Gobs of fun

Andréa wonders how many still know this song, or is it just us geezers? I asked my daughters (in their 30s). One had heard of a slightly different version, the other had never heard it.

Neither of my two grandchildren (an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old girl) had heard of it. Feel free to report your own survey results!

A fuller version:

Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey meat
Itty-bitty birdy feet
Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts
And me without a spoon


  1. I know it, but I can’t remember where I picked it up. It wasn’t at school, and it was only the first line. I learned the second line in adulthood.

  2. The version I learned has “chopped up baby birdie feet” (or alternatively “… parakeet“) for the third line, and “my spoon” at the end. I have no idea when or where I learned this ditty, but both of my kids know it well, because I taught it to them back when they were in kindergarten.

  3. P.S. Another song in the same genre starts out like this:

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms!
    Great big fat ones, itsy bitsy skinny ones, oh my, how they squirm!
    First you cut the heads off, they you suck the guts out,
    then you throw the rest a-way! …

    There may be a second verse, but I don’t have it memorized.

  4. 1) I 100% guarantee you that both of these songs are being sung in schoolyards somewhere in the US even in the 2020s.

    2) Another one of these (a “novelty” song?) was about diarrhea. I’m gonna err on the side of SFW and transcript none of it here.

    3) One more that we used to sing, and I have def heard kids sing it recently, is “the cat came back.”

    4) When today’s elementary set are geezers, one of those songs will be the ducks/grapes song. Amazing how they all know this one.

  5. Not familiar with this song, but think there may have been a version in a Ralph S Motorcycle book? Seem to recall the teacher reading us “chopped up baby parakeets” but not to any particular tune. Diarrhea song was “immortalized” in the film Parenthood, although THAT film is not anywhere in the zeitgeist anymore.

  6. @voodoo chicken Yes, Garf sings it (off-key) in Runaway Ralph (1970), much to Ralph’s horror. That was the “chopped up baby parakeet” version. As kids in the 70s, my friends & I sang it as “baked in the dirty deep with itty bitty birdy feet.”

  7. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms!
    Great big fat ones, itsy bitsy skinny ones, oh my, how they squirm!
    First you cut the heads off, they you suck the guts out,
    then you throw the rest a-way! …

    I learned it as

    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms,
    Big fat chubby ones, little bitty skinny ones, see how they wiggle and squirm
    Bite their heads off, suck their guts out, throw the skin away,
    Nobody knows how much I thrive on worms three times each day — OLE!

  8. And the vesion of the gopher guts song I learned has the penultimate line:

    Sitting in a pail of pus.

  9. The version I learned as a kid had “hacked up horse hair” instead of the birdie feet, and ended on “I wish I had a spoon.”

  10. On immature reflection, I recall that penultimate line in the version YoungShrug knew was actually longer and went:

    Sitting in a pail of pus. And they . . . turned . . . brown.

    (not sure why green guts turning brown was considered a further step down on the ick factor, though)

  11. I looked up the “Diarrhea” song in YouTube, but discovered that it definitely was not worth the effort, there isn’t anything clever or funny in the lyrics (assuming, of course, that the age of everyone here is a two-digit number).

  12. Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
    little birdy turdy feet
    mutilated monkey meat
    a nice big glass of all purpose porpoise pus
    swimming in pink lemonade
    and me without a straw

    But I have a spoooooon!

  13. I’m a geezer and I’ve never heard it. Maybe it didn’t make it this side of the Pond.

    Kilby, if you don’t understand why the diarrhea song is funny, watch the Steve Martin/ Rick Moranis film ‘Parenthood’.

  14. I could have sworn I heard “Great big gobs…” back in the ’80s on the Doctor Demento radio show, but I can’t find which recording it might have been.

    Here’s a fun thread discussing this song and others. The Mudcat Forum is a good folk music resource.

  15. And for dessert: chilled monkey brains.
    From “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
    If it’s good enough for Spielberg …

  16. Grawlix said (link in moderation).

    Actually it got tossed into Spam, which takes a little more focussed undoing. But I think you’re back in business now.

  17. @ Pete – Sorry, but that is precisely the version that I looked up and suffered through to the bitter end. Trying it a second time (with lyrics in the subtitles) didn‘t help: it’s just a series of contrived rhymes describing various people whose pants are full of $#!+. I‘m more than willing to appreciate scatological humor if it is well-written, but that song wasn‘t, and even making allowances for the age of the vocalist, his sub-standard delivery didn‘t improve anything, either. I‘d rather agree with Steve Martin’s bitingly sarcastic assessment, that his money was “well spent” (on the camp that was the source of the song).

    P.S. The only saving grace of the whole experience was discovering a “Frozen” parody called “Let One Go”. Your mileage may vary, but I liked that song much more.

  18. I’m not a fan of Steve Martin’s works, and didn’t realize he and Rick Moranis had done something together other than the only Steve Martin movie I enjoy so much I’ve watched it many many times – My Blue Heaven. Which no one else in my life seems to have heard of.

  19. And then, of course, to the tune of “Oh My Darling Clementine”:

    Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut last night.
    Last night I found a peanut, found a peanut last night.

    That is the first of I don’t know how many verses.

    Cracked it open, cracked it open …

    It was rotten…

    Ate it anyway…

  20. Well, I remember learning it lo, some 65+ years ago in grade school, but the third line was not familiar, at all. It took my geezered brain awhile to remember, but it finally came to me. “putrefying porpoise pus”. Although I kind of like the flow of turdy birdie feet.

  21. …long bit about calling the doctor, he comes, he applies various complicated cures, “Died anyway”, “Got better”…and ending with “Found a peanut…” Yeah, we used to sing that one at summer camp.

    And the worms, though mine was a little different – can’t remember exactly how it went, but neither version above seems to match. I think I learned that in Girl Scouts, earlier than summer camp, then picked it up again in camp.

    I don’t think we sang greasy grimy gopher guts, but I found a book of kids’ songs with that title a good many years ago, closer to my camp days than to today. I still have it, though I don’t think I’ve learned any songs out of it – I was already too old when I got it to find them really amusing, perhaps.

  22. @ jjmcgaffey – I couldn’t find the book. Author? Publisher? ISBN?

    P.S. The version of “Found a peanut…” that I was taught did not include “got better”. It proceeded from “died anyway” to “went to heaven”, then “didn’t want me”, “went to the other place”, repeated “didn’t want me”, then “back to earth”, before starting over with another “found a peanut”.

  23. I remember hearing the “guts” song all too often as a child in the 1950s or so, but even at that age I thought it was icky and gross and I doubt that I ever repeated it. OTOH, “The Cat Came Back” was delightful. I even have it on a CD, but I don’t offend remember which one.

  24. P.P.S. @ Andréa – I went looking for the “other” Martin & Moranis movie, but discovered there were two (for a total of four): first, the 1986 version of “Little Shop of Horrors“, and then finally “L.A. Story”.

  25. The version I learned in grade school went:
    Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts
    Mutilated monkey meat
    Dirty little birdies feet\
    French fried eyeballs simmered in a pan of grease
    And me without my spoon…
    But I got my straw… (SLURP)

  26. “Worms” reminded me of another one. The tune is vaguely like the Laurel & Hardy “March of the Cuckoos” in a minor key.

    Did you ever see a hearse go by?
    Well if you did you’re the next to die.
    They wrap you up in a bloody sheet
    And bury you about ten feet deep.

    The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
    The worms play pinochle on your snout.
    Then one brave worm decides to try
    In your ear and out your eye.

    Your guts come out like shaving cream
    and it all seems like one bad dream …


  27. @ MiB – At least part of that was in “The Hearse Song” to which Andréa linked @5, above.

  28. Now I have Old Grey Mare stuck in my head…

    (And thanks, Mitch4 for straightening out my mess. After I went off to bed I wondered if the link did go to Spam.)

  29. Versions I remember –

    Great big gobs of gooey, grimy gopher guts
    Infamated monkey meat
    Little birdies dirty feet
    All these things are very,very good to eat,
    But I forgot my spoon –
    But I’ve got my straw. (straw being drawn out when sung)


    Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I’ll eat some worms!
    Big fat worms, gushy gushy worms, worms that crawl about.
    First you cut the heads off, suck out the blood, throw the rest away.
    Too bad the people don’t think of eating more than three times a day.

  30. Kilby –

    That is the second reference to that version of “Little Shop of Horrors” today! Earlier we were watching the rerun of “Welcome to the Neighborhood” and I was curious about one of the lead actresses in it and looked her up online in the IMDB and she was in that movie. Since her character on this TV show used to be a singer in a 3 girl group I was curious if she had done this in real life. She portrayed a first name only character in that version of “Horrors” and was listed a one of three women in a row with character first names only, so I am curious now, if she was one of the singers in same. (Liked the original version of Horrors better.)

  31. The order of adjectives can be significant. Tolkien once wrote about his mother telling him that the “proper” expression was “…a great green dragon…” (instead of a “green great dragon“. In writing about the incident, he said that he wondered why back then, and still did.

  32. There is a huge literature on the order of adjectives in English, including professional / academic studies of what is found and how to analyze it, to blithely prescriptive web sites, and interesting middle-ground or hybrid loci such as Grammar Girl and BBC Learning English websites/podcasts. At least with BBC Learning English they have good reason for being prescriptive — that’s their job, helping people who are not native speakers.

    Generally the advice / observations involve identifying several (even up to 9 or 10!) semantically-characterized slots which provide an ordering. Theoretical work includes trying to find a less arbitrary principle to “explain” the order of the slots — it seems to have something to do with intrinsic vs extrinsic properties in a scale way.

    I can’t easily find the BBC Learning English installments for this. Here instead is Grammarly, which is pretty good about keeping it chatty and remaining descriptive, though they do speak of “the rules” and “the proper order”. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/adjective-order

  33. … and to apply it to the dragon example, note that the size slot does come before the color slot.

  34. @ Mitch – Thanks for the background. I still agree with Tolkien that if “great” is understood in the mythology to denote a special “class” of dragon (rather than simply meaning “large”), then his alternate order could still have been justifiable.

  35. P.S. I would also like to note that this “slot” structure is specific to English, and not a universal semantic concept. In learning German, I have often tripped over expressions that require a different word order than normally used in English (and no, I’m not talking about the verbs that Germans always at the end of the sentence leave).

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