The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out (The Hearse Song)

The Hearse Song, also known as The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out is a children’s song that has a very macabre subject. Describing the process of human decomposition, the song is traditionally sung while children stand in a line and one weaves in and out like a wiggly worm. 

The rhyme appears to have been inspired by a Gothic poem written by Matthew Lewis in 1796 who wrote about worms and decomposition. Much like other nursery rhymes, this gruesome option uses a fun melody to create a song which helps to take the emphasis off the deeper meaning of the rhyme.

During World War I, The Hearse Song was sung by both British and American soldiers but there are suggestions that soldiers in the Crimean War in the 19th century also sang the same song as they moved their casualties and forged ahead to try and win each battle.

The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out (The Hearse Song) Lyrics

… Don’t 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
And cover you up with dirt and rocks
And all goes well for about a week
And then your coffin 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 noes
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 puss comes out like whipping cream
… You spread it on a slice of bread
And that’s what you eat when your dead
And the worms crawl out and the worms crawl in
The worms that crawl in are lean and thin
… The ones that crawl out are fat and stout
Your eyes fall in and your hair falls out
Your brain comes tumbling down your snout
… And the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
They crawl all over your dirty snout
Your chest caves in and your eyes pop out
And your brain turns to sauerkraut
… They invite their friends, and their friends too
They all come down to chew on you
And this is what it is to die
I hope you had a nice goodbye
… Did you ever think as a Hearse goes by
That you may be the next to die
And your eyes fall out and your teeth decay
And that is the end of a perfect… day

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