There’s a place in France

All together now:

There’s a place in France
where the naked ladies dance
there’s a hole in the wall
where the man can see it all
but the men don’t care
cause the chew their underwear

So THAT’s why Charlie Chaplin had to go to France to teach the ladies how to dance! I’ve no idea how long this one goes back – certainly no earlier than the early 1890s, though, as that’s all the further back the melody goes. It was apparently written in the build-up to the 1893 World’s Fair by Sol Bloom, a promoter (though as a Chicago historian, I can tell you right now that you have to take pretty much any World’s Fair story with a grain or two of salt.

Josepha Sherman records a version girls would sing in the early 90s:

There’s a place in Venus
where the men show their penis

This is fairly unusual, as actual mentions of body parts are fairly rare in these things – usually they dance around it (ie “Grabbed him by his / cocktails, ginger ale, two and six a glass” and others in the almost cussing genre.

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56 Comments

  1. Merav Hoffman

    I heard this as:

    In the Land of Oz
    All the ladies wear no bras
    But the men don't care
    'Cuz they wear no underwear

    (London, ON, circa 1980-83)

    Reply
  2. Amy

    I learned the last line of this -as an adult- in Cleveland in the late nineties.
    "And each pair they chew, cost a dollar ninety-two."

    Reply
  3. SilverSpring80s

    The one I heard said "But they ladies don's care, 'cause they chew their underwear.

    But it continued:

    On the other side of France where they don't wear pants
    they need some grass to cover up their ass
    And they need something mooshy to cover up their pussy.

    Reply
  4. skyway

    South Dakota, 1990s –
    We sang the second line as "where the BOYS can see it all"
    and followed it with "they've got rubies in their boobies" (?!)
    Sadly, I have no memory of the last line.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    We sang it as;

    In the Land of Oz
    All the ladies wear no bras
    But the men don't care
    'Cause they wear no underwear

    This was in the late 90s, in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario.

    Is it just me or is the tune of this the same as the tune in the beginning of that new song by Ke$ha "Take it off"?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp4P4h9I9X4

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    we have always sang
    theres a place on mars where the women smoke cigars
    and the men wear bikinis
    and the children drink martinis
    every drink you take
    is enough to kill a snake
    when the snake is dead
    you put diomonds in its head
    when the dimond breaks
    its the end of 1998

    i dont know when i heard this but i have know it all my life and im only 15
    my dad always said
    theres a place in france
    where the aligatrs dance
    one couldnt dance so they kicked him in the pants
    the pants cost a dollar ninety-eight (whee wheo-whislteing it)

    Reply
  7. Courteny

    There's a hole in France
    Where the women wear no pants
    But the men don't care
    They don't wear no underwear
    They stick it out
    And make the women shout.

    -Indianapolis, mid to late 1980s.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    About 1962 in Los Angeles California public elementary school, about 5th grade.

    There's a place in France
    Where the women wear no pants
    And the men walk around
    With their ???wee-wees??? upside down

    This was sung to a particular tune that I think is very well-known, which should be documented here. A sort of dance-hall, burlesque ditty… The popularization of the tune centers around Sol Bloom in 1893:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2695/what-is-the-origin-of-the-song-theres-a-place-in-france-where-the-naked-ladies-dance

    http://www.shira.net/streets-of-cairo.htm
    That "Snake Charmer" Song

    Reply
  9. 2of3

    I have heard somewhere that the original version of this went like this:

    All the ladies in France do the hoochy-coochy dance.
    All the men in France they wear whiskey in their pants.
    (referring to a hip flask, I assume)

    But we always sung it like the OP

    Reply
  10. Beka Wildman

    I heard this version in Wheatland, CA around 1991… at least I KNOW we sang it then:
    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies do a dance.
    And the dance that they do
    Was written by a Jew.
    But the Jew couldn't dance
    So they kicked him in the pants.
    But the pants that he wore
    Cost a dollar sixty-four…
    PLUS TAX!

    But it was all sung in one breath…

    Reply
    1. Lee

      This version is from Houston, TX circa 1974-8

      There’s a place in France

      Where the naked ladies dance

      And the dance they do

      Was written by Magoo

      But Magoo couldn’t dance

      So they SHOT him in the pants
      And the pants he wore

      Cost a dollar ninety-four

      Plus Tax!

      Very similar to other versions, with slightly more expensive pants and Magoo getting shot in the pants. Texans love their guns.

      Reply
  11. Beka Wildman

    I heard this version in Wheatland, CA around 1991… at least I KNOW we sang it then:
    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies do a dance.
    And the dance that they do
    Was written by a Jew.
    But the Jew couldn't dance
    So they kicked him in the pants.
    But the pants that he wore
    Cost a dollar sixty-four…
    PLUS TAX!

    But it was all sung in one breath…

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    the version ive always sang was.
    There's a place in France
    Where the necked ladies dance
    theres a hole in the wall
    where the men can see it all
    the wemon dont care
    couse the men dont whare no underwear
    the men whare glasses to cover there asses

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Carbondale, IL circa 1988:
    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies do a dance
    And the dance they do
    Is enough to kill a zoo
    And the zoo they kill
    I enough to take a pill
    And the pill they take
    costs a dollar ninety eight plus tax

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Upper Michigan 1970s

    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies wear no pants
    And they do the boogle loo
    When they get on top of you

    Reply
  15. Smokey

    early 90's South Texas

    There's a place called France
    where the women where no pants
    there's a hole in the wall
    where the men can see it all
    the guards don't care
    cause there in there underwear
    the king and queen…. cant remember the rest

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    50's – 60's Los Angeles,CA

    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies wear no pants
    And the men go 'round
    With their weiners hanging down….

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    Early 2000s, Boston area:

    Coca-Cola went to town
    Diet soda knocked him down
    7-Up picked him up
    Took him to Dr. Pepper
    Dr. Pepper gave him
    Jelly rolls
    Sleeping pills
    In the land of Mars, where the ladies smoke cigars
    Every puff they take is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead they put roses in their head
    When the roses die they put diamonds in their eyes
    When the diamonds fade then it's time to bake a cake
    When the cake is done then it's 1991!

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    There's a place in France where the people wear no pants. When they climb up a pole you can see their hiney hole 😉

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies do a dance
    and the dance they do
    is the hoochie coochie coo
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Coca cola went to town
    Pepsi Cola shot him down
    Dr. Pepper fixed him up
    Now he's drinking 7-Up

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    I actually know a slightly different version of the snake one mentioned earlier.

    There's a place on mars
    Where the women smoke cigars
    And where the men wear bikinis
    And the children drink martinis

    Every breath you take
    Is enough to kill a snake
    And when the snake is dead
    They put roses on its head

    When the roses die
    They put diamonds in its eyes
    When the diamonds crack
    They put mustard on its back

    When the mustard fades
    They call the king of Spades
    And the king of Spades says
    FREEZE

    Everyone stops moving at the last line and the first person to move loses.

    – New Jersey in the 90s

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    There's a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance
    the police dont care
    cuz they're in their underwear.

    Early 2000s Texas

    Reply
  22. toco won

    There's a place in france Where the girls wear no pants And the guys all have cox 3 feet long

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    There's a place in France
    Where the ladies love to dance
    There's a whole in the wall
    Where the men can see it all
    But the dance they do
    Is enough to kill a Jew
    And the Jew they kill is
    Enough to try a pill
    And the pill they try
    Is enough to tell a lie
    And the lie they tell
    Is enough to go to hell

    Early 90's Ohio

    Reply
  24. Anonymous

    There's a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    And the dance they do
    Is enough to kill a Jew
    And the Jew they kill
    Is enough to take a pill
    And the pill they take
    Is enough to fry a snake
    And the snake they fry
    Is enough to tell a lie
    And the lie they tell
    Is enough to go to hell

    Circa '93, Cincinnati OH

    Reply
  25. alvin

    there's a place in France
    where the alligators dance
    one didn't dance
    so they shot him in the pants
    the pants he worn
    cost a dollar eighty four.

    from kindergarten circa 1960
    Bozeman MT.

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    There's a place in Mars where the babies pee in jars
    And the men ware bikinis
    And the ladies drink martinis
    And the mustard man poured mustard on his head
    When the mustard dried there were diamonds in his eyes
    When the diamonds break it
    Is 1948 POW!!
    Mirror Mirror on the wall whos the fairest of them all..?
    Maryland 03-04)

    Reply
  27. Luke Quagliana

    There's a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    There's a hole in the wall
    Where the boys can see it all
    There's a King and a Queen
    With a rubber ding-a-ling

    Brandon Gibson 2003

    Reply
  28. Lilly

    Theres a place in france were the people wear no pants, when they clime up a pole, you can see there hiny hole!

    Reply
  29. Lilly

    Tampa Florida 2011

    theres a place in france were the people sear no pants, when they clime up a hole, you can see their hiny-hole!

    Reply
  30. tidwell2161h

    I learned it differently, too.

    Theres a place in france,
    Where the naked ladies dance
    Theres a hole in the wall,
    So the men can see it all,
    But the cops dont shoot,
    Cuz they think its kinda cute
    And all the people watching go
    MUTE
    (Every Claps after Mute)

    Theres a place on Mars
    Where the women smoke cigars
    And the men wear bikinis
    And the children drink martinis

    Every breath you take
    Is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead
    You put mustard on its head
    when the mustard dries
    you put diamonds in its eyes

    When the diamonds crack you
    FREEZE
    (Every Claps right after freeze)

    Reply
  31. jandb

    All the girls in France do the hoochi coochi dance, dance they'd do its enough to kill a Jew, Jew they'd kill its enough to take a pill, pill they'd take its enough to fry a snake, snake they'd fry, its enough to tell a lie, lie they'd tell, its enough to go to hello operator ill give you….can't remember the rest

    Reply
  32. pennyrobinsonfanclub.net

    And of course Fred Schneider (ex-B-52s) did his own version:
    "There's a monster in my pants
    And it does a scary dance…"

    http://youtu.be/KUnO4gK_56g

    One line hearkens back to these more traditional variations: "And they don't wear pants/On the other side of France."

    Reply
  33. T-Bizzle

    There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance
    There's a hole in the wall that the children all saw
    There's a king and queen with rubber ding-a-ling
    – Sugar Land, TX, Late 90's.

    Reply
  34. Caleb Cyr

    There's a place downtown,
    Where the freaks all come around.
    It's a hole in the wall.
    It's a dirty free for all.
    There's a place I know
    If you're looking for a show.
    Where they go hardcore
    And there's glitter on the floor.
    ~Ke$ha Take It Off

    Reply
  35. MrPetepuma00

    Here's how me and my friends sang it:

    There's a place in France where the alligators dance,
    the dance that they do was in vented by Magoo,
    Magoo didn't dance, so they shot him in the pants,
    the pant's that he wore cost a dollar-ninety-four,
    plus tax.

    Always had to emphasize the plus tax part, and keep in mind Mr. Magoo.
    Have fun, and I hope to remember more. Keep smiling :)

    Reply
  36. MrPetepuma00

    I heard my version in Thousand Oaks, CA in the early 1970s.

    Reply
  37. felinaofl2

    I remember this (circa mid-90s) as:
    There's a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance
    there's a hole in the wall
    where the men can see it all
    there's a King and a Queen
    with a plastic ding-a-ling.

    Reply
  38. Adrienne Budinger

    I heard it as
    In the land of France, where the naked ladies dance, there's a hole in the wall where the boys can see it all, but the boys don't care cause they chew their underwear.

    Reply
  39. Adrienne Budinger

    with a rubber ding-a-ling. xD I remember that part

    Reply
  40. socorro

    Upstate NY, late 60s/early 70s:

    In the land of France
    Where the ladies wear no pants
    And the men wear glasses
    To see the ladies' asses

    My mom's version (Newark, NJ circa 1950):

    In the land of France
    Where the ladies wear no pants
    But they do use grass
    To cover up their ass

    Reply
  41. Zoe

    There's a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    There's a hole in the wall
    Where the boys can see it all
    But please don't shoot
    Cause I think it's kinda cute
    The boys don't care
    Cause they're in their underwear

    Suburban NY, early '90s

    Reply
  42. Angela Sherman

    There is a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    There's a hold in the wall
    Where the guys see it all
    They don't care
    Cuz they still wear their underwear
    BOOOOOOOOOO

    Metro Detroit, MI late 80's

    Reply
  43. Angela Sherman

    There's a place called Kitties
    Where the girlies show their titties
    If you buy a lap dance
    You'll get a tent in your pants
    Try not to stare
    When you see that Kooter has no hair
    At the end of her shift
    Ask if she could use a lift
    It will cost at least grand
    But you wont have to use your hand
    A lesson you will learn
    When your wee wee starts to burn
    Now it's off to the doc
    Cuz you forgot to wrap your C*ck
    He will do some tests
    And then he'll send you home with meds
    You're not free
    Because you could still have HIV
    You have wait around a week
    And you didn't get no sleep
    The phone starts to ring
    And the results make you sing
    This time you got lucky
    Cuz that ho was seriously funky
    Next time don't be silly
    Put a rubber on that willy
    Girls that are trash
    Will give you a rash
    An hour of pleasure
    Can change your life forever

    Heard the head start kids singing this last week..they really are growing up fast these days 😉

    Reply
  44. sky troke

    There's a place in France
    where the naked ladies dance
    there's a hole in the wall
    where the men can see it all
    and they way the shake
    its enough to kill a snake
    when they snake is dead
    they put roses in its head
    when the roses die
    they put diamonds in its eyes
    when the diamonds break
    they do another shake

    Cali or new mexico about 13 years ago? idr

    Reply
  45. John

    There's a place in France where the women wear no pants,
    And the men go round with their yo-yos hanging down.

    Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1950s

    Reply
    1. Cathy

      There’s a place in France
      Where the women wet their pants
      And the boys go around
      With their yo-yos hanging down

      I learned this in kindergarten and took it totally literally. I thought the women peed their pants and the boys had real yo-yos. My mom told me not to sing it (but she didn’t say why–only that it was Not Nice)

      Small town Oregon, early 1960s

      Reply
  46. Bo

    There's a place in France where the alligators dance
    but one wouldn't dance so they kicked him in the pants
    and the pants he wore cost a dollar ninety-four

    Atlanta suburbs late 1960s

    Reply
  47. Bo

    There's a place in France where the alligators dance
    but one wouldn't dance so they kicked him in the pants
    and the pants he wore cost a dollar ninety-four

    Atlanta suburbs 1968

    Reply
  48. S Michaelis

    There's a place called mars
    Where the ladies wear no bras
    and the men don't care
    cause they don't wear underwear
    and they don't wear pants in the naked hula dance
    but they wear some grass to cover up their ass.

    Reply
  49. Nancy Burks Worcester

    No one sang my (Texas) version?
    there's a town in France
    Where the people wear no pants
    And the men have something hanging down.

    Reply
  50. Traci Laub

    hahahha I learned it as
    There’s a place in France
    where the ALLIGATORS DANCE
    and the dance they do,
    was taught by Magoo.
    But Magoo couldn’t dance,
    so he kicked them in the pants.
    And the pants he wore,
    cost a dollar 94,
    plus tax!

    Reply
  51. Anonymous

    There’s a place in France
    Where the naked ladies dance
    And the way they shake
    Is enough to kill a snake
    When the snake is dead
    They put roses in his head
    When the roses die
    It’s in 19_5.

    Some kids said 1995 some said 1925 most common was 1945.
    Also some kids put rubies in the snake’s head.
    That was the early 90s in NY.

    Reply
  52. Danielle

    There’s a place downtown,
    Where the freaks all come around.
    It’s a hole in the wall.
    It’s a dirty free for all.
    Take it off, turn me on, take it off

    There’s a place I know
    If you’re looking for a show.
    Where they go hardcore
    And there’s glitter on the floor.
    Take it off, turn me on, take it off

    EVERYBODY TAKE IT OFF!

    (Ke$ha song from 2010, taught to me in NJ)

    Reply
  53. InvaderYoukoChan

    There’s a place in Edo
    Where all the strippers go
    To take off their clothes
    Touch your knees, touch your toes
    And the snake charmers
    Sold their snakes to farmers
    And the farmers paid
    Their snakes to the king of spades
    And the king of spades said
    “FREEZE!”

    (Japan, 2000s)

    Reply

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