Be Prepared for the 21st Century

The Troop 37 song book online!

Troop 37 is most famous for its collection of camp fire songs. 

List of song titles (the first line of the song in brackets)

Acorn Song (I am just an acorn brown)
Bill Grogan's Goat
Billboard Song (As I was walking down the street)
Cat came Back (Oh, the Cat Came Back)
Dunderbeck
Flea Fly
Green Grow the Rushes, Ho! (I will sing you One, Ho!)
Happy Wandered (I love to go a-wandering)
High Rose yer Rum (A rich man lived in the land of Jerusalem)
I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
In a Cabin in a Wood
I like Bananas, Monkey Nuts and Grapes
I've Got Six Pence
Junior Birdmen (Up in the air, Junior Birdmen)
Lilly the Pink (Oh, we drink, we drink, we drink)
Little Skunk's Hole (Oh I stuck my head in a little skunk's hole)
MacTavish is Dead
Massawepie Song (I am a Hayseed)
National Embalming School (We Live for you, we die for you)
Rock Von Der Musick Hall
Scout Vespers (Softly falls the light of day)
She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain, Charming Betsy
Sippin’ Cider (The prettiest girl I ever saw)
Titanic (Oh they built the ship Titanic)
Three Jolly Fishermen (There were three jolly fishermen)
Topnotcher (I point to mine self)
Troop 37 song & cheer (If you look for a Boy Scout Troop)
When Sammy hung the paper on the wall
While the Organ Pealed Bananas

Below are the text of our songs, by alphabetical order of the title of the song.  

Acorn Song

I am just an acorn brown,
Sittin’ on the cold, cold ground
Everybody steps on me
That is why I am a crack, you see.

(Chorus):
I’m a nut (click, click)
I’m a nut (click, click)
I’m a nut (click) nut (click) nut (click, click)

Called myself on the telephone
Just to see if I was home
With myself, I made a date
Gotta be ready by a quarter past eight

Took myself to the movie grand
Just so I could hold my hand
Put my arm around my waist
When I got fresh, I slapped my face


Bill Grogan’s Goat

Bill Grogan’s Goat... was feeling fine...
    Ate three red shirts... right off the line
A man he took... him by his back...
    And tied him to... the railroad track
The whistle blew... the train drew neigh...
    Bill Grogan’s goat... was doomed to die
He gave three groans... of mortal pain...
    Coughed up the shirts... and flagged the train

(Up-tempo version: added lines)
The engineer... got out to see...
    What in the world... this thing could be
And when he saw... t’was nothin’ but a goat...
    He got out his knife... and slit his throat
Bill Grogans Goat... was finally dead...
    And he went up to heaven... without his head
When he got there... Saint Peter said...
    “Oh, Billy Goat!... Where is your head?”
I do not know... I cannot tell...
    If it ain’t up in heaven...
Its... down... in... Shave-and-a-haircut – two bits!

The Bilboard Song (Troop 37 version)

As I was walking down the street, a billboard met my eye
The advertisements written there would make you laugh & cry.
The wind and rain had come that day and washed it half away.
And what remained of what was there would make that billboard say:

Come smoke a Coca Cola; chew catsup cigarettes
See Lillian Russell wrestle - with a box of Castanets
Pork & Beans will meet tonight to have a finished fight
Chauncey Depew* will lecture on Sapolio** tonight.

Chew Wrigley’s for that headache; take Camel’s for that cough
There’s going to be a swimming meet in the village water trough
Buy a case of Dunson’s Beer -  it makes the best of broth
Shinola*** is to curl the hair, and not to take it off

[Notes: *Chauncey Depew was president of the New York Central Railroad and a famous lecturer; Depew NY is named for him. **Sapolio was a soap. ***Shinola was a shoe

Cat Came Back (including Massawepie verse)

Oh, the Cat came back, the very next day
Oh, the Cat came back, they thought he was a goner
But the Cat came back, he just couldn't stay away, away, away, yeah! yeah! yeah!

Old Mister Johnson had a troubles of his own
He had a yeller cat that just wouldn't leave his home
He tried and he tried to give the cat away
He gave it to a fellah going far, far away

Gave it to a little Scouty with a dollar note
Told him for to take it down a river in a boat
Tied a rock around his neck, it must have weighed a pound
Now they drag the river for the little boy who drowned

Gave it to a fellow going way out west
Told him for to give it to the one he loved best
When the train came round the track it hit a broken rail
And not a blessed soul aboard lived to tell the tale

Gave it to a fellow going up in a balloon
Told him for to give it to the man in the moon
Balloon came down about ninety miles away
And where the man who flew it is I'd rather not say

Way over the ocean's where they sent that cat at last
Vessel only out a day and takin’’' water fast
People they began to pray the boat began to toss
Then there came a tidal wave and every soul was lost

They took 'em to a Scouty Camp called Massawepie
They brought 'em to the dining hall where all had come to eat
They tossed 'em in the dinner pot among the beans and meat
That night a thousand Scouties went and died in their sleep

Man round the corner swore he'd shoot that cat on sight
He loaded up his shotgun with nails of dynamite
He waited and he waited for the cat to come around
Ninety little pieces of the man was all they found

Well, they dropped the H bomb just the other day
And then they dropped the A Bomb in the very same way
England went... Russia went... Then the U.S.A.
The human race was destroyed without a chance to pray
BUT! ...

[Introduced to Massawepie in 1970 by Staff members who attended national Camp School that Summer. Link to Peter Scribner performance Massawepie 2009]

Dunderbeck

[Chorus] Oh! Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean?
To ever have invented the sausage meat machine?
Now all the rats and pussycats will never more be seen
They’ll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck’s machine

Now in the Town of Palomore there lived a mean old man
His name was Mister Dunderbeck, and he could surely can
His house was filled with pussy cats and ring tailed rats a few
So Dunderbeck invented a machine to grind them all to stew

One day a boy came walking, came walking in the store
He bought a pound of sausage meat and laid it on the floor
The boy began to whistle, and whistle up a tune
And all the little sausages went dancing ‘round the room

One day the darn thing busted, the darn thing wouldn’t go
So Dunderbeck, he climbed inside, the reason for to know
His Wife was having a nightmare, and walking in her sleep
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Dunderbeck was meat



Flea Fly

Flea!
Flea fly!
Flea fly floooooow!
A-vista!
Kuma-lada, kuma-lada, kuma-lada vista
Oh no, no, no, not the vista
Isha-meanie sala-meanie oo-wass a-wasa meanie
Isha-meanie sala-meanie oo-wass a-wat
Ish biddle-ee otten-botten bobo bah dee-ta bahtten


Green Grow the Rushes, Ho!

(Leader) I Will Sing You One, Ho!
(Reply) Green grow the rushes, Ho! What is your one, Ho?
One is one and all alone and never more to be so
Two, two [clap, clap] the little proud boys, dressed in all their green, Ho!
Three, three the Rivals!
Four for the Gospel Makers
Five for the Symbols at your door
Six for the Six Proud Walkers
Seven for the Seven Stars in the sky
Eight for the April Rainers
Nine for the Nine Bright Shiners
Ten for the Ten Commandments
Eleven for the Eleven who went to heaven
Twelve for the Twelve Apostles


Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering along the mountain track,
And as I go I love to sing, my knapsack on my back.

(Chorus)
(Leader or one side) Val-da-ree (echo or other side: Val-da-ree)
Val-da-rah (Val-da-rah)
Val-da-ree (Val-da-ree)
(All) Val-da-rah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha,
Val-da-ree (Val-da-ree)
Val-da-rah (Val-da-rah)
(all) My knapsack on my back,

I love to wander by the stream that dances in the sun.
So joyously it calls to me, “Come join my happy song.”

I wave my hat to all I meet, and they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet from every greenwood tree.

High overhead the skylarks wing; they never rest at home,
But just like me, they love to sing, as o’er the world they roam.

Oh may I go a-wandering until the day I die,
And may I always laugh and sing beneath God’s clear blue sky.

(In Troop 37, this song was most associated with Pat Gleason.  The fourth verse, 'skylarks', was usually omitted. Enthusiastic hand motions are encouraged.  According to Wikipedia, the song was originally German, Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann, written by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller shortly after World War II. )

High Rose Yer Rum

A rich man lived in the Land Jerusalem.
Glory Hallelujah! High rose yer rum. (Include in each verse)
And the clothes he wore were oh so very spruc-i-um.
Glory Hallelujah! High rose yer rum. (Include in each verse)

(chorus, clapping)
Hey!
High rose yer rum, rum.
High rose yer rum.
Skiddle inky doolium
Skiddle inky doolium
Glory Hallelujah! High rose yer rum.

Now at his door there stood a human wreck-i-um,
The hat he wore had a brim around his neck-i-um.

Now the poor man asked for a bit of bread and chees-i-um,
But the rich man said, “Scram before I call the polic-i-um.”

Well, the poor man died and he went up to heav-i-um,
And he danced with the angels 'til half past elev-i-um.

Now the rich man died and he didn’t fare so well-i-um.
Instead of heaven, he went down to helium

Well, the rich man asked for a bit of consol-i-um,
But the devil said, “Go shovel up some coal-i-um.”

Now the moral that we gain is all so very plain-i-um,
We’ll all go to heaven ‘cause we’re all so stony brok-i-um.

(In Troop 37, this song was most associated with John Mangione.  A web search does not provide any information about its origins.)


I know an old lady who swallowed fly

I know an old lady who swallowed fly
    and I don’t know why she swallowed the fly; perhaps she’ll die

I know an old lady who swallowed a spider
    that wiggled & tickled & giggled inside ‘er

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly
    and I don’t know why she swallowed the fly; perhaps she’ll die

I know an old lady who swallowed a bird
    How absurd! To swallow a bird! ...

I know an old lady who swallowed a cat
    Imagine that! She swallowed a cat! ...

I know an old lady who swallowed a dog
    What a hog!  To swallow a dog! ...

I know an old lady who swallowed a goat
    She opened her throat, and swallowed a goat! ...

I know an old lady who swallowed a cow
    I don’t know how - she swallowed a cow! ...

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse
    (She’s dead, of course)

(According to Wikipedia and also peterpaulandmary.com, this song was written by Alan Mills, the lyrics by Rose Bonne, (C) 1952)


I like Bananas, Monkey Nuts and Grapes

I like bananas, monkey nuts and grapes.
I like bananas, monkey nuts and grapes.
I like bananas, monkey nuts and grapes.
And that’s why they call me Tarzan of the apes.
(Tune: "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord"; the song concludes with serious chest-thumping and Tarzan calls)


In a Cabin in a Wood

In a cabin in a wood
Little man by a window stood
Saw a rabbit hopping by
knocking at his door.
“Help me, help me, Sir!” he said
“Or the hunter will shoot me dead!”
“Come little rabbit, come with me.
Happy we will always be!”
(Each line has a gesture.  Each time the song is sung, one line is silent, with only hand gestures.  By the end of the song, only gestures are used. 1) cabin formed by hands; 2) hand shading eyes looking out window; 3) rabbit hopping by formed by hand; 4) knocking gesture; 5) hands thrown up; 6) rifle formed with two hands; 7) waiving rabbit in; 8) petting one hand with the other.)

I’ve got Six Pence

I’ve got six pence; jolly, jolly six pence I’ve got six pence to last me all my life
I’ve got two pence to spend and two pence to lend
And two pence to send home to my wife (poor wife!)
No cares have I to grieve me; No pretty little girls to deceive me
I’m as happy as a lark, believe me; As we go rolling, rolling home
Rolling home,  (rolling home) Rolling home (rolling home)
By the light of the silvery moon
Happy as the day when the army gets its pay
As we go rolling, rolling home
(repeat with four pence, two pence and no pence)

Junior Birdmen

Up in the air, junior birdmen.
Up in the air, upside down.
Up in the air, junior birdmen,
With your noses to the ground.

For when you hear the grand announcement
That your wings are made of tin,
Then you will know junior birdmen
Have sent their boxtops in.

For it takes: (count out with fingers)
FIVE boxtops,
FOUR bottle bottoms,
THREE wrappers,
TWO labels,
And one - thin - diiiiiiiiiime . . . . . . . Vrooooooom

(Gesture for “Up in the air”: take each hand, touch together the thumb and first finger of each hand in the ‘OK” position, with the other three fingers strait out. Touch the tips of each thumb/first finger together. You are now looking at the outside of upside-down aviator goggles. Now, flip the goggles around, putting the three strait fingers from each hand on your jaw line and the thumb/first finger holes over each eye.  The point where the thumb/first fingers touch is at the bridge of your nose. If you are doing this right, you are facing the upside-down palms of your hand and your elbows are out in front of you and higher than your head. If this is not awkward, you are not doing it right.)

Lilly the Pink

Oh, we drink, we drink, we drink
To Lilly the Pink, the Pink the Pink
The savior of the human race
She invented Medicinal Compound
Most efficacious in every case

Now here’s a story, a little bit gory
A little bit happy, a little bit sad
Of Lilly the Pink and her Medicinal
Compound
And how it drove her to the bad
Ebenezer -- thought he was Julius Caesar
So they put him in a Home
There they gave him Medicinal Compound
Now he’s Emperor of Rome!

Uncle Paul, he was very small(y)
He was the shortest man in town
They rubbed his body with Medicinal Compound
Now he weighs but half a pound

Johnny Hammer had a t-t-terrible s-s-stammer
He hardly said a word
‘Till he drank some Medicinal Compound
And now he’s seen but never heard

Mister Frears had sticky-out ears
And it made him awful shy
And so they give him medicinal compound
And now he's learning how to fly

Brother Tony was notably bony
He would never eat his meals
And so they give him medicinal compound
Now they move him round on wheels

Oh Lilly died (Ohhhh) and she went to Heaven (Ahhhh)
Oh, the church bells they did ring
She took with her Medicinal Compound
HARK THE HERALD, ANGLES SING!

[Introduced at Camp Forester, Massawepie. 1978 by Ken Swanson.  The third and second-to last verses were taken from the internet]

Little Skunk's Hole

Well, I stuck my head in a little skunk’s hole
And the little skunk said, “Well bless my soul!
“Take it out! Take it out! Take it out!
“Remove it!”

Well, I didn't take it out and the little skunk said,
“If you don't take it out you’ll wish you had.
“Take it out! Take it out!” Psssssssst!
I removed it.

[Tune: the verses of Dixie]

MacTavish is Dead

Oh, MacTavish is dead
And his brother don’t know it
His brother is dead and MacTavish don’t know it
They’re both of them dead, and in the same bed
And neither one knows that the other is dead
(repeat faster and faster)

Massawepie Song (Pioneer version)

I am a hayseed, my hair is seaweed,
And my ears are made of leather
And they flop in windy weather.
Gosh oh hemlock. I'm tough as a pineknot.
'Cause I'm a Scout from Pioneer
Rah! Rah! Rah!
*Cheer, Cheer and let them know we're here.
We're the scouts from camp Pioneer
And we will laugh and sing,
And let our voices ring
As we go marching onward, forward.
Here's to our fires blazing bright
On Massawepie Lake at night.
And we will always strive to keep our honor bright.
The scouts of Pioneer

[*Note: the second half of this song, starting with "Cheer, Cheer", actually predates Massawepie and was the song of the original Camp Pioneer on Seneca Lake. The phrase "on Massawepie Lake tonight" in the original was "on the shores of Seneca tonight."]


The National Embalming School

We live for you, we die for you; The National Embalming School
We do our best to give you rest; The National Embalming School
And when you die, we dig a hole, and put you in to turn to mold
We live for you, we die for you; The National Embalming School

Post-mortem, post-mortem, post-mortem; Autopsy we must have
Post-mortem, post-mortem, post-mortem; Autopsy we must have
Cut, slash, gouge away, we’ve got to find a reason
Golly, how the body stinks, it must be out of season

We live for you, we die for you; The National Embalming School


Rock Von Der Musick Hall!

(Leader) Rock Von Der Musick Hall!
(reply) Das is Father Lander!
(Leader) Rock von schpeether!  (reply:) Rock von schpeether!)
(Leader) Rick-in-boy and [violah]!  (Reply) Rickin boy and [violah]!)

Verses: 
Violah: (playing violin) Vio-vio-vio-lah lah!
Piano-lah:  kerplink, kerplink, kerpling plink plink!
Trumpet-ah: (Thumb on nose) Tha dah, tha dah, tha dah  dah  dah!
Guitar-La (Playiong rock guitar) ner, ner, ner ner ner)
Bagpipe-la (holding nose & tapping throat) errr, err, err err err
Disco-lah (Saturday Night Fever moves) Disco, Disco, Disco-la)
Supersuds (washboard): Super, super, super suds!
Zumbah-zah (bass fiddle): Zumbah, zumbah, zumbah zah!

Scout Vespers

Softly falls the light of day
As our campfire fades away,
Silently each scout should ask,
“Have I done my daily task?
Have I kept my honor bright?
Can I guiltless sleep* tonight?
Have I done and have I dared
Everything to be prepared?

[*For whatever reason, Troop 37 has always sung "rest" rather than "sleep".]

She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain, Charming Betsy

She’ll be comin’ round the mountain, Charming Betsy
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain, Lora Lee (Poor thing!)
And if I ever see her agaaaaaaain
Good girl, remember me!

Now a rich girl, she drives a big Cadillac
And a poor girl can do the same
But my girl, she drives a Model T Fooooord
But she gets there just the same!

(Chorus)

Now a rich girl, she lives in a big brick house
And a poor girl can do the same
But my girl she lives in the County Jaaaaaaail
But it’s a brick house, just the same!

(Chorus)

Now a rich girl, she wears a lot of perfume
And a poor girl can do the same
But my girl, she wears no perfume at alllllllll
But you can smell her just the same!

(Chorus)

[This is a very old song, probably dating to the 1880's. The lyrics here are the ones used by Troop 37 at campfires, including the name ‘Lora Lee.’ All versions of the song found on the internet use the name ‘Cora Lee’.]

Sippin’ Cider

The prettiest girl
I ever saw
Was sipping ci–
der through a straw

I says to her
Whatcha doing that fer?
A sipping ci –
der through a straw?

She says to me
It’s fun to be
A sipping ci –
der through a straw

Now cheek to cheek
And jaw to jaw
We’d both sip ci –
der through a straw

Every now and then
That straw would slip
And I'd sip ci –
der through her lips

That’s how I got
My mother-in-law
From sippin’ ci –
der through a straw

The moral of
This story is:
Don’t sip a ci –
der sip a coke

[Group repeats each line, then entire 4 line verse][Group repeats each line, then entire 4 line verse]


Three Jolly Fishermen

There were three jolly fishermen,
There were three jolly fishermen,
(Half the group) Fisher! fisher!
(Other half) Men, men, men.
(Half the group) Fisher! fisher!
(Other half) Men, men, men.
There were three jolly fisherman.

The first one’s name was Abraham,
The first one’s name was Abraham,
(Half the group) Abra! abra!
(Other half) Ham, ham, ham!
(Half the group) Abra! Abra!
(Other half) Ham, ham, ham!
The first one’s name was Abraham.

The second one’s name was I-Isaac
The second one’s name was I-Isaac
I! I!
Zik, zik, zik! (etc.)

The third ones name was Ja-a-cob,
The third ones name was Ja-a-cob,
Jay! Jay!
Cub, cub, cub! (etc.)

They all went up to Jericho
They all went up to Jericho
Jer-I! Jer-I!
Cho, cho, cho! (etc.)

They should have gone to Amsterdam.
They should have gone to Amsterdam.
Amster! Amster!
Shhhhh, Shhhhhh, Shhhhhh! (etc.)

We mustn’t say that naughty word.
We mustn’t say that naughty word.
Naughty! Naughty!
Word, word, word! (etc.)

We’re gonna say it anyway.
We’re gonna say it anyway.
Any! Any!
Way, way, way! (etc.)

They should have gone to Amsterdam.
They should have gone to Amsterdam.
Amster! Amster!
Dam, dam, dam! (etc.)

Titanic (Troop 37 version)

Oh they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue
And they said it was a ship that the sea would not go through
It was on her maiden trip when an iceberg hit the ship
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Chorus
(Leader) Oh, it was sad (Everyone else) So sad
(Leader) It was sad (Everyone else) Too bad
(Everyone together) It was sad when the great ship went down, to the bottom of the
          (Half the group) Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea
          (Other half of group) Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
(Everyone) It was sad when the great ship went down

We were near the English shore ‘bout a thousand miles or more
When the rich refused to associate with the poor
So they sent them down below, where they were the first to go
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Little children wept and cried as the waves rolled over side
And the band on deck played “Lord, of me abide”
And the hero saved the week as the ship began to leak
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Now the moral that we gain from this tale of woe and pain
Is that if you’re rich, you should not be so vain
For in the Good Lord’s eye, you’re the same as the other guy
It was sad when the great ship went down.

*It sunk; kerplunk, like a rock, off the dock - cha, cha, cha

[*this coda was brought to Troop 37 in the 1970's by a leader who had been a leader in Troop 129, Rohrerstown, Pa.]


Topnotcher 

I point to mine self right here, right here
Das is mine (Topnotcher), yah, Mama dear! 
Topnotcher, topnotcher, yah Mama dear
Das vot ve learn in de Schkout Kamp
(Translation: That’s what we learned in the Scout Camp)

Verses: 
Topnotcher (forehead)
Schvet browser (sweat browser or forehead)
Eye blinker
Ear drummer
Schnot blower (nose)
Soup strainer (upper lip)
Bull shooter (mouth)
Chin chopper
Rubber necker
Chest protector
Bread basket (stomach)
Knee knocker
Clodhopper (foot) 


Troop 37 Song and Cheer

If You Look For a Boy Scout Troop
You’ll find the best of all is our Troop!
For Thirty Seven is our unit’s name
And we will fight to guard her everlasting fame!
For we are tops in Scouting’s many skills
Our fighting spirit no one stills
For 37 is the VERY best, VERY best Rah! Rah! Rah!
37 Blue! 37 White!
37! 37! Fight, Fight, Fight!

*Aka laka ching! Aka laka chow!
Aka laka ching ching! Chow! Chow! Chow!
Biff, Baff Bah! Riff, Raff, Rah!
37, 37 RAH, RAH, RAH!!!

[*The cheer at the end was brought to Troop 37 by Pat Gleason)


When Sammy Hung the Paper on the Wall

When Sammy hung the paper on the wall
He put the parlor paper in the hall
He papered all the chairs, he papered up the stairs,
He even put a border on Grandma’s shaw
When Sammy hung the paper on the wall;
He spilled a pot of paste upon us all
Now in all kinds of weather, we’re all stuck [clap] together,
Since Sammy hung the paper on the wall!
(This song was a favorite of Camp Director Lynn Ferris at Massawepie during the 1960's)

While the Organ Pealed Bananas

(to the tune of “Silver Threads Among the Gold”)
While the Organ Pealed Bananas
Lard was rendered by the choir
While the Sexton rang the dishrag,
Someone set the church on fire
“Holy smokes!” the preacher shouted. 
In the race he lost his hair
Now his head resembles Heaven
For there is no parting there (No parting there!)