A British Version of The Hearse Song (“The Worms Crawl in, The Worms Crawl Out”)

Robin Colbourne wrote me…

Hello Mama Lisa,

Whilst trying to find ‘the worms went in and the worms went out’ for a Halloween party tomorrow, I came across your site. I was trying to find the lyrics of the song as we used to sing them at Scout Camp.

The Scout Camp was situated in a clearing, in a wood in Tilford, Surrey, England, behind the 1860’s village church and its churchyard (full of gravestones, of course). You can imagine the effect that this song had on the cubs and scouts there for their first camp, having to walk back to their tents in the dark…

Flying Pigs has the words more or less as I remember them:

A woman stood by the churchyard wall
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
The woman she was gaunt and tall
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
A corpse was being carried in
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
The corpse was very pale and thin
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
The worms crawled in and the worms crawled out
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
In at the nose and out of the snout
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
The woman to the corpse said:
Ooh__________ Ahh__________
“Shall I be like that when I am dead?”
Ooh__________ Ahh__________

The corpse answered with a groan: SHRIEK!
(at which point all the scouts who know the song scream their lungs out…)

Best wishes

Robin Colbourne

Thanks Robin. Enjoy your party!

– Lisa

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

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

This article was posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2005 at 8:03 pm and is filed under British Children's Songs, Children's Songs, English, Halloween, Halloween Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, The Hearse Song, The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out, United Kingdom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

51 Responses to “A British Version of The Hearse Song (“The Worms Crawl in, The Worms Crawl Out”)”

  1. Baz Cuda Says:

    A big thanks to Toerag:
    January 16th, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    His is the version we used to sing in the Scouts in the late 60s early 70s and I’ve been trying to find the words for ages. Our version was distinct because of the repeating line
    “Where will I be, in a hundred years from now?” which doesn’t appear in any other variant of The Hearse Song that I’ve able to find.

    I’m so pleased to have finally tracked down the rest of the verses :D

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