Ta ra ra boom de ay

Parodies of the 1890s tune “Ta rah ra boom de ay” come in two distinct versions: one about a dead teacher, and one about sex. If there’s one about bodily functions out there, it’d be a regular trifecta!

I don’t know the REAL “Ta ra ra boom de ay” song at all, but I do know the dead teacher version. It’s because of this that I thought sauerkraut was a type of fish for years:

Ta ra ra boom de ay
we had no school today
our teacher passed away
we threw her in the bay
she scared the fish away
she won’t come out
she smells like sauerkraut
ta ra ra boom de ay
.

I first heard this the same day I heard “Joy To The World The Teacher’s Dead.” They were sung in a medly by a kid who sat behind me in first grade. Sherman (book at right) collected versions dating it back to at least the 1960s.

Other versions from around the same time (dated to at least the 70s, and probably going back at least 20 years before that) feature variations like:

Ta ra ra boom de ay
how did I get this way?
Was it the boy next door?
He pushed me on the floor
He lifed up my skirt
he said it wouldn’t hurt
and now before my eyes
I see my tummy rise

Kay Shapero collected this one from Brent B:

Ta rah rah boom de ay
I met a girl today
I paid her fifty cents
To go behind the fence
Her mother was surprised
To see her tummy rise
Her father jumped for joy
It was a baby boy

From Southern California, ’70s

Meanwhile, across the pond, Iona Opie collected this on in the 70s:

Ta ra ra boom de ay
my knickers flew away
they had a holiday
they came back yesterday

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61 Comments

  1. Merav Hoffman

    I learned one from my dad, who probably learned it in Toronto, circa 1958.

    Tra la la boom de yay
    Did you have yours today?
    I had mine yesterday
    That's why I walk this way!

    I always thought it was supposed to be about inoculations, but I never actually asked my dad.

    Reply
  2. Sonya

    Ta ra ra boom de ay;
    I'll take your pants away,
    And while you're standing there
    I'll take your underwear.

    Seattle, 1970s

    Haven't thought about these in ages. Great website by the way.

    Reply
  3. BusinessLaw

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    There's no more school today
    Our teacher flew away
    She landed in the bay
    Ta ra ra boom de ay

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Tah rah rah boom-de-ay,
    I met a girl today,
    I gave her fifty cents,
    to go behind the fence

    I pulled her panties down
    and laid her on the ground,
    it was such a surprise
    to see her belly rise….

    SW Mo, 6th grade classoom, around, 1977…

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    This is very close to a previous posting, but I think it's pithier, terser, and closer to the sparest poetry and gets to the point in nothing flat, containing a whole series of ideas in just a few words. I first heard this in Omaha in the early 50's, maybe in 1934.

    Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay,
    How Did I Get this way,
    It was the boy next door,
    He laid me on the floor,
    My mommy was surprised,
    To see my tummy rise,
    And now my baby cries,
    Ra Ra Ra Boom

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Chicago, early 90's:

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    I stole your pants away
    and left you standing there
    In day-old underwear (or dirty underwear)

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Mom used to have a little diddy from her school years (Seattle, early 1950's) but cannot remember the last verse… it was:

    Tra la la la boom de ay
    Have you had yours today?
    I had mine yesterday
    Thats why I walk this way
    He laid me on the couch
    All I said was ouch……

    Then there were two more lines but she cannot remember them!!! Anyone else know this version?

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    we had no school today
    our teacher passed away
    we threw her in the bay
    she scared the fish away
    and when we pulled her out
    she smelled like sauerkraut

    USA 1970s

    Reply
  9. Celeste

    My cousin sings this version:

    ta la la boom de-ay
    I lost my pants today
    I found them yesterday
    ta la la boom de-ay

    Cincinnati, 2010

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    San Joaquin Valley, Ca – Late 70's elementary school..we had the long version.

    Tra ra ra boom de ay
    I met a boy today
    He gave me fifty cents
    To go behind the fence
    He pulled my panties down
    Then pushed me on the ground
    He lifted up my skirt
    And said it wouldn't hurt
    My mommy was surprised
    To see my belly rise
    My daddy jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy!

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Bakersfield, CA 1957

    Tra la la boom de ay
    have you had yours today
    I had mine yesterday
    that's why I feel this way
    he laid me on the couch
    and all I said was ouch
    now junior's on the way
    tra la la boom de ay

    Reply
  12. jdls d

    Tra la la boom de ay,
    I'll take your pants away,
    And while your standing there,
    I'll take your underwear!

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom dee day my knickers flew away, they went on holiday,
    They came back yesterday.

    They said they had some fun,
    they found another bum.
    …..
    My father knows the rest but wont tell me.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    My mom told this is what she learned when she was in fifth grade:

    Tra ra ra boom de ay
    How did I get this way
    It was the neighbor boy
    He laid me on the floor
    He stuck it into me
    Then took it out again…..

    I don't know the rest.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    My wife and I read thru all of these and be it coincidental we are from the San Juaquin Valley and this was the exact song as we remember….

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom de ay
    Did you get yours today?
    I got mine yesterday
    From the boy across the way
    He gave me fifty cents
    To go behind the fence
    He pulled my panties down
    And threw me on the ground
    My mommy was surprised
    To see my belly rise.
    I can't go out to play
    'Cause Junior's on the way.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    Maumee, OH around 1970

    Reply
  18. anneconda

    that's the one my mom taught me. remembered it while doing laundry today, looked it up and this is what I found. Awesome.

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom deay
    my teacher died today
    we threw her in the bay
    to scare the sharks away

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    Eugene Oregon 1960's

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom see ay
    they took my pants away
    they made me sit there
    without my underwear.
    St Louis 60s

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom see ay
    they took my pants away
    they made me sit there
    without my underwear.
    St Louis 60s

    Reply
  23. Jayson Cooper

    My grandfather used to sing it Tra La La Boom De A
    They took my pants away
    They threw me in the air
    Without any underwear.

    Reply
  24. Anonymous

    My mom in the 80's taught me it this way:
    Ba da ba boom she ay
    She took my clothes away
    And left me standing there
    In just my underwear!

    But my mother is also known for making up lyrics when she can't remember the real ones!

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    I pooped my pants today
    De de de de dede
    I have to go peepee

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    I herd one, something about gay rape

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Tra la la boom de ay
    I met a boy today
    He gave me fifty cents
    To go behind the fence
    He counted 1 2 3
    And stuck it in to me
    He counted 4 and 5

    I forgot the rest. Oakland, ca 1977 or so

    Reply
  28. allyson

    "Ta ra ra boom de ay
    ta ra ra boom de ay
    I had my lunch today
    with the boy across the way
    he threw me on the couch
    and all I said was ouch
    my mother wss suprised to see my stomach out!"

    Reply
  29. allyson

    Btw I learned this on the playground in the 70's while in grammar school. ahh recess.

    Reply
  30. Steve L

    Tra la la boom be yay, have you had your's today? I got mine yesterday, from the girl across the way. Heard on playground in the early 60's. San Fernando Valley

    Reply
  31. Anita Gorman

    I heard this version in Elmhurst, Queens, circa 1946. I learned it from a friend and sang it to my mother, who was not amused.

    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
    Did you get yours today?
    I got mine yesterday,
    from a boy across the way.
    My mother was surprised
    to see my stomach rise.
    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay, Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay.”

    Reply
  32. Eileen Fisher

    Maybe its just my way of thinking but if you sbile from rigeing it slow it sounds like la dona mobile from rigeletto.

    Reply
  33. Eileen Fisher

    If you sing it slow … and i rememtber the chrus from the sixties in nj

    Reply
  34. Eileen Fisher

    Maybe its just my way of thinking but if you sbile from rigeing it slow it sounds like la dona mobile from rigeletto.

    Reply
  35. Debi

    ta ra ra boom de ay
    what shall i wear today
    when you come up to play
    ta ra ra boom de ay

    Reply
  36. dalas66

    I remember this version from the early 1970's Philadelphia area…

    Tra la la boom de ay
    We have no school today
    Our teacher passed away
    We shot her yesterday.
    As for the principal
    he's in the hospital,
    As for the secretary
    She's in the cemetery.
    As for the janitor
    He ran off to Canad(er)
    Tra la la boom de ay
    We have no school today.

    Reply
  37. la

    from late 50s early 60s MT

    ta da da boom de eh
    how did I get this way
    it was the boy next door
    he laid me on the floor
    then to my surprise
    my tummy began to rise
    I remember still how hard
    how hard my mommy cried

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Reply
  39. Testicles That Is All

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  40. Testicles That Is All

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    My wife had twins today
    She has them every day
    Except for Saturday!

    My dad made up his own words I think! I still sing this 20 years on!

    Reply
  41. In the Kitchen With Don

    When I was a kid in the the town of Poplar Bluff in Southeast Missouri (early 1960's), we sang it as:

    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
    My cat had pups today.
    She laid them yesterday.
    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay

    Reply
  42. 99b08184-98cd-11e3-91b1-000bcdcb2996

    Tra la la boom de ay
    We have no school today
    Our teacher passed away
    She died of tooth decay
    We threw her in the bay
    She scared the fish away
    And when we took her out
    She smelled like sauerkraut!

    Reply
  43. Trust NoOne

    We are the Can Can girls
    We wear our hair in curls
    We wear our [can't remember what this word was]
    Way up above our knees
    We wear our father's shirts
    We are a bunch of flirts
    We are the Can Can girls
    Hip hip hooray!

    1960 Kankakee, Illinois (yes the same Kankakee mentioned in "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" by Groucho Marx) I would love to know if anyone else ever heard this version and knows what that missing word is. It's bugged me for years.

    Reply
  44. Choti Giri

    Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay
    Have you had yours today?
    I had mine yesterday
    A girl upon the way

    I laid her on the couch
    And all she said was ouch!
    Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay
    Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay

    Reply
  45. naydi

    1970s-early 80s metro Boston area:

    Tra la la boom de ay
    How did I get this way?
    It was the boy next door
    He pushed me on the floor
    He shouted 1 2 3
    He stuck it into me
    My mother was surprised
    To see my belly rise
    My father jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy!

    The baby boy part was always said with a sweet little, cutesy turn of voice. Children celebrating rape – what a world…

    Reply
  46. Don Camp

    1969 in St. Paul, Mn.

    Tra ra ra boom de ay
    They took my pants away
    And threw me in the air
    Then I lost my underwear
    And when I hit the street
    I skinned up both my knees
    And what was left of me
    Was nothing for you to see

    Reply
  47. Aidan Hawkins

    Ta Ra Ra Boom De ay
    I'll take your pants away
    ZIP!

    Reply
  48. Misse Viscous

    I learned almost exactly this one in Vancouver BC but second half goes:

    He stuck a thing in me
    and counted 1-2-3
    He pulled it out again
    and counted up to 10!

    … then there was more but I can't remember it at all.

    Reply
  49. Misse Viscous

    late 70s, early 80s

    Reply
  50. Misse Viscous

    YES!! you just answered the question I've been racking my brains for: what famous opera aria is this based on??

    Reply
  51. Misse Viscous

    dungarees??

    Reply
  52. Misse Viscous

    Ta Ra Ra BOOM de ay
    I met a boy today
    He paid me fifty cents
    To go behind the fence

    He stuck a thing in me
    and counted 1-2-3
    He pulled it out again
    and counted up to 10

    After this I'm not sure but I think it went:

    My mother was surprised
    To see my belly rise
    My father _?_ _?_ _?_
    And threw me out the door!

    This was Victoria, BC, very late 70s or early 80s.

    Reply
  53. Misse Viscous

    Possibly "My father hit the floor/Then threw me out the door" ??

    Reply
  54. Misse Viscous

    Music hall Verdi.

    Reply
  55. Donna

    Ha, this is awesome. I looked this is up remembering the "our teacher passed away" version and was reminded of the dirty version. I learned it in mid 1970's Cleveland Ohio as

    Tarara Boom De Ay
    I met a boy today
    He gave me fifty cents
    To go behind the fence
    He pushed me to the ground
    He pulled my panties down
    He stuck it into me
    Oh gosh oh golly gee
    My mommy was surprised
    to see my belly rise
    My father jumped for joy
    It was a baby boy

    Reply
  56. Chrissie Testa

    I know a similar one, but it goes like this:

    Tra la la boom de ay
    I met a boy today
    He paid me 50 cents
    We went behind the fence
    He pulled my pants down
    And knocked me to the ground
    He shouted 1, 2, 3
    Then shoved it into me

    I feel like there is another verse, but I can't remember!

    Reply
  57. Marco Baroz

    There was one I vaguely remember, El Paso TX early to mid 70's
    "Tar ra ra boom de ay/they took my pants away/they threw me in a ditch" and that's all I remember! Anyone??

    Reply
  58. Shanita Adams

    We used to say it this way in Maryland in the early 80s:
    Ta ra da boom de ay
    I can't come out to play because of yesterday
    Two boys around my way
    They gave me 50 cents to lay across the bench
    They said it wouldn't hurt to stick it up my skirt
    My father was surprised to see my belly rise
    My mother was disgust to see my belly bust

    Reply
  59. Unknown

    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    There is no school today
    Our teacher passed away
    We killed her yesterday
    We threw her in the bay
    She scared the sharks away
    And when we pulled her out
    She smelled like sauerkraut

    Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" comics, 1983

    Reply
  60. AWG, Chicago area

    My friends and I grew up outside of Chicago in the early 1960's and we would sing it with these lyrics:

    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
    Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
    Did you do yours today?
    I did mine yesterday

    I paid her fifty cents
    To walk across the fence
    She laid down on the couch
    I shoved mine up her pouch

    Her mother was surprised
    To see her belly rise
    Her dad was overjoyed
    It was a baby boy

    I have to admit that back then and at that age, the song didn't make much sense to me, but we boys all sang it anyway. It's interesting how many similar yet different versions there are… all local colloquialisms, I suppose. I wonder where the original "got her pregnant" version was started.

    Reply
  61. Desan

    This one was from my grandma; from the 1950’s in Ontario. She came from Germany after the war….so maybe a creative Anglo version? Kids sang a song with the same tune in Europe in the 1930-40’s she said.
    Ta ra ra boom de ay
    Did you wash your bum today?
    I washed it yesterday,
    To keep the flies away
    It smelled so bad you see
    Nobody would sit by me
    Now Ii am so happy
    Etc.

    Reply

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