Tarzan, the Monkey Man

Here’s one that was well known at my school:

Tarzan, the monkey man
got no brains, but he’s got a tan

A more common version seems to have been:

Tarzan, the monkey man
swinging on a rubber band.

The Delaware Folklore Archives recorded this from a sixth grader in 1973.

Another Tarzan bit recorded by the Knapps in Indiana in the 1970s went:

Tarzan swings, Tarzan falls
Tarzan lands right on his balls

Jasan, a reader, sent in this variation he heard in Maryland in the early 1980s:
Tarzan swing, tarzan fall
Tarzan bust his titty ball
what color was his blood?
(The person that the caller pointed to on the word blood had to pick a color. It was usually red, but sometimes a smart person would pick a color that had the right number of letters for the desired result.)
R-E-D spells the word red and you are not it.

(Note: cheating at counting-out games has been recorded about as long as counting-out games)

Josepha Sherman recorded a couple of varitions:

Tarzen, the monkey man
swinging on a rubber band
pop goes the rubber band, down goes the monkey man

(Bedford, NY, early 1960s)

I can’t help but guess that variations probably go back to around the 1930s, when the Tarzan movies were at the peak of popularity, though it wasn’t recorded until the 60s or 70s.

Another one that Simon J. Bronner recorded, dated to the late 60s or early 70s, which was also known to Jason in the early 80s, went:

Tarzan, Tarzan, through the air
Tarzan lost his underwear
Tarzan say “me don’t care
Jane will make me another pair
Jane, Jane through the air
Jane lost her underwear
Jane say “me don’t care
Boy make me another pair”
Boy, Boy, through the air
Boy lost his underwear
Boy say “me don’t care
Cheetah make me another pair”
Cheetah Cheetah through the air
Cheetah lost his underwear
Cheetah say “Me don’t care
Me don’t wear no underwear!”

What versions did you know?

(Visited 9,504 times, 12 visits today)

53 Comments

  1. cee

    central ohio, early 90s:

    Here comes Tarzan.
    Swinging on a rubber band.
    crashed into a frying pan.

    oooh that smarts!
    hope it don't peel.
    Like a bannaaaaanaa
    (last word yodeled, like Tarzan)

    This was I think the first verse to a longer rhyme which repeated the last three lines using different setups, none of which I can remember anymore, and none of the others had to do with Tarzan…I think one verse used a sunburn as the thing that might peel.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I knew a rhyme similar to the one Simon Bronner posted. I learned mine in the mid-1960s and it went:

    Tarzan swings, tarzan falls
    Tarzan rips his underwear
    Tarzan says, "Me don't care"
    Jane will make me a new pair

    and so on…

    Reply
  3. yoknowit

    Tarzan monkey man,
    swinging on a rubber band,
    rubber band popped,
    how many kids did Jane have?
    (then the person who was pointed to would chose a number, the pointer counts, and who ever the pointer lands on is not it, or out.)

    Reply
  4. piper909

    Like the above, except first verse Tarzan, second verse Boy, third verse Jane loses her underwear and says:

    "Jane say, 'me no care,
    Tarzan like me better bare.' "

    Midwest, late 1960s.

    Reply
  5. Bunche

    After the standard "Tarzan, the monkey man/swinging on a rubber band," my grandfather used to add "lost his pants in a hula dance."

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Maryland/D.C. area, late '90s, early '00s:

    "Tarzan, monkey man, swingin' from a rubber band
    Flip, flop, broke his balls, what color was his blood?" From there, you selected a color, and it became a counting-out game.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Tarzan the monkey man
    Swings like a rubber band
    Tarzan slips
    Tarzan falls
    Jane holds on to Tarzan's balls
    Now you know why Tarzan calls:
    Ahhhh-hhhhhhh-hhhhh

    Miami, mid 1980s.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    When I was a kid we said
    Tarzan the monkey man, swinging on a rubber band, falls off and breaks his balls, pees all over his overalls, goes to the river to wash them off (in a deep voice) big baboon rips them off, he goes to the doctor and the doctor said, sorry sir your balls are dead.
    I heard this version around 1998 from a kid who heard it from his older brother

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Tarzan, Tarzan, through the air
    Tarzan lost his underwear
    Tarzan say "me don't care
    Boy will make me another pair
    Boy make me another pair"
    Boy, Boy, through the air
    Boy lost his underwear
    Boy say "me don't care
    Cheetah make me another pair"
    Cheetah Cheetah through the air
    Cheetah lost his underwear
    Cheetah say "Me don't care
    Me don't wear no underwear!"
    Jane, Jane through the air
    Jane lost her underwear
    Jane say "me don't care Tarzan Likes me
    better bare"

    I could be wrong about the order but I remember that line I thought was so funny was the last.
    Boston, MA Around 1970

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    tarzan the monkey man swinging from a rubber band flip flop broke his back what color was his blood. then u would use both hands with same in group and try to not to get out. 2001 missouri

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Tarzan, Monkey Man
    Swinging from a rubber band.
    He trips, he flips,
    He breaks his hips.
    What color was his blood?
    March 2012 in Michigan

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    I heard this one at school:
    Tarzan the monkey man swinging on a vine,
    he slips,
    he falls,
    he's hanging by his balls,
    they rip,
    they tear,
    but Tarzan doesn't care!

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    what i know for tarzan is tarzan jungle man swinging from a rubber band he fell of broke his neck what colour was tarzans blod

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Tarzan monkey man
    Swinging from a rubber band
    Fell down
    Broke his crown

    What
    Color
    Was
    His
    Blood

    (Say color e.g. red)

    R
    E
    D

    (Whoever says D is out)

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    Tarzan, the monkey man
    Swinging on a rubberband
    'long comes Superman
    Knocks him in the garbage can
    'long comes mommy
    Knocks him in salami
    'long comes daddy
    Knocks him in the fanny.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Oh, forgot to mention that I learned this version in East Lansing, Michigan in the early '70s.

    Reply
  17. alyssa

    Tarzan monkey man swinging from a rubber band,fell down broke his crown,what color was his blood?

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    No you all have it wrong…it's
    Tarzan the monkey man
    swinging from a rubber band
    he slips
    he falls
    he breaks his balls!

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    by the way I heard it on Long Island

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    1998

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Tarzan the monkey man
    swinging from a rubber band..
    he slips!
    he falls!
    he's hanging by his balls!

    Scottsdale, AZ
    2000

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Tarzan is a jungle man
    Hanging like a rubber band
    He slips
    He falls
    He's hanging from his balls

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    ahahah you guys are so weird? our rhyme was,
    "Tarzan the monkey man, swinging on a rubber band, hit the sun, burnt his bum, thats the end of chapter one" then it went on with each chapter
    "tarzan the monkey man,swinging on a rubber band,lost his shoe and caught the flu, thats the end of chapter two" you pretty much made up what ever you could think of rhyming with the next chapter number..
    "tarzan the monkey man swinging on a rubber band, hit a tree and did a pee, thats the end of chapter three" :)

    Reply
  24. Anonymous

    Tarzan the ape man, swingin' on a rubber band,
    He don't care. He don't swear. He don't wear no underwear.
    -Omaha Ne. 1980s

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    Tarzan the monkey man, swinging from a rubber band, DING DONG broke his nose, what color was the blood! (7 yr olds)

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    Tarzan, the monkey man,
    hanging from a rubber band.
    He slips!
    He falls!
    He's hanging by his balls!
    They rip!
    They tear!
    He doesn't even care!

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Heard in Andover, MA around 2000

    Reply
  28. Anonymous

    tarzan the monkey man swinging fom a rubber band, he trips, he falls, hes hanging by his balls, they rip, they tear, BLOOD splatters EVERYWHERE!!!!

    Reply
  29. GOSSIP ON YOU

    tarzan jungle man swinging from a rubber band fell down broke his crown what color was his blood

    Reply
  30. timmy turner

    TARZAN JUNGLE MAN SWINGING FROM A RUBBER BAND
    OOPS FELL BROKE HIS BONES
    WHAT COLOR WAS HIS BLOOD

    Reply
  31. timmy turner

    TARZAN JUNGLE MAN SWINGING FROM A RUBBER BAND
    OOPS FELL BROKE HIS BONES
    WHAT COLOR WAS HIS BLOOD

    Reply
  32. Pseudotsuga

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  33. Pseudotsuga

    Here's a variant I remember from the late 70s (southern Oregon):

    Hiho Silver everywhere!
    Tonto lost his underwear.
    Tonto said, "Me no care,
    Lone Ranger buy me another pair."

    Reply
  34. .:.:.:.:.

    Maryland, mid-late 70s:

    Tarzan, Tarzan, in the air
    Tarzan lost his underwear
    Tarzan say "me don't care
    Me go get another pair
    Jane, Jane in the air
    Jane lost her underwear
    Jane say "me don't care
    me go get another pair"
    Boy, Boy, in the air
    Boy lost his underwear
    Boy say "me don't care
    Me go get another pair"
    Cheetah Cheetah in the air
    Cheetah lost his underwear
    Cheetah say "Me don't care
    Me got lots of hair down there!"

    Reply
  35. .:.:.:.:.

    I also heard the same "counting game" version as Jason recounted in the intro.

    (Maryland, mid-late 70s/early 80s)

    Reply
  36. Anonymous

    Tarzan, monkey man
    Swingin' on a rubber band
    He slips! He falls!
    He's hanging by his balls!
    He tears his underwear!
    I don't really care.

    (Ohio, 2012)

    Reply
  37. Carolyn Tainter

    I remember this version

    Tarzan swings
    Tarzan falls
    that's why Jane holds his balls
    that's why Tarzan yells
    (famous Tarzan yell)

    Reply
  38. Andrea Vannatta

    Tarzan the monkey man
    Swinging from a rubber band
    He slipped and fell and broke his neck
    What color was his blood?

    Reply
  39. Andrea Vannatta

    Tarzan the monkey man
    Swinging from a rubber band
    He slipped and fell and broke his neck
    What color was his blood?

    Reply
  40. GG JACKLEN

    Tarzan the monkey man swinging on the rubber band here comes superman kicking him in the trash can

    Reply
  41. Amiya Trombley

    No it goes like this Tarzan the monkey man hanging from a rubber band he trips he falls he hanging from his balls they rip they tear he needs another

    Reply
  42. Rebecca Poppenhusen

    In my school we had a version the counselor sang and the kids echoed.

    Tarzan
    Swinging from a rubber band
    Tarzan
    Fell into a frying pan
    Ooh, that's hot
    Now Tarzan has a tan

    Jane
    Swinging from a candy cane
    Jane
    Fell into a traffic lane
    Ooh that's bad
    Now poor Jane has no brain

    Cheeta
    Fell in love with Rita
    Rita
    Was an alligator
    Ooh that's bad
    Now cheeta's got a fever (I can't remember that last line very well)

    Reply
  43. Bud thompson

    We used to say
    Tarzan the monkey man
    Swinging on a rubber band
    Lost his pants and away he ran.

    This was from the 60s in Panama City florida

    Reply
  44. John

    A version I heard in the 1960s went:

    Tarzan, the monkey man
    Swinging on a rubber band.
    Went so high
    He started to cry:
    WA-AAA-AH (imitation of the famous “Tarzan Yell”)

    Reply
  45. Kyle

    Tarzan the monkey man was swinging by a rubber band. He slips, he falls, he’s hanging by his balls. They rip, they tear, now they’re bouncing everywhere!

    Funny how much it evolves. I’m curious to hear hear the theme everyone else uses. Phoenix AZ ca. 2004

    Reply
  46. Kassie

    mine is: tarzan the monkey man swinging on a rubber band he trips he slips he breaks both hips. what color is his blood?

    Reply
  47. tarzan

    Tarzan the monkey man swinging on a rubber band
    he trips, he falls, he breaks his balls
    what color was his blood?

    Reply
  48. kayti

    My version is, “Tarzan, the monkey man, swinging on a rubber band. Flip, Flop, he breaks his neck, what color was his blood?”

    Reply
    1. Lexy

      same

      Reply
  49. Hamza

    Tarzan Jungle man
    swinging on a rubber band
    falls down
    breaks his head
    what colour was his blood?

    Reply
  50. Anoymouse

    Tarzan the monkey man swinging on a tree,the twigz, they snap, they break, but he doesnt care coz tarzan the monkey man still swinging on a tree ouch, the pain, he lands on his balls

    Reply
  51. Anoymouse

    My version is
    Tarzan the monkey man swinging on a a tree, he trips he falls he breaks his balls but he doesnt care coz u cant his yellow underwear

    Reply
  52. Anonymous

    I know two.

    One is:
    Tarzan, jungle man
    Swinging from a rubber band
    Oops, slipped, broke his hip
    What color was his blood?

    The other is:
    Tarzan, monkey man
    Swinging from a rubber band
    He slips! He falls!
    He’s hanging by his balls!
    They rip! They tear!
    They explode everywhere! (At least that’s how I think the last one goes)

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *