Can You Finish the Lyrics to These Childhood Playground Songs?

Zoe Samuel

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Everyone remembers their childhood playground songs - or at least, we remember the hook, probably the melody, and most of all, we remember how they made us feel. We all loved to sing them with our friends ad nauseam, even when the teachers were getting bored and even we knew on some level that it was time to move on to another ditty. We sang them even when we didn't actually know the origins of many of the songs were super dark (for example, did you know that "Ring a ring of roses" is actually about the Black Death?).  We sang them to protest the fact that we'd been forced out of doors irrespective of the weather, we sang them to coordinate our games, and we sang them for the sheer pleasure of singing very badly in a large group when it doesn't matter whether you can actually carry a tune or not. That's why we remember them so very well.

Indeed, since these songs are so memorable and such earworms that they are still stuck in your head ten or twenty or fifty years later, you're not going to have any trouble precisely remembering their lyrics... right? Take this quiz to find out!

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer / Take one down, pass it ____, 98 bottles of beer on the wall...

Take one down, pass it AROUND....

London's burning, London's burning / Fetch the ____, fetch the _____

If London is burning, you fetch the engine!

With a knick-knack paddy-whack / Give a ____ a bone!

This old man thinks you should give a dog a bone!

Orange and lemons, say the Bells of St _____!

Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's! This song names some major London churches.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily / Life is but a _____

This is the last line of Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Heads, shoulders, _____ and toes, _____ and toes!

This song helps you remember your body parts, which is important when you are a small child and it is all new information.

If you're _____ and you know it, clap your hands!

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Or just smile. We won't judge!

I'm a little teapot, ____ and stout!

Little teapots are small and stout! They would very much like to show you their handle and their spout.

Ring a ring o' roses, a pocket full o' _____!

An urban legend says this comes from the period of the Black Death where people would carry a "posy" or little bouquet to block out the stench of death.

Patty ____, patty ____, baker's man / Bake me a ____ as fast as you can!

Team Cake forever! This is all about getting the baker to bake the speaker a marvelous patty cake.

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around / Teddy bear, teddy bear, ____ the ground

You should definitely touch the ground as part of this chant!

You put your left leg in, your left leg out / In, out, in and you ____ it all about...

This dance is called the hokey cokey in the UK and the hokey pokey in the US - but it's super fun either place!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall / All the ____ horses and all the ____ men...

The King sent horses and men to help Humpty out, but alas, they failed!

For every ____ who ever there was will gather there together, because today's the day...

For every bear who ever there was will gather there together because today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic!

Kookaburra sits in the old ____ tree / Merry merry king of the bush is he!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. Merry merry king of the bush is he! This Australian ditty is all about a very happy and cute bird.

She'll be _____ round the mountain when she comes!

As the song reminds us three times, she will in fact be coming around the mountain when she comes.

Ye'll take the ____ road and I'll take the ____ road / And I'll be in Scotland afore ye!

As the song Loch Lomond tells us, "Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road."

A sailor went to sea, sea, see / To see what he could ____, ____, ____!

The sailor went to sea, sea, sea to see what he could see, see, see! Sadly the song doesn't end happily.

And he sang as he watched, and waited til his billy boiled / You'll come a-Waltzing ____ with me!

Waltzing Matilda is a famous Australian song with some tremendously amusing Australian words in it!

There was a farmer who had a ____ and BINGO was his name-o...

The farmer's dog is named Bingo!

I went to a Chinese restaurant / To buy a ____ of bread

A Chinese restaurant might be an odd place to buy a loaf of bread, but that's what the song says.

____, dip, sky blue, / Who's it? Not you!

Ip, dip, sky, blue is a fun little chant that is part of a children's game.

The owl and the ____ went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat...

The owl and the pussycat is a nonsense poem by famously silly writer Edward Lear.

In Dublin's fair city where girls are so pretty / I first set my eyes on Miss _____ _____....

This pretty Irish song about Molly Malone is popular in playgrounds and on buses to school trips.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair / Parsley, ____, rosemary and wine...

This folk song has been adopted into playgrounds.

Cinderella, dressed in yella / Went ____ to kiss her fella!

Cinderella's fella is upstairs, apparently!

O soldier, soldier, won't you marry me. With your ____, fife, and drum?

The soldier totally screws the girl in the song by making her give him presents then revealing that he is already married.

The farmer wants a ____ / The farmer wants a ____!

The farmer wants a wife! She doesn't seem to want him back, though, as successive verses reveal.

I'm Popeye the ____ man / I live in a garbage can

Popeye the sailor man should consider getting better accommodation - though perhaps his lack thereof explains why he's committed to sailing.

All around the mulberry bush / The ____ chased the weasel....

This song involves a monkey who thinks it is a game and a weasel who really doesn't.

The head of the herd was calling from far, far, away / They met one night in the silver light on the road to ____

Nellie the Elephant is the story of an elephant who runs away from the circus, instead of to join it.

I'll sing you one O / Green grow the _____ O!

This traditional song actually has deep religious roots.

Choose ____, skip to my lou, / Skip to my lou, my darlin'

There's a dance that comes with this charming playground song.

When you wake, you shall have / All the pretty ____ horses

Most horses are fairly big, but the ones in this particular lullaby turned playground song are little indeed!

A canner exceedingly canny / One morning remarked to his _____

The writer Carolyn Wells wrote this very funny limerick, which we'll include in its entirety to wrap up: A canner exceedingly canny, One morning remarked to his granny, "A canner can can, Anything that he can, But a canner can't can a can, can he?"

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