We read the lyrics to this one at my school in Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series, which we had no idea was really a collection of stories that had been going around playgrounds for upwards of 200 years. Just one of many versions:
Don’t ever laugh when a hearse goes by,
Or you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a bloody sheet,
And bury you under about six feet.
All goes well for a couple of weeks,
But then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And puss comes out of you like whipped cream.
You lap it up with a piece of bread,
And that’s what you eat when you are dead.
This song goes back a very, very long time, and has spread all over the English speaking world. There are several versions posted over on Mama Lisa’s site about childrens songs (which focuses a lot less on the subversive ones than I do).
The “worms crawl in” line was about the only part that was current at my school. We new the song, since it was in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” but that didn’t teach us the melody!