Do Your Ears Hang Low?

TITLE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: children, humorous
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: The earliest known recording was in 1922- sheet music with slightly divergent lyrics from 1925 is in the Library of Congress.

Do Your Ears Hang Low?There was not much information about the song, but I did find the following (although I’m not sure of it’s authenticity–but it is a great story) “Just as Ring Around the Rosie was a child’s song that had its origins in the grisly history of the Black Death in England, so Do Your Ears Hang Low? was about the Spanish influenza of 1918. Its deadly toll on soldiers demobilization after the first world war is well known, but less so the fact that they died in such numbers that in army hospitals they were only tagged on the ear with their serial number. 

“Army medics assigned to dispatching of the bodies hummed a funereal song to make their revolting work lighter as they stacked the ear-tagged bodies. In this song they pretend they are talking with the influenza victims and making fun of their ears. This is likely to have been an adaptive response on the orderlies part, as the bodies of those succumbed to influenza were often mightily bloated and many died with facial rictus.

“The song likely began first at Army posts in the Delaware region, but was first written down in memoirs of Corporal Austin Cooper, who was later to serve as first head of the United States Army Infectious Disease Research Laboratories ( later USAMRID). The earliest known recording was in 1922- sheet music with slightly divergent lyrics from 1925 is in the Library of Congress.” (from yahoo answers)

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Many Parodies (names you can only imagine)

RECORDINGS: (mp3’s available through Amazon.com)

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO:

Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie ’em in a knot?
Can you tie ’em in a bow?
Can you throw ’em o’er your shoulder
Like a continental soldier
Do your ears hang low?

Do your ears stand high?
Do they reach up to the sky?
Do they droop when they are wet?
Do they stiffen when they’re dry?
Can you summon o’er your neighbor
With a minimum of labor?
Do your ears stand high?

Do your ears flip-flop?
Can you use them as a mop?
Are they stringy at the bottom?
Are they curly at the top?
Can you use them for a swatter?
Can you use them for a blotter?
Do your ears flip-flop?

Do your ears stick out?
Can you waggle them about?
Can you flap them up and down
As you fly around the town?
Can you shut them up for sure
When you hear an awful bore?
Do your ears stick out?

Do your ears give snacks?
Are they all filled up with wax?
Do you eat it in the morning
Do you eat it in the bath?
Do you eat it with a scone?
Or do you eat it on its own?
Do your ears give snacks?

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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