see a hearse go by,
    don’t you laugh or you may die.

    I also remember the part about the worms playing pinochle on your snout.

    I’ve often wondered the rest of the words, so I’m so glad others have contributed theri memories.

  35. Megan Says:

    This is how i learned it:

    Did you ever think when a hearse goes by
    that you may be the next to die
    they wrap you up in a dirty old sheet
    and send you down about ninety five feet
    it all goes well about a week
    but then your coffin begins to leak
    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    the ants play pinochle on your snout
    your stomach turns all slimy green
    and puss comes out like whipping cream
    you put it on some moldy bread
    and thats what you eat when you’re dead

  36. carpe noctem Says:

    I am so grateful to have found your site!
    I thought I was going crazy!!
    I remember bits of the movie. I probably have not seen it since I was about 6.
    I always remembered
    “the worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    in your stomach and out your mouth
    you told me that you wanted to die
    so now I must kill you with my pocket knife”

    there are some other parts I don’t remember. I love the versions I have read here and will DEFINITELY track down that movie. I remember the girl,the fire and something about a swing set.

  37. Bonnie Says:

    Am glad to finally google this, find this site, and help me to remember the final lines. My mother remembered more than my older sister. Here’s my version (I think):

    Did you ever see a hearse go by
    And think that you were the next to die?
    They wrap you in a bloody sheet
    And throw you down about 6 feet deep
    When all goes well for ‘bout a week
    Until your casket springs a leak
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle on your snout
    There is a worm that’s awfully shy
    And goes in one ear and out your eye
    Your liver turns a musty green
    Your guts pour out like shaving cream
    You put on some moldy bread
    And that’s what you eat when you are dead!
    PLEASE PASS THE GRAVY!

  38. Mel Pohl Says:

    I’ve recently found the A-Team on TV and have been enjoying them very much! In the episode “A Small and Deadly War” (Season 1), Murdock sings a couple of verses of the Hearse Song.

    Naturally I couldn’t remember any of it after all these years (since not too long after A-Team went off the air), so thank G-d for the internet! Thanks for your research, and for all of the comments! It’s neat to see all of the different variations that exist now! I’m interested to discover in the future which version my kids might come home with. (In the mean time, I’d best decide on which version I want to teach them in case if their peers fail me!)

    Cheers!
    ~ Mel

  39. Lisa Says:

    Sami sent me this version:

    Don’t You Ever Laugh As 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,
    Cover You Up With Dirt And Rocks.
    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.
    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 Your Dead.

  40. Lydia Says:

    I never know there was so many versions! I found my old Guiding campfire song book and this song wasn’t in it but it is one i definitely remember singing. Googling it has helped me to piece together the version i was taught as a guid. Which was:

    First they covers ya in a clean white shirt
    Then they covers ya in piles of dirt
    Yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho
    how happy will shall be

    Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out
    You brains come tickkling out your snout
    Yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho
    how happy will shall be

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    They go in thin and they come out stout
    Yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho
    how happy will shall be

    Your stomarch turns an slimy green
    And pus pours out like whipping cream
    Yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho yo-ho
    how happy will shall be

  41. Bethan Says:

    Hey, my sis is a big fan of the old A team show and we were watching repeats of it and Howlin’ Mad Murdock sings
    “did you ever see a hearse go by,
    and think someday that you’ll surely die,
    they bury you in a little box,
    and cover you over withdirt and rocks.”
    He then states there are two more verses, but he doesn’t sing them. I’d never heard it before and neither had my sis so i googled and found this site! Thanks for giving the lyrics, just thought I’d throw in this reference to the hearse song for fun. It’s in episode 5 season 1 , ‘A small and deadly war’.

  42. blackthorne Says:

    I remember these lyrics that my girlfriend and I used to sing as kids in Pittsburgh:

    Don’t ever laugh when a hearse goes by
    For you may be the next to die
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    And bury you underground six feet deep

    Your eyes fall in, your hair falls out
    Your fingernails grow long and stout
    Your skin it turns a ghastly green
    And has the texture of rotten whipped cream

    One little worm who’s not too shy
    Crawls in your stomach and out your eye
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms play Pinochle on your snout

  43. Stacy Says:

    So I wasn’t sure if I’d find anything online about this song or not.
    My mom sang it to me, I think. She didn’t know all the words, so all I knew went like:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    In through your nose
    and out your mouth

    …and that was it haha

  44. Deb Says:

    I learnt the Hearse Song in primary school, Whyalla, South Australia! It’s a fair while ago (35/40-ish yrs), can’t remember the sequence, here goes:

    When next you see a hearse go by
    remember that we all must die
    ooo-ooo-oooo
    aaaa-aaa-aaaa
    let’s all be merry and gay

    They wrap you up in a hessian shirt
    and pile you in with a ton of dirt
    ooo…

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    they crawl in thin but they come out stout
    ooo…

    Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out
    your brains come trick-l-ing down your snout
    ooo…

    Hasten Jason bring the basin (sung fast)
    too late flip flop, bring the mop (sung slow)
    ooo…

    Thanks for the memories, I wish to add a few verses and sing to my kids, interesting that some verses have remained fairly intact. Let’s keep the legendary epic going.
    Cheers, Deb

  45. Rick Says:

    Does anyone know what movie this song goes to?

  46. ИванС Says:

    Я так понимаю, в самом последнем абзаце как раз вся соль и изложена ;)

  47. Brian Perry Says:

    Great blog. I found it searching for the source of a Pogues song I just heard. It is “Worms” on the reissue of “If I Should Fall From Grace with God” and is simply listed as “traditional”.

  48. Dan Says:

    Here’s a write-up and link to a version that was released in the 60s:

    http://sparberfans.blogspot.com/2008/07/essential-ghouls-record-shelf-curse-of.html#comment-form

  49. Michele Says:

    I’d forgotten most of the lyrics, so it’s great to see them hear, in all variations. However, does anyone remember lines that went:
    “The doctor comes, pronounces you dead,
    And lays a tombstone at your head”?
    I think there were lines about being ill that preceded this.
    Thanks!

  50. Lisa Says:

    William Croysdill wrote:

    when i was 8 years old my grand mother taught me her version of the hearse song she told me she was 6 when her brother taught her the song in 1918 so i know the song is older then you thaught but this is her version

    did you ever see a hearse drive by you might just be the next to die! they drain your blood they drain your blood they bury you under 6 feet of mud! the worms crawl in the worms crawl out the worms play pinochle on your snout! your vains turn green very green looks like running shaving cream! your eyes pop out your teath decay and that is the end of my story today!

    thats how she taught it to me back in 1985 my mother got mad when she taught it to me my mom said the song was gross but me being a boy i thought it was cool and told it to all my friends and i have taught my children the same song.

  51. Damon Voros Says:

    Wow, I’m amazed at the responses. I wish that I could remember the verses so well. Rick Heinrich asked about a movie, possibly starring Zsa Zsa Gabor. I do recall that as a kid I both watched the movie and read the book “Picture Mommy Dead.” I’m pretty sure this is the movie to which he was referring. Only a portion of the rhyme was featured, but it left an impression.

  52. Mike Wood Says:

    We used to sing this as a scary campfire song. All that I can remember of the lyrics as follows: The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout. a great big worm with a glassy stare will chew on your eyeball and mess up your hair. the worms crawl in , the worms crawl out.

  53. Tim Barnes Says:

    Another version I was taught in the UK:

    Do you ever see a hearse go by?
    Do you ever think your doomed to die?
    Hurrumph, hurrumph, hurrumph-hurrumph-hurrumph

    They wrap you in a dirty shirt,
    And cover you over with rocks and dirt.
    Hurrumph, hurrumph, hurrumph-hurrumph-hurrumph

  54. Princess Says:

    meme sang it to me this way:
    the right way:

    the worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    in your tummy and
    out your mouth
    if you laugh
    when a hearse goes by
    you will be the next to die
    theyll wrap you up
    in a bloody sheet
    nd throw you in
    six feet deep

    (from old betty davis movie in the 60’s)

  55. Kari Says:

    My dad used to sing this to me when I was younger but the version he sang was different then I’ve heard from anyone else.

    Did you ever think when a hearse goes by,
    That someday you and someday I,
    They put you in a long black box,
    And weight you down with a couple of rocks.

    The worms crawl in,
    The worms crawl out.
    Into your stomach and out your snout.

    Your teeth fall in,
    Your eyes pop out,
    And your stomach caves in like…
    EWWW! Sauerkraut!

  56. Sunshine Kid Says:

    When this was originally done is an unknown, but it dates back more than a century is for certain. I’ve known this verse from several sources, starting during my schooling in Watford, England:

    Did you ever think when a hearse goes by,
    That someday you and I must die?
    First you get sick, and then you die,
    And all the while your family asks “Why?”

    The doctor comes in – pronounces you dead,
    And they lay a tombstone at your head.
    They pull your innards, they drain your blood
    Then they bury you in 6 feet of mud!

    They’ll wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    And throw you in ‘bout six feet deep.
    They put you in a long black box,
    And weight you down with a couple of rocks.

    Your eyes fall in, your hair falls out;
    Your fingernails grow so long and stout.
    Your skin, it turns a ghastly green,
    And has the texture of rotten whipped cream.

    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.

    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 eye.

    The worms crawl in, The worms crawl out.
    Into your stomach and out your snout.
    Your teeth fall in, your eyes pop out,
    And your stomach caves in like Sauerkraut!

    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.

    There is a worm that’s awfully shy
    And goes in one ear and out your eye
    Your liver turns a musty green
    Your guts pour out like shaving cream.

    Your skin will rog, your veins turn green,
    Looks just like old sour cream!
    Your eyes pop out, your teeth decay,
    And that is the end of my story today!

  57. nancy Says:

    Watch the movie “Picture Mommy Dead” 1966
    That where I heard the song for the first time and I can only remember:

    The worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    though your stomach
    and out your mouth

  58. Ralph Says:

    1955 version
    St. Callistus grammer school
    Chicago Il.

    Did you ever dream a hearse went by,
    And you might be the next to die;
    dum dum dadum,
    dum dadum dadum dadum.

    They dig a hole six feet deep,
    And lower you down in a sheet;
    dum dum dadum,
    dum dadum dadum dadum.

    The worms crawl in – the worms crawl out,
    They turn your guts into sauerkraut;
    dum dum dadum,
    dum dadum dadum dadum.

    they eat your tongue – they eat your nose
    they eat the jelly from in your toes;
    dum dum dadum,
    dum dadum dadum dadum.

    Your teeth fall in – your eyes pop out,
    Your tonsils spill – out your mouth;
    dum dum dadum,
    dum dadum dadum dadum.

  59. Malcolm Says:

    Sung by a Welshman inthe Club House after a game of rugby the version I recall is:-

    Did you ever see a hearse go by and think that you may someday die.. Chorus oh,oh, oh where shall be in a hundred years from now?

    They wrap you up in a long white shirt and cover you over with dollops of dirt. Chorus.

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out they crawl in thin and they crawl out stout. Chorus

    Your eyes fall in and teeth fall out, your brains come trickling down your snout. Chorus

    The moral of this story related is not to be buried but be cremated. Chorus

    Wow – so many ways to go!

  60. Barbara Smith Says:

    As a child I have often sang,”The Worms Crawl In,” song, but version is different.

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    they eat up your stomach and spit it out,
    They grind your bones into ice cream cones,
    Then you become a ghost.

    The doctor comes in and feels your head
    and tells everyone that you are dead
    they wrap you up in a dirty sheet
    and throw you down six feet deep.

    I never new the title of this song. I dont remember where I first heard it.

  61. Joy Says:

    Put on a skit of this version at a Bible Class Camp in 1958:-

    As you watch the hearse go by
    remember that you too must die

    They wrap you up in a clean white sheet
    and put you down about 15feet

    All goes well for about a week
    and then the coffin begins to leak

    Worms crawl in and worms crawl out
    They go in thin,and they come out stout

    Your nose turns blue-your eyes turn green
    Your brains ooze out like thick whipped cream

    —another( forgotten) verse here—

    NOW MY STORY I HAVE RELATED

    DON”T YOU THINK YOU

    OUGHT TO BE CREMATED

  62. ashley Says:

    Dont you ever laugh as a hearse goes by
    For you may be the next to die,
    They wrap you in a big white sheet
    from you head down to you feet
    they put you in a big black box
    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
    goes in your stomach and out your eyes

    your stomach turns into green slime
    and puss pours out like whip cream
    you spread it out on a piece of bread
    and thats what you eat when your dead

    I loved that when i was little and the story about the Big Toe from the Scary Stories books…..i guess i was a weird kid…this song popped in my head n i was singing it an my fiance thought i was making it up!!

  63. Emily Says:

    If you see the hearse go by,
    you will be the next to die,
    They’ll wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
    then they’ll bury you six feet deep,
    all goes well for about a week,
    then the coffin begins to leak,
    the worms crawl in,
    and the worms crawl out,
    they play pinning hole in your snout,
    a bug green worm with rolling eyes,
    crawls in your stomach and out your eyes,
    your stomach turns a sickly green,
    and puss pours out like whipping cream,
    you spread it on a piece of bread,
    ’cause that’s what you eat,
    when you are DEAD!

  64. Lea Says:

    I was born in 1987 in atlanta ga- since most versions are regional/time based

    heres what i grew up with:

    Did you ever think as a hearse goes by
    That you may be the next to die
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    From your head down to your feet

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    In your stomach and out your snout

    Your eyes fall out
    Your teeth decay
    That’s the end of a perfect day

  65. Julia Says:

    My dad taught it as….

    When you see the herse go by
    You know that someday you must die

    err err err err
    Let’s all be merry and gay

    they wrap you up in a big white sheet
    and put you down about six feet

    err err err err
    Let’s all be merry and gay

    the first few weeks it is alright
    but then the coffin begins to ROT

    err err err err
    Let’s all be merry and gay

    your skin it turns a billious green
    your brains run out like thick whipped cream

    err err err err
    Let’s all be merry and gay

    the maggots go in the maggots go out
    the maggots play ping-pong on your snout

  66. Nick Holt Says:

    Here’s the version all us neighborhood kids sang back in the 1950’s in Auburn, Maine.

    Did you ever think when a hearse goes by
    That someday you are bound to die?

    A -Wee, A -Woo

    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    And bury you down about six feet.

    A -Wee, A -Woo

    All goes well for about a week,
    Then your coffin begins to leak.

    A-Wee, A-Woo

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The ants play pinochle on your snout.

    A -Wee, A -Woo

    They eat your eyes, they eat your nose
    They eat the jelly between your toes.

    A-Wee, A-Woo

    Your stomach turns a slimy green
    And puss pours out like whipping cream.

    A -Wee, A -Woo

    They put your guts on a slice of bread
    And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

    A -Wee, A -Woo

  67. occam's lady schick Says:

    i love you’se guys.

    this is how i sang it…

    did you ever think when a hearse goes by that some fine day you’re gonna die?

    they’ll wrap you up in a big white sheet and bury you under six feet deep.

    three days go by and all is well, and then the coffin begins to smell.

    the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, in your belly and out your mouth.

    your body turns a slimey green and pus comes out like whipping cream (got a spoon?)

  68. occam's lady schick Says:

    this is how we sang it.

    did you ever think when a hearse goes by that some fine day you’re gonna die?

    they’ll wrap you up in a big white sheet and bury you under six feet deep.

    three days go by and all is well, and then the coffin begins to smell.

    the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, in your belly and out your mouth.

    your body turns a slimey green and pus comes out like whipping cream (got a spoon?)

  69. Lucy Says:

    This is the one that I learned.

    Where will you be in a hundred years from now?
    Down in the soil like a nail stuck in the ground
    The worms crawls in, the worms crawl out
    They go in skinny but they come out stout.
    Where will you be in a hundred years from now?

  70. nikki Says:

    My dad always sang. The worms crawl in. The worms crawl out. Into your stomache and out your mouth. They use your bones as telephones and call you up when no ones home! Always laughed so hard

  71. Johnston Says:

    The real one goes a little something like this lol

    have you ever thought as a hearse goes by you may be the nexst to die, they wrap you up in a big white sheet, from your head down to your feet. The worm crawl in, the worm crawl out, the worms play penuckle on your snout, your eyes fall out your teeth decay, thats the end of a perfect day

  72. K. Says:

    My rememberance of the ditty was as follows:

    Did you ever think as a hearse goes by
    That some day you and I must die.
    They put you in a wooden box
    And cover you over with dirt and rocks.

    The first six weeks, they ain’t so bad
    But then the coffin springs a leak.

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    They crawl all over your dirty snout.
    Your chest caves in, your eyes pop out
    Then your bones turn to sauerkraut.

    They invite their friends, and their friends too,
    And they all come in for a friendly chew….

    “ON YOU!”

  73. Julie Says:

    Oh gosh, this is bringing back a flood of memories I didn’t know I had. It seems like everyone sung this one as a kid! I learned this in the early 1990’s in Santa Clara county, California. My sisters and I found it in a book of children’s Halloween songs. I can’t remember all of the lyrics off the top of my head, and the book has been gone for years, but here’s what I can recall:

    Don’t ever laugh when the hearse goes by,
    For you may be the next to die.
    They’ll wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    And drop you down- ’bout six feet deep.

    They don’t realize that you aren’t dead,
    So they put a tombstone over your head.
    All goes well for about a week,
    But then your coffin begins to leak.

    And the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinocle on your snout,
    They turn your guts to sauerkraut,
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.

    Through your guts and out your eyes,
    Taking bites of your insides.
    Your stomach turns a sickly green,
    And pus pours out your mouth like whipping cream.

  74. Andy Says:

    Hi there:

    Well yeah, My sister and I used to sing that song.
    Now, here is what everyone was asking about.
    The name of the movie which that song was in is called…

    “Picture Mommy Dead.”

    There you go, I hope that helps.

  75. Tina Says:

    This is all I can remember…
    70’s in N. Minn:

    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle in your snout.

    And then you turn a sickly green
    And your guts ooze out like sour cream

  76. Bob Says:

    Learned this from my brothers and maybe in the school playground back in the fifties.. can’t remember the whole, but the bits I can remember go like this:

    Whenever you see a hearse go by
    Remember someday you too will die….
    []
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinochle on your snout,
    And one little fella who’s not too shy
    Goes in your ear and out your eye…

  77. Shawnee Says:

    I found a wonderful video on youtube, with the rendition I grew up with. It’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NNJ6bjLdeo

  78. Heather Listhartke Says:

    There used to be a show in the 90s was rated R. for some reason my parents let me watch this when I was really young between 5-7 yrs old. The theme song for it was another version that is very similar to some other versions on here. I only know this part:
    “The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinochle up your snout
    The slime turns green a slimy green
    and puss comes out like whipping cream”
    This show was very scary and needless to say I had some horrible nightmares from it. There was this one episode that had bugs, kinda like roaches, except not crawl under the skin…very similar to the mummy movie…I still have this recurring dream. absolutely horrible.

  79. Alexis Says:

    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinnocle on your snout
    They eat your eyes they eat your nose
    they eat the goo between your toes

    I don’t remember the rest of my mom’s version. There were bits and pieces of others from above I know.

  80. Zack Says:

    If you dare laugh when a hearse goes by
    You will be the next to die
    They’ll wrap you in a bloody sheet
    And drop you from about six feet!

    [singing]
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle on your snout
    Your stomach will turn a slimy green
    And puss comes out like whipping cream
    A big fat worm with a bloodshot eye
    Crawls through your liver and out your eye -yai -yai -yai

  81. Carolyn Says:

    The version I learned from my Grandfather was short and sweet (as sweet as a morose poem can be. haha):

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    In your stomach and out your mouth

    If you ever see a hearse go by
    You may be the next to die

  82. Molly Says:

    I am no end of impressed that this thread has been going for over four years. But I haven’t seen one that ends the way I learned one version, after all the worms and pinochle and such:

    “Your coffin rots and you turn to dust
    And that’s the end of your life of lust.”

  83. Lisa Says:

    That’s cool!

  84. The Worms Keep on Crawling! | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] just pointed out that The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out post from over 4 years ago is still getting comments and now has 83 of them! People seem to love to […]

  85. Miss Rae Says:

    Don’t ever laugh when a hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die
    They wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    and bury you down six feet deep

    The worms crawl in the worms out
    The worms play pinochle in your snout
    They eat your eyes
    They eat your nose
    They eat the jelly between your toes
    A great big spider with GOOGLY eyes
    Crawls up your nose and out your eyes

    Wouldn’t you like to have a spoon
    To eat with this afternoon?

  86. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Valerie wrote:

    Hi

    I just found your blog and was quite excited. I’ve not found that song anywhere or anyone that knew it. Here is the version that I know:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    In your stomach and out your mouth
    Did you ever see a hearse go by
    and think that you were going to die

    My memories may not be accurate from my childhood as this is quite similar to one on your blog.

    I remember hearing it in a movie I watched as I kid, I belive the name was “Die Quickly, Dear Mother”. As the house was burning, with the mother in it, the dad and little girl were standing there watching and I think singing the song. However, I can’t find that movie either, so I could be wrong.

    Valerie

  87. Lisa Says:

    I received this version a while ago…

    The kids in my neighborhood in Escondido California used to sing it this way in the late forties & early fifties. We had LOTS of fun with it. You’ll notice the version is slightly different than others submitted. Maybe Southern Californians gave it their own twist.

    Don’t you laugh when the hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die.

    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    and throw you down about six feet deep.

    Your stomach falls in like a frozen bean
    and your face, it turns to a moldy green

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinochle on your snout

    They eat your eyes, they eat your toes, and
    the eat the snot right out of your nose.

    So don’t you laugh when the hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die.

  88. Shauna Says:

    I just knew this one:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle on your snout
    They put you in a little box
    and cover you up with dirt and rocks
    Eventually you will turn green
    and your guts will come out like sour cream

  89. Lisa Says:

    Troy wrote:

    I remember it this way ,,,, or sort of
    The worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinnacle on your snout
    they eat your eyes
    they eat your nose
    they at the jelly between your toes
    this is what it is to die
    hope you had a nice
    good bye
    and that is the end of your life
    good night

  90. Susan Says:

    Isn’t it wonderful when these things come back to haunt you? What I remember is snatches from the various versions, but I remember the bread and what you eat when you’re dead and puffing up like whipping cream after turning some sort of green (all that’s paraphrased); but the only words that stuck were:
    “The next time you see a hearse go by, you may be the next to die…”

    “they wrap you up in a clean white sheet and lower you down about six feet deep…”

    “the worms go in, the worms go out, the worms play pinochle in your snout…”

    and the final refrain: “That’s what you eat when you’re dead, dead, dead. That’s what you eat when you’re dead!” Which rhymed with the bread verse.

    So of course I had to google it to find out the lyrics…

    What a pleasant song to have stuck in your head fifty years later, huh?

  91. Lisa Says:

    Carlton wrote:

    Here is how we sang it in grade school:

    The big black hearse goes riding by
    You never know who is the next to die
    They wrap you in a big white sheet
    And slap you down about six feet deep

    Oh the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle on your snout
    Your stomach turns a sickening green
    And pours out puss like a thick whipped cream

    You eyes fall out and your teeth decay
    And that’s the end of a perfect day!

    Carlton C Potts

  92. Lisa Says:

    Chris wrote:

    Hi Lisa….I came across your blog which included various versions of this “song” lol…. I wanted to contribute my version…the one I remember growing up with the other kids around the neighborhood…..

    Whenever you see a hearse go by,
    you will be the next to die,
    they’ll wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    bury you in the ground six feet deep,
    the worms crawl in , the worms crawl out,
    they play tiddlywinks on your snout,
    pus will ooze out of your eyes, take some bread and wipe it off,
    thats what dead people eat……

    tada!!
    lol….that’s the version I remember…. ;)

    Thanks,
    Chris

  93. Lisa Says:

    Mary Ann wrote:

    I stumbled onto your site and was fascinated by the history of the song. I remember my father singing it when I was a kid and it was always “The bugs crawl in, the bugs crawl out, the bugs play pinocule in your snout.”

    I found a recording of it that was played on Dr. Demento called “Curse of the Hearse” by Terry Teene. It is a rock version of the song in case you are not familiar with it.

    Sincerely,

    Mary Ann Cade

  94. Eclectic Guy Says:

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    The worms play pinochle on your snout
    Your liver turns
    A limey green
    The puss comes out like whipping cream

  95. Girl Scout Says:

    Great reading all the responses, as I was wondering if there were more verses to a song I remembered as a kid:

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    The worms crawl in and out your snout!
    Your eyes pop out, your teeth turn green
    And pus comes out like shaving cream.

    They use your bones for telephones
    And call you when you’re not at home.

    (Wish I could recall more of the verses we had for this song, some 50 years ago)

  96. Kenny Says:

    Do you ever think as a hearse go’s by
    that you may be the next to die?
    they wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    they bury you down about six feet deep.
    they put you in a big black box
    and cover you up with dirt and rocks
    and all goes well for about a week
    then the 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 great big 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 THATS WHAT YOU EAT WHEN YOU ARE DEAD!

  97. Keith Says:

    Many were first exposed to this song/rhyme in the 1966 movie “Picture Mommy Dead”, but it has been around forever.

  98. Annette C. Says:

    This is the way I remember it…

    If you see a hearse go by,
    Then you know you’re next to die.

    They wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
    Then they put you six feet deep.

    All goes well for ’bout a week,
    Then your coffin begins to leak,

    The worms crawl in,
    The worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinochle on your snout.

    They eat your ears,
    They eat your nose,
    They eat the goulash between your toes.

    And then you turn a slimy green,
    Looks just like pure whipped cream.

    You spread it on a peice of bread,
    And that’s what you eat, when you’re dead!!

  99. Daketa G. Says:

    Kenny’s version is more like the one i remember…
    Except the first line was: “Don’t you ever laugh when a hearse go’s by, For you may be the next to die…etc.”

  100. Twentiethman Says:

    Good Lord. So many variations; so many faulty memories. In doing a bit of research I discovered the tune is called “Spooks on Parade”.
    At this point there doesn’t seem to be a final authority on this song; at least not on the Web at this point. Fun tho….

  101. Mrs. Southall Says:

    hah, man, i LOVE these poems. i’ve been womdering the rest of the words for a while now. thanks for remembering for me guys !
    (:
    – Mrs. Lisa Southall.

  102. Justin Says:

    This is the one I remember from my childhood. A lot of it is the same, but a couple lines are there that I haven’t seen yet in other versions. Enjoy!

    You better not laugh when a hearse goes by
    or you may be the next to die
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    and bury you in the ground 6 feet deep
    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 use your bones as telephones
    And call you when you’re not at home.
    They eat your eyes
    They eat your nose
    They eat the jelly
    Between your toes
    I hope you die before I do
    Cuz then the worms will crawl in YOU!

  103. Lisa Says:

    My father said he sang this song back in the 1940’s and he believes his father sang it as a kid in the early teens (he was born around 1907). That was in New York… Nassau county, Queens and Brooklyn.

  104. Alisha Snow Says:

    Don’t you laugh when the hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die
    they’ll wrap you up in a dirty old sheet
    and throw you in the ground
    six feet deep
    The worms will crawl in
    The worms will crawl out
    In your mouth and out your snout
    until you melt
    like Borden’s ice creammmm…

    This is how my grandma taught it to me :)

    i think she made up the last part………..

  105. Terry Says:

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by
    or you will be the next to die.
    They’ll wrap you up in bloody sheets
    and bury under about 6 feet deep.

    For all goes well for about a week
    then you coffin starts to leak.
    The worms crawl in, the worm crawl out
    They’ll play Pinochle on your snout.

    They’ll eat your eyes, they’ll eat your nose,
    They’ll eat the jelly between your toes.
    Then your stomach turn ishy-green
    and puss comes out like white whip cream.

    You wipe it up with moldy bread
    and that’s what you eat
    When … You… Are … Dead….

  106. Patricia Says:

    My mom used to sing this to me when I was little, but I’ve forgotten most of her lyrics. But I do remember that there was one bit that went:

    They Fill You Up
    With Shaving Cream

    and then there was something about a scream. And her worms bit went like this:

    The Worms Go In
    The Worms Go Out
    In Your Stomach
    And Out Your Mouth

    This seems to be the only version in the world that the worms ‘Go’ instead of crawl. I’ll have to ask her if she remembers the words.

  107. Donna Jones Says:

    The Hearse Song, sung in CA mid 60’s

    If you do see a hearse go by
    you’ll surely be the next to die

    They wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    and throw you down 3 feet deep

    The worm crawl in, the worms crawl out
    the ants play pinochle on your snout

    A big black spider with big green eyes
    Crawls through your stomach and out your sides

    Your stomach turns a slimy green
    and pus comes out like whipping cream

    You spread this on a piece of bread
    this is the food of the living dead.

  108. Clover and Vivian Says:

    thank you, all for sharing this. My daughter and I sing this song and she thought it was great about eating the jelly between the toes part because we did not know that one. Also we start our song off “You should never laugh when a hearse goes by……”

  109. Alison W Says:

    This is a great thread! I learned this song from the sweetest little old lady. She was about 98 years old and had alzhiemers. But she told me that her older brother taught it to her when she was a little girl and that put it around 1900. The mention, in some versions, of a bell being pulled to alert people that you weren’t really dead dates this song back maybe another hundred years past that, as it was common in the 1700’s, due to the difficulty in being sure if pepole were really dead, to bury folks with a string that was attached to a bell hung by your headstone, in case you “woke up” from say a concusion or a coma that had been mistaken for death. You would pull the string and hopefully some one would hear your bell and dig you up.

  110. Lisa Says:

    That’s a gruesome thought – to wake up from a coma or concussion and find yourself in a coffin. Yikes!

  111. Savannah Says:

    Oh my gosh. This song gets stuck in my head all the time and the movie I remember hearing it on is a little girl singing it and then people die. The mother realizes what is going on and has to teach her daughter not to do that or something to that effect. I have no idea what the name of it is, but it has been driving me and my mother crazy over the years. I am not sure if it is “Picture Mommy Dead” or not but I don’t think it is

  112. julie Says:

    the worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinochle in your mouth
    one brave lil worm
    who wasnt so shy
    crawled into your stomache and out your eye
    puss came out
    like shaving cream
    and turned your stomache a sickening green
    you sop it up on a piece of bread
    and thats what you eat when you are dead
    please pass the gravey

  113. Katrina Says:

    WOW!! i never knew there were so many versions of this song! i heard this on the radio from some funny DJ’s when i was a kid and its stuck with me ever since. it was just a short little thing that i have since taught my two boys! LOL

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
    the worms crawl in the dead man’s mouth
    the dead man turns a ghastly green and puss pours out like whipping cream-
    and i left my spoon at home.

  114. Danielle Says:

    I haven’t seen one that ends the way my mother taught me.
    At the very end, there’s no talk of bread or eating when you’re dead, but more of a statement or afterthought, like the ‘left my spoon at home’ part. The melody even changes from ‘Spooks on Parade’ to a different one, which I don’t know the name of but believe is a very commonly known ‘haunting’ one.

    ‘Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you.’

  115. Keith Says:

    This is how I learned the chorus:

    Never laugh when a funeral goes by,
    Or you may be the next to die
    The worms crawl in,
    The worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinochle on your snout,
    The big black but with the shiny green eyes
    Will eat out your liver and crawl out your thighs,
    So never laugh when a funeral goes by
    Or you may be the next to die.

    It was one of those in the car songs my family sang

  116. Akera Says:

    This is what I know.

    The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    They’ll eat your guts
    then spit them out.

  117. Jack Says:

    I learned this version 50 years ago.

    Did you ever see the hearse go by,
    And think that you’d be the next to die?
    They wrap you up in silk and lace,
    And throw the dirt right in your face.

    The first two weeks are not so bad,
    But then the casket starts to leak.
    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out,
    Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out.

    Your stomach turns a slimy green,
    The puss comes out like whipping cream.
    Please pass the gravy.

  118. Alex K Says:

    Maybe it isn’t the official version, but I learned this from my twisted dad as child like this….

    Have you ever seen a hearse drive by,
    and wondered if you were next to die?
    first they wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    then drop you down, six feet deep,

    your OK for a little while, then you start to turn ripe,
    usually about a day and a night,
    the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    the big black beetle, with the big green eyes, crawls in your liver,
    ….and crawls out your eyes.

  119. Brillig Says:

    This is an amazing blog! So much info, so many versions…! wow!

    Our Australian band ‘Brillig’ recorded a version recently, as a sort of dedication to our favourite Adelaide Roller Derby team, “The Wild Hearses” :)

    Our take on the lyrics & the track can be found here for your perusal:
    http://brillig.bandcamp.com/

    We’d love to hear what you think.

  120. Lisa Says:

    Great rendition of The Hearse Song! -Cheers! Mama Lisa

  121. Brillig Says:

    Many thanks :) Glad you like it! Wish we’d seen this blog before we recorded… we might have used alternate lyrics. Ah well. They’re all nice & creepy!

  122. sammie Says:

    worms come in worms come out im ur tummy and out your mouth when u c the truck go by do you feel your going to die?

  123. Mary Says:

    My son & I were finding ants yesterday and I started singing this song…the only words I could remember were…

    the ants go in
    the ants go out
    the ants play pinochle on your snout
    they use your tongue as a diving board
    and swim around in your vocal cords

    My son was enthralled (he’s 4) and today asked me what the rest of the words were (I had told him there were more but I couldn’t remember). So here we are…I am in my 40’s & this brings back lots of memories of singing with my brothers!!! I don’t remember if we sang about worms or ants though. Either way it is creepy!!!

  124. Lisa Says:

    I’ve never heard it with ants… but I like it!

    It’s probably your family’s variation.

  125. Jaxon Says:

    My dad use to sing it like this to me when i was little.

    when ever you see a hearse go by
    you never know if your next to die
    they wrap you up in bloody sheets
    and bury you more than six feet deep
    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinnacle on your snout
    the snot comes out like wiped cream
    and your with out a spoon.

  126. Lisa Says:

    I received this email recently:

    As an altar boy, we sang this song on the way to the cemetary.
    When you see a hearse go by
    think of the day that you will die
    the worms crawl in
    the worms crowl out
    they crawl in and out of
    your nose and mouth

    that’s all I remember.

    Poisson

  127. Lisa Says:

    Margie wrote:

    Never laugh when a Hearse goes by
    For you will surely be next to die
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    and then they bury you six feet deep.

    The worms crawl in..
    The worms crawl out..
    They crawl in your stomach and out your mouth

    Your stomach turns a slimy green
    and pus comes out like whipping cream

    The worms crawl in..
    The worms crawl out….

  128. Lisa Says:

    Janice wrote:

    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.
    You’re eyes all rot, your teeth decay.
    Such an end to a horrid day.

    Haha, my friends all taught this to me! Had to share it. :)
    ~Janice Kay~

  129. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Ken Hara wrote:

    “Our Long Island, N.Y. version of ‘The Worms Crawl In’ had no mention of a hearse…

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    They eat ya guts and they spit ‘em out.
    Ya stomach turns and then you scream
    And the pus flows out like sour cream.

    It was in the 1950s and 60s, we lived in the Lakeview area of West Hempstead, Nassau County. I probably learned the song at Eagle Avenue School (not from any of the teachers!) in Lakeview”

    Thanks for sharing Ken!

  130. Jane Says:

    This is the version I learnt (and had in bits forgotten) in the noth of England back in the fifties.

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by
    For you never know when you’re going to die,
    They wrap you up in a dirty sheet
    And drop you down about thirty feet
    Having put you in a big black box
    They cover you with dirt and rocks.
    All goes well for about a week
    Then your coffin begins to leak
    Worms crawl in and worms crawl out,
    They go in thin and they come out stout
    They eat your eyes and they eat your nose
    They eat the jelly between your toes
    Your stomach turns a slimy green
    And pus comes out like whipping cream,
    So never laugh when a hearse goes by
    For you never know when you’re going to die……….

  131. JB lover Says:

    I was thinking of that song last night and I wanted to sing it to my family. I knew it was in one of those scary storie books. I finnaly got a copy of it (thank you google!)and printed it out. It goes like this:

    Do you ever think as a hearse goes by that 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 goes in your stomach and out your eyes.
    Your stomach turns a slimy green and puss pours out like whipping cream.
    You spread it on some moldy bread and thats what you eat when you are dead!

  132. tony Says:

    have you ever thought as the hearse goes by,
    that you’ll be the next to die,
    they wrap you up in a big white sheet,
    from your head down to your feet,
    Worms crawl in and worms crawl out,
    in your stomach and out your snout,
    your eyes fall out and your teeth decay,
    and thats the end of a perfect day.

  133. diane Says:

    I loved this song as a grade-schooler in the 70s! I’ve heard many of the versions; I liked learning new verses from different kids we met. The main difference I remember is “did you ever see (or have you ever seen) a hearse (sometimes hearsie) go by and wonder what it’s like to die?”

    I can’t wait to ask my friends if they remember. I think we used to sing it on the bus and at scout campfires. We also sang ‘greasy grimey gopher guts”. Remember that one?

    From Michigan

  134. Bobbe Says:

    Did you ever see a hearse go by
    And think that you were going to die?
    They put you in a great big box
    And cover you up with dirt and rocks

    Your eyes sink in
    Your teeth fall out
    The ants play pinochole
    On your snout

    Your skin it turns
    A ghastly green
    And the pus oozes out
    Like whipping cream

    Unfortunately that is as much as I can remember. I believe there are two more stanza.

  135. Brittany Says:

    My dad taught me it this way but i think i remember it wrong…
    Have you ever seen a hearse go by
    and think that you are the next to die
    they wrap you up in big white sheets
    and throw you down about six feet
    the bugs crawl in the bugs crawl out
    the worms play penacle on your snout
    and as you turn the [grassy green
    comes out the puss like whipped cream]
    you put the whipped cream on bread
    and thats what you eat when you are dead!

    *[] that part i dont really remember

  136. Frank Says:

    I remember it this way;

    When ever you see a hearse go by
    you know that you’ll be the next to die,

    They put you in a great big box,
    and cover you over with dirt and rocks

    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    the maggots play pinochle on your snout,

    you teeth cave in your eyes bulge out,
    Your stomach explodes and your gut fly out.

  137. Joey Says:

    Here’s a link to a great folk/punk cover of this song by the band Harley Poe.

    http://harleypoe.bandcamp.com/track/the-hearse-song

  138. Jonathan Towner Says:

    This was used a skipping song in my school in New Brunswick, Canada around 1970.

    Your friends would swing the rope and you would jump in and chant:

    Did you ever see a hearse go by
    Thinking you would be the next to die?

    They wrap you up in a big white sheet
    And bury you about six feet deep.

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    They turn your guts into sauerkraut.

    Your eyes fall out and your teeth decay
    And then you just fade…a…way…

    and you would jump out.

  139. Lisa Says:

    Pat R. wrote:

    Re. The Hearse Song

    When I was 10 years old in 1952, I was in a children’s hospital in Lincoln Ne. We were 12 girls on this ward. Most had had Polio. I was having a hip surgery. This was the version I learned from one of my ward mates…

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by,
    for you may be the next to die.

    They’ll wrap you in a bloody sheet,
    and throw you down about 6 feet.

    Now you’re alright for ’bout a week,
    then your coffin springs a leak.

    The worms crawl in.
    the worms crawl out,
    the worms play pinochle
    in your snout.

    The eat your hair,
    they eat your nose,
    they eat the jelly between your toes.

    I always knew there was more to this song, but I never learned all of it. The nurses may have gotten tired of our song and told us to stop.

    My teen-ager grandchildren were shocked that straight laced ole granny knew such a song.

    Thanks for the other versions of this silly song.

  140. John Says:

    Here is how we were taught it:

    Have you ever seen a hearse go by,
    it makes you wonder who’s next to die
    that wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    and then they bury you 6 feet deep.

    The worms crawl in, the worse crawl out
    they eat your guts like sauerkraut

    Your stomach turns
    and your teeth decay
    and that’s the end of a busy day!

  141. Adam K. Says:

    When I was about 7, my mother taught me this song. And I find it to be a bit different from the ones I have read on here. Plus I add a lyric to make it loop. I will recite my mothers version the and mine in at the bottom

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by,
    Or else you’ll be the next to die.

    They’ll wrap you in a big white sheet,
    And toss you in a hole so deep.

    Then the worms crawl in the worms crawl out,
    They turn your guts into sauerkraut.

    They eat your eyes,
    They eat your nose,
    They’ll eat the dirt in between your toes.

    (my rendition) And so that is why.. (repeat song)

  142. kamieniarstwo krakow Says:

    Miss Molly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.
    So she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.
    The doctor came with his bag and his hat,
    And he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.

    He looked at the dolly and he shook his head.
    And he said, “Miss Molly, put her straight to bed.”
    He wrote on the paper for a pill, pill, pill.
    “I’ll be back in the morning with the bill, bill, bill.”

  143. Nathan Says:

    I had a nightmare about this song a few weeks ago.

  144. Wally O Says:

    Never laugh when a hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die
    They wrap you up in bloody sheets
    then they bury you six feet deep

    The worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    in your stomach
    and out your mouth

    They eat your eyes
    they eat your nose
    they eat the stuff
    that’s between your toes

    So never laugh when a hearse goes by
    for you may be the next to die

  145. leanne Says:

    do you ever think when the hearse goes by,
    you never know when you will die,
    the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out,
    and your brain comes tumbling down your snout,
    ha ha ha

  146. Maddi Hattier Says:

    I am amazed at how many people grew up with this song and how many variations there have been on the lyrics. Reading through them all, I see our version was slightly different and it was interesting to note that only a couple versions came close to the ending I learned. Odd how nostalgic a creepy song can make us feel. ;)
    Our version goes like this:
    When you see a hearse go by
    Then you know it’s time to die
    They wrap you in a great big sheet
    and bury you down six feet deep

    The worms crawl in
    the worms crawl out
    They even play pinochle in your snout

    Your eyes turn grey
    and roll away.
    And that’s the end
    of a beautiful day.

  147. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Diane wrote:

    Here is how I learned it…I don’t have it all, though.

    Have you ever seen a hearse go by
    Then you know you’re the next to die.
    They wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    And send you down about six feet deep.
    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.
    The worms play pinnocle on your snout.
    They use your tongue as a diving board
    And dive right in to your vocal chords.
    Your face it turns a sickening green
    And puss pours out like whipping cream.

  148. Lisa Says:

    Here’s another version we received:

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out; in your stomach and out your mouth.
    And when you see the hearse go by, then you know you’re the next to die.
    They put you in a wooden box, and cover you over with dirt and rocks…

  149. Georgia Says:

    Heres how I learned the ‘hearse’ song back in the late 1940’s. My one uncle made my cousins and me quit saying it! So we did…when he was around!

    ‘Did you ever stop to think as a hearse was passing by, that you might be the next to die? They wrap you up in a bloody sheet and drop you in a hole about 6 feet deep.
    Everything goes well for about a week and then your coffin springs a leak. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout.’

  150. Casey Says:

    I was thought this from my Dad….

    Don’t say boo when the ghost go by,
    or you may be the next to die,
    they wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
    then they burry you six foot deep,
    all goes well for about a week,
    then they come and spring a leak,
    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out,
    the worms play pinochle on your snout,
    they all think there is a cherry on top,
    but it’s snot…. where’s my spoon!!!

  151. Casey Says:

    correction…

    I was taught this from my Dad….

    Don’t say boo when the ghost go by,
    or you may be the next to die,
    they wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
    then they burry you six feet deep,
    all goes well for about a week,
    then they come and spring a leak,
    the worms crawl in the worms crawl out,
    the worms play pinochle on your snout,
    they all think there is a cherry on top,
    but it’s not,
    it’s snot….
    where’s my spoon!!!

  152. Lisa Says:

    Mary H. wrote:

    Hi,

    Never thought there were so many versions of this song – and yes, sang it as a child back in the 50s. I guess the song was sung all over the U.S. with a few differences. So read all you wrote and here’s what I sang. And thanks for sharing – didn’t think I’d find anything.

    You never laugh when a hearse goes by cause you may be the next to die.
    They wrap you up in a big white sheet and bury you in six feet deep.
    The worms go in, the worms go out; the worms play pinochle on your snout.
    The big fat worm with the blood shot eyes, goes through your middle and out your sides.
    Your eyes fall out, your teeth decay, and that’s the end of your wonderful day.

    Aloha/Bog

  153. Lisa Says:

    Just looked the words up to pass on to the next generation – my 6 yr old son – who I was trying teach the words too but couldn’t think of the ending.

    Version we sang as children was

    don’t you laugh when a hearse goes by
    or you’ll be the next to die
    first they wrap you in a white sheet
    then they drop you 40ft
    worms go in
    worms go out
    worms play ping pong on your snout
    then your blood turns mouldy green
    that’s what the worms call peppermint cream

    couldn’t remember beyond that but will use some of the lines from another post to finish the version and keep the memory alive.

    Thanks for all your help

  154. jeannie Says:

    Have you ever heard, when the hearse rolls by that you might be the next to die? The undertaker takes you in, while all of your friends sit around and grin. They wrap you in a big white sheet and drop you down about sixty feet. The worms crawl in, your teeth fall out, your eyes fall in and the puss runs out. The puss is whipped like thick whipped cream and your body turns to a deep pea green.

    Paul’s in the bathtub, more soap!

  155. Lisa Says:

    Debra Krauter sent a version called Herman’s Song:

    Herman’s Song

    You better not laugh when Herman walks by or you shall be the next to die
    He’ll roll you up in a bloody sheet and drop down a 100 feet
    The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
    They eat the pinochle on your snout
    They eat your eyes
    They eat your toes
    They eat the crud between your toes
    So you better not laugh when Herman walks by
    Or you shall be the next to die!

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