Hitler is a Jerk

Whistle while you work!
Hilter is a jerk!
Mussolini bit his weenie
now it doesn’t work

Well, we can SORT OF date this one – it goes back no further than the 1930s, when “Whistle While You Work” came out. Ever since then, it’s been one of a large number of Hitler-related schoolyard songs. The other goes like:
In 1944
Hitler went to war
he lost his pants in the middle of france
in 1944
(and so on, with other years).

Since they started showing up in books collecting these things in the 1950s, folklorists have all asked the same question: do these kids singing the song even know who Hitler was? I’d say most of them over the age of 8 have at least a general idea that Hitler was a guy we fought in a war, though I doubt one in 20 could tell you who Mussolini was by the 1970s. There are plenty of similar phenomema; “Charlie Chaplin” and “Shirley Temple” rhymes were common on playgrounds well after the careers of Chaplin and Temple had wound down to a point where kids had never seen their movies, and Davy Crocket parodies greatly outlived the Davy Crocket craze of the mid 1950s that inspired millions of otherwise rational kids to go around wearing coonskin caps.

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25 Comments

  1. Paul

    Heard this as Mussolini burned his weenie.

    Also, another stanza, which may or may not be the result of my British family ancestors:

    Whistle while you work,
    Hitler is a jerk,
    He's so barmy,
    Sold his army,
    Now it doesn't work.

    Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario, 1970s.

    Reply
  2. Kamaha`o

    i heard this one
    1944 hitler went to war
    mussolini bit his weenie
    and now it don`t squirt no more

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    First heard this on Dr. Demento's radio show in the 1970s:

    Whistle while you work
    'Cause Hitler is a jerk.
    Mussolini bit his weenie,
    Now it doesn't squirt.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Vestal NY 1969
    Whistle while you work
    Hitler is a jerk
    Mussolini bit his weenie
    now it doesn't squirt

    Reply
  5. Phil

    Two racist ones I remember hearing on the playground in 1964 and 1970 respectfully, South San Francisco, California. (is this Disney related ?)

    In 1964,
    my father was in the war,
    he pulled the trigger and killed a nigger,
    and that was the end of the war.

    My name is Gonzales,
    I sell enchiladas,
    I make 5 dollar a day.
    I go home to Lucy,
    and play with her pussy,
    and she take my 5 dollar away.

    Reply
  6. Phil

    3 more from the 60's in South San Francisco, California.

    three six nine,
    the goose laid fine,
    the monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line,
    the line broke,
    the monkey got choked,
    and we all lived together in a little row boat.

    My eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school,
    we have tortured every teacher we have broken every rule,
    we have boarded up the office we have hung the principal,
    its truth is marching on…..

    Mother, mother I declare,
    I see someone's underwear.
    Not too big, not too small,
    just the size of a cannon ball.

    Reply
  7. Phil

    Beverly Hillbillies TV themes. South San Francisco, California, 1970.

    Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed,
    striped down granny threw her on the bed,
    down came a zipper out came a worm,
    out of the worm come bubbin' sperm.

    Tell you a story 'bout a man named Jed,
    poor mountainier barely kept his family fed.
    Then one day he was shootin' at the grass and up came a snake and bit him in the ass.

    Reply
  8. Rob Cowan

    Winnipeg, Canada, 60's

    Whistle while you work
    Hitler is a jerk
    Diefenbaker is a faker
    Eisenhower has no power
    Mouselini bit his weenie
    Now it doesnt work

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Heard this on Long Island in the mid 1970's

    Reply
  10. Steve Brook

    Heard in London about 1944:
    Whistle while you work
    Chamberlain bought a shirt
    Hitler wore it
    Churchill tore it
    Whistle while you work.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    I heard and sang the version at the top near Sudbury Ontario in the late '50s and early 60's.

    Reply
  12. Harry Marriner

    Sung by Bird Rock Elementary School (La Jolla, CA) kids on the playground in 1952 during Dwight D. Eisenhower presidential campaign:
    Whistle while you work,
    For Stevenson's a jerk,
    Eisenhower's got the power,
    Let him do the work.

    Reply
  13. karrinina

    My mom (born in 1943) told me she sang this song but her version substituted "pulled his weenie" for "bit his weenie"

    Reply
  14. karrinina

    My mom (born in 1943) told me she sang this song but her version substituted "pulled his weenie" for "bit his weenie"

    Reply
  15. John Montague

    yup, that's the one I heard back then.

    Reply
  16. Stephen

    When I was a kid growing up in Washington State this was the version we kids used to sing in the neighborhood:
    Whistle while you work
    Hitler was a jerk
    Rosellini bit his weinie
    Now it doesn't work

    Reply
  17. The Ghost of Richard Nixon

    West LA in the mid 70's had this version:

    Whistle while you work,
    Hitler is a jerk.
    Mussolini bit his weenie
    now it doesn't work.

    We also did

    Abraham Lincoln was a good ole man
    he washed his face in a frying pan
    jumped out the window with his dick in his hand
    saying "oochie-coochie baby, I'm superman!"

    We also had

    Daniel Boone was a man,
    he was a big man
    but the bear was bigger
    so he ran like a n***** up a tree

    Good times.

    Good times …

    Reply
  18. Maghion

    In 1944, my father went to war
    He laid a fart
    Blew 'em apart
    That was the end of the war

    Reply
  19. kathat0

    I grew up in Washington state in the 60's and it was always
    "Whistle while you work, Eisenhower's a jerk.
    Rosellini bit his weenie, now it doesn't work

    Reply
  20. John

    There was another version in the early 1960s. A product of the Cold War era:

    Whistle while you work
    Krushchev is a jerk

    I can’t remember how the entire song went. There was some mention of JFK. Probably inspired by the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

    Reply
  21. BigZeke48

    This is what I sang in the playground.

    Whistle while you work,
    Hitler was a jerk.
    Vincent Freeny bite his weenie,
    Now it doesn’t work!

    Reply
  22. C. Stuart Andelman

    Our Playground ditty was a bit lewder

    Whistle while you work
    Hitler is a jerk
    Mussolini sucked his weenie
    Now it doesn’t work

    Reply
    1. JD

      That’s pretty much the version I heard in 2nd grade, the winter of 1966. . .mid-Ohio valley region:
      “Whistle while you work
      Hitler was a jerk
      Mussolini sucked his weenie and now it does not work.”

      Reply
  23. AC

    1964, My mother was in the war
    She pulled the trigger and shot a nigger
    Right through the kitchen door
    (New Orleans grade school, 1970s)

    Or
    McDonalds is my kinda place
    They feed me rattlesnakes
    They put boogers in my shakes
    Flies in my fries
    Last time that I went there
    They even stole my underwear
    McDonalds is my kind of place.
    (From my half-sister from Florida in the 1970s.

    Reply
  24. Ben Wilkat

    Rob had the same verse we had in Montreal in the early 60’s
    Whistle while you work
    Hitler is a jerk
    Diefenbaker is a faker
    Eisenhower has no power
    Mussolini bit his weenie
    Now it doesn’t work

    Reply

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