A Prairie Home Companion Camp-Song Songbook

Set 9, July 1


I hope this isn't another morning song. I could never sing before 11:30 - and no one would want me to. - MM

Our mom had a rooster named Brewster,
who sat in our baby chair booster,
when morning would come,
he'd crow at the sun,
and we'd chase him off shouting out "SHOOSTER!"

I hope you all enjoyed that. Consider it my way of reciprocating.

Jim Potter, Canton, GA


Amazing Grace to the tune of the opening of the Mickey Mouse Club Show Theme song. I know you know the words well, but try this once.

A-m-a-z-i-n' G-r-a-c-e
Amazing Grace, Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see.
A-m-a-z-i-n' G-r-a-c-e.

M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e
Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse
Forever let us hold your banner high,
Come along and sing a song and join our jamboree.
M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e.

Jeanne Creighton


Every-bo-dy hates me!
no bo-dy likes me!
think i'm gonna eat some wor-or-ms

first you get your shov-el(act out digging)
then you get your bu-cket
see how they wiggle and squir-m(make squirming motion with hands)
next
you bite the heads off
see how they wiggle and squir-m
down goes the first one(rub stomach)
down goes the second one
fell how they wiggle and sqirrrrm
up! comes the first one
up! comes the second one
see how they wiggle and sqirrrm

I don't know how to describe the tune. This song is best sung in the dining hall after spaghetti. I learned the song at Camp Pahoka on the banks of the Wabash River in the late 1960's when I was a Boy Scout. I was a Scoutmaster for 17 years and sang lots of songs.

Neil Barnett, Evansville, IN

I currently work with people who have dementia. One 80-year-old woman sings this song over and over, spaghetti or not. - MM


I spent a summer as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp and often sang this tune. At camp Karoodinha we have a tradition of "song time" after every meal. Before anyone leaves the dining hall all the campers and staff sing a tune. This was ours from spaghetti night. It is sung to the tune of Alloutte.

Everyone (sung):Camp spaghetti, we love camp spaghetti, camp spaghetti that's the stuff for us.

Leader (spoken):Do you like it in your hair?

Everyone (spoken):Yes we like it in our hair.

Everyone (sung)Camp spaghetti, we love camp spaghetti, camp spaghetti that's the stuff for us.

Leader (spoken):Do you like it in you pants?

Everyone (spoken): Yes we like it in our pants.

Everyone (sung):Camp spaghetti, we love camp spaghetti, camp spaghetti that's the stuff for us.

Leader (spoken):Do you like it in your......(keep going adding whatever comes to mind - socks, ears, nose, etc.)

Paul Krebs, Coal Township, PA

I am glad we did not know this song. More than likely, one of our campers would try and act it out. Or I probably would have. Love those interactive songs. - MM


As a former Camp Director I have numerous camp songs that are worth noting but, since we can only submit one - here is a favorite:

My Reindeer is Purple
(Sung to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance)

My reindeer flys sideways - he's better than yours
My reindeer can cha cha - he can open up doors....

My reindeer is purple - yours is a pea green
My reindeer's a girl scout - he can dig a latrine...

Repeat for as long as you can stand it!

Nancy White, St. Paul, MN


My wife Ann Hinds, attended Brownie and Girl Scout Camps for nearly 10 years. Her memories of the songs sung around camp fires or in a vehicle to get somewhere are very vivid. I have to listen to the songs she sings and remembers at the drop of a note!

Below is one of the camp songs my wife has tormented me with over the years. Her all time favorite [not mine of course] is the Jeep Song, a silly song of nothing.

There is no known tune. It is done all in a rush and both the listener and the singers get breathless. But it does have a bouncy rythym.

Ann has offered to recite the tune over the phone if someone wanted to use this song. Ann could be reached at home Wed 7/2 at 617-471-2946. Also on Friday 7/4 and Sat 7/5.

We look forward to hearing the selections on Saturdays show. Keep up the good work!

The Jeep Song

Oh, I was born one night one morn when the whistle went toot-toot.
You can buy a cake or fry a snake when the mudpies are in bloom.
Do six and six make nine? Does ice grow on a vine?
Is Old Black Joe an eskimo in the good old summertime?

Oh, you loopty-loop in your noodle soup just to give those socks a shine.
I'm guilty, judge, I ate the fudge, three cheers for Auld Lang Syne.
I cannot tell a lie, I hawked an apple pie.
It's on a tree beneath the sea above the bright blue sky.

Oh, if Easter eggs don't wash their legs their children will have ducks. (Quack, quack)
I'd rather buy a lemon pie for forty-seven bucks.
Way down in Bar-ce-lonia they jumped into the pho-nia
But that is all balo-nia, Pad-erewski blow your horn! (Toot, toot)

Jim Hinds, Quincy, MA


The best camp songs I know are the ones that my daughters have brought home over the last 9 summers - I definitely am vicariously enjoying camp and the whole sing-along experience through them. One of the most outrageously close-to-the-edge ones they sang was during their elementary years when they (hopefully) didn't understand the full implications of the song. Unfortunately, the tune doesn't follow any popular melody- you just have to know it

There once was a farmer who lived by the crick
And every morning he played with his.....

BANJO in the moonlight for the lady next door,
You could tell just by looking that she was a.....

DECENT young lady who rolled in the grass,
And when she rolled over you could see her bare...

FEET, She looked like a horse and she walked like a duck,
She promised the farmer a new way to...

RAISE a good family, teach the girls how to knit,
The boys in the backyard are shoveling......

DIRT for the flowers which are doing quite well,
If you don't like my story you can go straight to....

SLEEP!!!!!

Pam, Dena, & Ali Schlamowitz, Vero Beach, FL


We're coming, we're coming,
Our brave little band.
On the right side of Temperance
We do take our stand.
We don't use tobacco because we do think
That the people who chew it are likely to drink.

Away, away with rum, by gum,
With rum, by gum, with rum, by gum.
Away, away with rum, by gum,
The song of the Temperance Ladies.

We never eat cookies
'Cause cookies have yeast,
And one little bite turns a man to a beast.
O can you imagine a sadder disgrace
Than a man in the gutter with crumbs on his face.

We never eat fruitcake
'Cause fruitcake has rum,
And one little bite turns a man to a bum.
O can you imagine a sorrier sight
Than a man who gets drunk on just one little bite.

We never eat corn
'Cause from it comes booze,
And one little bite makes a man sure he'll lose.
O can you imagine a sorrier slob
Than a man who gets plastered from corn on the cob.

We never use mouthwash
'Cause we know doggone well
That the alcohol content can send a man to (GASP!).
O can you image a sorrier scene
Than a man down in Hell 'cause he used Listerine

It's kind of long, but lots of fun. It has been around our church for years. I first learned it as a sponsor on a 2-week looooong choir tour with about 70 teenagers who sang it from Oklahoma City to Florida and back.

The tune is catchy, but not a familiar one. I'd love to sing it for you!

Delores Walker, Oklahoma City, OK


Sung at camp Widgiwagen in Ely, Minnesota

Buzzard Song

If I had the wings of a buzzard (buzzard)
Into the woods I would fly (would fly)
There to remain as a buzzard (buzzard)
Until the day that I die (I die)

If I had the boots of a pioneer (pioneer)
Into the woods I would stomp (would stomp)
There to remain as a pioneer (pioneer)
Until the day that I die (I die).

Sasha Aslanian, St. Paul MN

No anedote, except that this song is best sung in the worst, off-key voice one can muster, with a hick sort of pronunciation.


Set 1 - Set 2 - Set 3 - Set 4 - Set 5 - Set 6 - Set 7 - Set 8 - Set 9 - Set 10

Camp-Song Songbook

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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