99 Bottles of Beer

99 Bottles of Beer

"99 Bottles of Beer" is a traditional song in the United States and Canada. It is popular to sing on long trips, as it has a very repetitive format which is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing. In particular the song is frequently sung by pre-teen children on long bus trips, such as class field trips, or on a Scout and/or Girl Guide outings. The song is derived from the English "Ten Green Bottles".

The basic song

The verse format is very formulaic, and can be expressed as follows:

From 99 down to 1:

: "bottles of beer on the wall"
: "bottles of beer!"
:"(You) take one down, and pass it around": "bottles of beer on the wall!"

Meaning the same number (except for 99) is said three times. The penultimate line in each verse is sometimes changed to "if one of those bottles should happen to fall" and there is much variation in the final verse. One common final verse (which could potentially cause an infinite-loop motif) is:

:"No bottles of beer on the wall!"
:"No bottles of beer!"
:"Go to the store and buy some more" (or "Go to the store and steal some more")
:"99 bottles of beer on the wall!"

Another variation is:

:"No bottles of beer on the wall!"
:"No bottles of beer!"
:"You barf one up, and bottle it up,"
:"1 bottle of beer on the wall!"

In this case, the bottles will incrementally increase back to 99, at which point (conceivably) all the consumed beer has been regurgitated, and the song can resume from its original start point. This version also has the "gross" factor that appeals to many youngsters.

Another end variation includes::"No bottles of beer on the wall!"
:"No bottles of beer!"
:"Get one off the ground and put on the wall"
:"1 bottle of beer on the wall!":"1 bottle of beer on the wall!"
:"1 bottle of beer!"
:"Take one down, pass it around":"No bottles of beer on the wall!"

Eventually, the song reaches "one bottle of beer", although the performance is usually interrupted well before this point is reached. Thus, the song has a definite end, in contrast to infinite loop songs, such as "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" and "The Song That Never Ends" (although a recent variation concludes "negative-one bottles of beer on the wall", which is usually interrupted with much yelling before it can be continued).

Performances tend to become an interesting experiment in group dynamics. Enthusiasm for singing another verse tends to flag as the song drags on. Eventually, non-verbal cues that the singers are weary of the game communicate that it is time to stop singing the song.

It takes about 10 seconds to sing each verse, which means the song should take 16.5 minutes to sing all the way.

also, as a variant to this song, to end it quickly:

:" bottles of beer on the wall"
:" bottles of beer"
:"Kick the wall, watch them all fall"
:"No more bottles of beer on the wall!"


:" bottles of beer on the wall"
:" bottles of beer"
:"Kick the wall, watch them all fall"
:"What a waste of alcohol!"

A hard liquor variant:

99 bottles of rum on the shelf,99 bottles of rum.I took one down and drank it myself,98 bottles of rum on the shelf...etc., etc.

Another innocuous variant is 99 truckloads of cheese on the wall.

Another variant would be "99 bottles of NABs(non-alcoholic beverages)"

Yet another variant is the less appropriate;

99 sacks of crack on the wall
99 sacks of crack
If one of those sacks should happen to fall
We'll all be there to it all

Other versions incorporate cursing:99 bottles of beer on the wall
99 bottles of beer
One fell
What the hell?!


99 bottles of beer on the wall
99 bottles of beer
One split
Oh shit!

The song has also been used as a basis for political satire, such as in the following song:: "A million students on Tiananmen Square,": "a million students are there.": "You take a tank and fire around,": "one student on Tiananmen Square."

: "One student on Tiananmen Square,": "one student is there.": "You take a tank and fire around,": "there never were students on Tiananmen Square."

: "There never were students on Tiananmen Square,": "there never were students there.": "The blood in the streets is ketchup and sweets,": "there never were students on Tiananmen Square."

Because that song is well known by computer programmers, even a programmer version has been done (that show how, to fix a bug, often worse bugs are introduced)

:"99 little bugs in the code"
:"99 little bugs in the code"
:"Fix one bug, compile again"
:"102 little bugs in the code"

imilar songs

In a similar vein, there is "Ten in a Bed". From 10 down to 1:

:"There were" "in a bed and the little one said,"
:"Roll over! Roll over!"
:"So they all rolled over and Leslie fell out;"
:"And banged her head and gave a shout!"
:"Please remember to tie a knot in your pajamas!"
:"Single beds are only made for 1,2,3.." :"There were" "in a bed," etc.


:"There was one in the bed and the little one said:"
The final line of the song is either::"That's fine!",:"Good night!",or (sung as such children's television shows as "Barney & Friends")::"Alone at last"!"or (to the tune of the first verse in "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" as of in one of Sharon, Lois and Bram's songs)::"I got the whole mattress, to myself":"I got the whole mattress, to myself":"I got the whole mattress, to myself":"I got the whole mattress to myself!"

Other more complex counting down rhymes include nursery rhymes such as "Ten Little Indians". These vary the tale from one verse to another, though.

There is also "Five Little Monkeys" for a similar vein of note. It is a song for pre-school children, but is actually sung whenever it is a parody or joke. It is also recorded in many children's CD albums and TV shows.

The lyrics for the song are listed here. From 5 down to 0:
:" little monkeys jumping on the bed,"
:"One fell out and bumped his/her head;"
:"Momma called the doctor, the doctor said,"
:"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!". (or "That's what you get for jumping on the bed!")"
: "little monkeys jumping on the bed, etc."


:"One little monkey jumping on the bed,"
:"He/she fell out and bumped his head;"
:"Momma called the doctor, the doctor said,"
:"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"."

:"No little monkeys jumping on the bed,"
:"None fell out and bumped their heads;"
:"Momma called the doctor, the doctor said,"
The final line of the song is::"Put those monkeys straight to bed."

till other variants

*Ten green bottles
*"Infinite Bottles of Beer on the wall," a nerdish variant. If one of those bottles is taken down, there are still infinite bottles of beer on the wall.
*"Aleph-Null Bottles of Beer on the wall," same as above. Aleph-Null is specifically the size of the set of all natural numbers, and is the smallest infinity.
*The "Buttons" song from the absurdist play "Ubu Rocks". Instead of counting down, the song counts UP. This is done until the audience reacts negatively.
* "99 Bottles of Non-alcoholic Carbonated Beverage on the Wall" is both a humorous jibe at the variations which remove beer from the lyrics, and one of the more challenging versions to sing.
*"Negative Bottles of Beer on the wall," is a means of annoyance. When the song is sung to annoy others, instead of to keep the singers amused, surrounding listeners take great relief once there are 0 bottles of beer on the wall. A brief pause happens, at which point the singers begin to descend into the negatives.
*"A Hundred Sticks of Dynamite Sitting on the Wall" is a very short parody variant. It lasts for one verse.
*"99 Kettles of Soup on the Heat", with the same form as 99 Bottles of Beer. The third stanza reads "If one of those kettles I happen to eat".
*"99 German Bombers" is a variation stemming from the Second World War, and sometimes sung by English football fans at matches against Germany.

References in popular culture

*In the summer of 2007, "99 Bottles of beer" was recreated by more than 85 artists in a massive online project, the brain child of Michael West (mfwmiles) http://www.icompositions.com/artists/mfwmiles . Each 'bottle' was performed uniquely to the individual artist's taste and concept. It is a unique work that combines 100 separate pieces into one massive song. This collaboration helped pave the way for more artists to work together, through the power of the Internet. http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=74911
*In the Kenan and Kel movie "Two Heads are Better than None", Kel sings "1,000,000 bottles of orange soda on the wall" during a road trip with the Rockmore family. After aggravating everyone with the song, Kel sings all the way until only 11 bottles are left; then decides he's bored and stops.
* In "National Lampoon's Vacation" Clark Griswold, while lost in the desert and running to find help starts the song "1000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and gets down to single digits before passing out.
* In the 1984 film "The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood", the returning Crusaders, formed up behind King Richard, can be heard singing the song while journeying to Sherwood.
* In the 1963 film "PT 109", two shipmates can be heard singing the song while washing the boat.
* In the Simpsons episode "Bart Gets Famous", Martin and Principal Seymour sing a variation "boxes of bottles of beer" while on a trip to a box factory. In the episode "Das Bus", Otto Mann listens to a recording of the song on a tape titled "Songs to Enrage Bus Drivers."
*In another Simpsons episode "The Old Man and the "C" Student", Homer is heard singing the song. Instead of singing "99 bottles of beer", he is heard singing about flushing springs down the toilet.
* In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers it is common to hear Rita Repulsa sing a variation known as "99 Bottles of Slime on the Wall".
* In "Calvin and Hobbes", Calvin threatens his dad while on a road trip into taking him into a burger joint by bursting into song "10 MILLION BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL, 10 MILLION BOTTLES OF BEER!"
* In the "Bus Trip" episode of Beavis and Butthead (Season 5, 1994-1995), during a bus ride on a class trip, one student suggests singing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", to which the teacher Mr. David Van Driessen replies that it isn't socially responsible to encourage young people to drink beer. He suggests "99 Bottles of Tea on the Wall".
* In the Seinfeld episode "The Bottle Deposit, Part 2", Kramer and Newman break into their own rendition: "Nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine bottle and cans in the trunk, nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine bottles and cans. At ten cents a bottle and ten cents a can, we're pulling in five hundred dollars a man. Nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight bottle and cans in the trunk, nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight bottles and cans. We fill up with gas, we count up our cash!!..."
* In the film "Midnight Run", to break the boredom between himself and Jack Walsh (Robert DeNiro), Jonathan Mardukas (Charles Grodin) sings, "...If one of those bottles should happen to fall... ninety-six bottles of beer on the wall. Nine! ty! six! bottles of beer on the wall... ba ba boom... badda da dadda da badda da boom... nine... " Walsh gives him a dirty look, and Mardukas loses his count: "Ninety-three bottles of beer... on... the... wall... "
* In the Disney animated film "The Emperor's New Groove", Kronk is seen playing jump rope with Pacha's children while reciting a variation of the first two lines of "Five Little Monkeys".
* In another Disney animated film, "Stitch! The Movie", Jumba starts singing an alien version to convince Dr. Hamsterveil not to torture him.
* In "", during an excruciatingly long road trip, Hamton's family sings "99 Bottles Of Non-Alcoholic Beverage On The Wall" (though they are at 67). When Plucky, who is tagging along, points out it should be 99 bottles of "beer" on the wall, Hamton's mom sternly tells him "We don't drink in "our" family, Plucky!"
* At the end of the Rocko's Modern Life episode entitled "Future Schlock", when it seems like Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt will be in space for a long time, Heffer starts singing, "Nine hundred bazillion bottles of root beer on the wall / Nine hundred bazillion bottles of root beer..."
* In the video game LeChuck's Revenge, when asking Bart and Fink of pirates songs for the third time, Bart will sing "100 bottles of beer on the wall" and Guybrush can make him sing from the amount of 60, 120 and 5400 or tell him to stop.
* South of Seattle, Washington, a specialty beer store is known as 99 Bottles (after the song). The store carries over 850 different beers in stock.
* In "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota", the speaker in the song mentions that his kids "were so excited they started singing '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall' for the twenty-seventh time that day."
* In the 2000 Nickelodeon telefilm Two Heads Are Better Than None, Kel sings "99 Bottles of Orange Soda on the Wall" while he is traveling with Kenan's family. This song was referring to his drink on the TV series.

External links

* [http://www.99-bottles-of-beer.net/ 99-bottles-of-beer.net] - A vast compendium of computer programming languages and styles - each with the same output: the lyrics to this song
**Another [http://www.westnet.com/mirrors/99bottles/beer.html variant] of the above
* [http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/11-02/11_02_top_songs.htm "Modern Drunkard Magazine"'s list of the Top 86 Alcohol Songs of All Time, featuring "99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" by Atticus at #1]
* [http://www.99-bottles-of-beer.de/99_bottles_of_beer_screensaver_english.php 99 Bottles of Beer Screensaver - A free windows screensaver that displays the lyrics of the song and source codes of computer programs that output the lyrics]

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