shave and a haircut, two bits

In Utah (and maybe in other places, but I’ve only seen it here) it’s a tradition of sorts to honk your car horn when driving through a tunnel. My father-in-law did it once, with the old, “Beep, be be beep beep” and then to our surprise, another car in the tunnel finished it off with a resounding “Beep beep!” In addition to wondering who came up with the idea of honking when driving through tunnels, I was curious about the origin of the familiar tune and rhythm that countless people use when they knock on doors, honk their horns, or end a song. I had been told the words were “shave and a haircut, two bits,” but that was the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

I found a site that explained the origin to my satisfaction, and which I’ve included below. I’m not positive it’s correct, but it sounded good enough to satisfy my curiosity.

The first recorded occurrence of the tune (with no lyrics) is in an 1899 song by Charles Hale, called “At a Darktown Cakewalk.” In 1914, Jimmie Monaco and Joe McCarthy released a song called “Bum-Diddle-De-Um-Bum, That’s It!” in which that line was featured in the last two bars of the song. In 1939, the same musical phrase was used in a tune called “Shave and a Haircut – Shampoo” by Dan Shapiro, Lester Lee, and Milton Berle. Somewhere along the line the phrase permutated into “shave and a haircut, bay rum.”

The six notes have remained the same, but over the years the phrase has become known as “shave and a haircut, two bits” (which would amount to 25 cents). Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim incorporated the tune into their “Gee, Officer Kropke” number from the musical West Side Story, and the refrain became a key plot element in the motion picture Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


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  1. I always heard the line as “shave and a haircut, six bits” instead of two bits. I guess things are more expensive out here. :)

    Comment by Anonymous on September 21, 2004 @ 10:35 am
  2. I have heard the “shave and a haircut” part but not the “two bits.” I’ll have to be adding that change from now on.

    Comment by danithew on September 21, 2004 @ 11:44 am
  3. It’s a Clave — a Cuban rhythm pattern and one of the basic beats of rock and roll. Bo Diddly built his entire career on it.

    Comment by Arthur on September 21, 2004 @ 12:40 pm
  4. I’ve never heard of honking in a tunnel before. As kids, we learned it was requisite to hold one’s breath through a tunnel, though we picked that up in Seattle.

    Comment by Cameron on September 21, 2004 @ 6:53 pm
  5. That’s interesting. I learned you had to hold your breath while driving past a cemetery.

    I don’t know if that as back east or out west. Maybe both.

    Comment by dan on September 21, 2004 @ 9:50 pm
  6. My family often did the horn-honking in tunnels thing, but I have no idea where we picked it up. My mom is from California, my dad from Montana, and together we lived all over the States.

    Comment by Levi on September 22, 2004 @ 9:48 am
  7. We always tooted when crossing a state line. Shave and a haircut in one state, six bits in the other.

    Comment by Paul on October 7, 2004 @ 12:34 pm
  8. Our parents (Dad, at least) said he’d also heard “six bits”, just FYI — I mentioned it to them recently. Also, I think “cemetery” rather than with the a, at least per

    Comment by DavidH on October 11, 2004 @ 11:02 pm
  9. Maybe people just noticed it sounded pretty cool when they honked(tooted)when going under a tunnel and I don’t think there’s much more to it than that.

    Comment by todd on January 23, 2005 @ 12:53 am
  10. I know this little tune as “Shave and haricut, two bits” but I am more familiar with it as an ending to some folk music (I play a violin). I was once told that this was morse code for hello or ‘hi’, but the only thing this rhythm comes close to spelling is TINA (- .. -. .-)…so I disregarded that comment. I have also been told that this is an explative in Mexico (involving ones mother and other things I will leave out).

    On a side note, the holding your breath thing…I grew up thinking to do that as a game in the car (probably to get children to be quiet while they sat in the back seat. But the “legend” or game was that you would lose 5 minutes off of your life if you didn’t hold your breath while passing a cemetery or going over a bridge (it was a real test of constitution over long bridges or passing REALLY large cemeteries). My friends and I added more rules to the game later on, but that is how it started for me.

    Comment by William Hoyt on June 3, 2005 @ 12:55 pm
  11. My recent curiosity was sparked by my brother in law arriving at the door and using “My secret knock” !
    Ditto’s regarding honking in the tunnel. Cool sounding or not it still works as expected. People still remember it.
    Morse Code maybe… I think I recall it being used to distinguish ‘friend or foe’ in a comedic WWII based movie that I’d seen when I was little. Sounds like something Bob Hope would do, huh?
    As far as the pattern being used in music starting with C the notes would be C–G-G-G-G#-G—B-C. I believe it was used by Warner Brothers at the end of some cartoons such as Bugs Bunny and maybe even recently by Pinky and the Brain.

    Comment by Richard M Gratzer on November 9, 2005 @ 6:34 am
  12. Anyone who’s seen the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” would know that “Shave and a Haircut…” is a ditty no cartoon character can resist.. ;o))

    Comment by Paul on November 13, 2005 @ 11:01 pm
  13. About the morse code thing: radio hams do have something that very much resembles the “shave and a haircut” pattern. At the end of a conversation, one sends a final TU (for thank you) and the other one sends one or two dots (mostly two). It sounds like this: – ..- . .

    This is “shave and a haircut, two dits”, but without the “cut”. The rhythm is close enough to the original, so I expect the hams are aware of the connection to “shave and a haircut, two dits”. At least I do…

    Frank PA4N

    Comment by Frank Oppedijk on November 18, 2005 @ 7:55 am

    Comment by SCOTT on December 4, 2005 @ 5:49 pm
  15. I always heard “Shave and a Haircut . . . Two Bits!” as well. Never heard the Six Bits part before. Oh well, maybe it’s a regional thing. As for tunnels, yes we honked going through them as kids, and I still do it ever now and again as an adult. Makes my wife look at me sideways like I’ve lost me mind! LoL Never held my breath near a cemetery, though I’ve heard that one, too. What about raising your feet off the floorboards when you cross over railroad tracks? Or screaming ‘Wheee!’ when you cross over a bridge; or ducking your head when you pass beneath one? These are all games we played as kids in the car while we travelled extensively. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    And if you say “Candyman” five times in a mirror, HE will appear! LoL

    Comment by Harrier 45 on February 13, 2006 @ 8:23 am
  16. This is what I remember from an old childhood song I played on a 45 record from way back in the late 50’s . . .

    “Shave and a hair cut, two bits
    That’s how the barber gets rich
    Shave and a hair cut, no more
    That’s how the barber gets poor
    Sung by the Girl S0couts quartet
    Almost dead, but not yet
    Thanks for the doughnut — Good Bye!”


    Comment by Stacy on March 1, 2006 @ 8:31 pm
  17. I just came from a family dinner before I googled the phrase “shave and a haircut”. We had a discussion about this ditty, I always remembered my grandfather singing the song, but it had an entirely different second line which I don’t see here. My brothers and sisters think I have lost my mind, but here is how I remember it…..

    Shave and a haircut, two bits

    Momma’s old sow has six teats

    So, have I lost my mind?

    Comment by Michelle on April 30, 2006 @ 8:15 pm
  18. I can remember five lines, but the sixth answer escapes me. Here’s our version of the 50’s.
    Shave and a haircut, two bits.
    How do you like it, just fine.
    Where did you get it, ????

    Comment by dorch on May 3, 2006 @ 5:09 pm
  19. I’ve heard the “two bits” but as kids (in the 60s) we used to sing this version:

    shave and a haircut – shampoo
    hit by an auto – belvue
    when did it happen – last night
    how do you feel now – all right!

    For bridges, we raised our feet when going over and ducked our heads when going under. I don’t remember too many tunnels but there seems to be something that makes me think there was some tooting involved.

    Comment by e on May 19, 2006 @ 4:04 pm
  20. My Grandfather always sung the tune as:

    “Shave and a haircut, two bits.
    Who is the barber, Tom Mix”.

    He Past away yesterday and now I am trying to gather bits and pieces of all the memories I have of him for his Memorial Service. Thanks for posts.

    Comment by Jeff on December 3, 2006 @ 10:26 am
  21. While it was not the origin of the rhythm, it is prominent in Cloudburst written by Ted Heath for his orchestra. It is probably better known to many of us from the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross recording which can be heard at

    Comment by Bob on December 13, 2006 @ 9:22 pm
  22. To resurrect this thread:

    My father taught me these lyrics, which I’m trying to find confirmed elsewhere.

    Shave and a haircut, two bits.
    Who got married? Tom Mix.
    Who(m) did he marry? Alice White.
    How did he like her? All right.

    I am not sure if Mix ever did, in fact, marry Alice White. She was a contemporary of his.

    I’d love to know if anyone else ever heard this version.

    Comment by David on February 22, 2007 @ 11:42 am
  23. We used to sing –

    Shave and a haircut, two bits,
    Who got married? Tom Mix,
    Who did he marry? Ann O’Shea,
    How is the baby? OK!

    Comment by Marcia on June 4, 2007 @ 8:45 pm
  24. I agree with # 16. That is the way my Dad and other service related uncles explained it to me. And while I served my country in the USN it became common knoledge that that was the toon. Who knows though.
    Could be just like,” Last call for Philip Morris”.
    Then there was the one that my dad so enjoid singing to us as children. The song is, “Iheard a crash on the highwat;;;But I didn’t hear nobody pray. God we loved it when dad would sing that song with his crying and bellowins harmonies.
    I hope you all get to hear that one at least once in your life.
    Take care

    Comment by Vince on June 21, 2007 @ 10:36 pm
  25. honking the ‘shave and a haircut’ rhythm in tunnels is popular in the united kingdom. especially amongst holiday traffic heading fopr the coast.

    Comment by froots on December 18, 2007 @ 5:02 pm
  26. This is what I remember my dad singing:
    Shave and a haircut, two bits
    Who was the barber, Tom Mix
    What did you sit in, a chair
    What did he cut off, your hair
    We grew up in British Columbia, Canada

    Comment by denise on January 30, 2008 @ 11:44 am
  27. I have heard 4 verse, and cannot remember the 4th. Any help with this version :

    1) Shave and a Haircut, 2 bits.
    2) Who was the barber, John Smith.
    3) How did you like it, alright.
    4) …..
    Anyone heard this one and know the last verse. My sister always sang it growing up in the 60’s, but can’t remember it anymore either. It’s driving me crazy !!! Please help !!Doug Schmidt

    Comment by Doug Schmidt on July 10, 2008 @ 7:37 pm
  28. I remember singing “Shave and a haircut, six bits, who is your barber Tom Mix”, as a youngster in the 30’s. We thought this rhymed but obviously, “bits” doesn’t rhyme with “Mix”. Glad to hear others also were tone deaf!

    Comment by Richard Noxon on September 1, 2008 @ 12:35 pm
  29. The car-horn phrase “Shave and a haircut” and response “Bay rum” is mentioned in John O’Hara’s 1930’s novel, Appointment in Samarra.

    Comment by Gary Muldoon on October 6, 2008 @ 7:01 pm
  30. @Gary Muldoon Thanks for the reference!

    Comment by Dan on October 6, 2008 @ 11:36 pm
  31. Here’s the way my mother sang it: Shave and a haircut, two bits….Im in love with, Tom Mix…..who did he marry, Pearl White….How’s the baby, allright!!!

    Comment by cath on December 2, 2008 @ 4:31 pm
  32. I googled this phrase because my 10 month old daughter has a toy “cellphone” that plays it incessantly (to the point of me wanting to throw it out the window).

    I’ve throughly enjoyed reading this page. I didn’t know any of the endings at all! Just the “Shave and a haircut, Two bits!” or the (due to inflation…), “Six bits”. Wanted to check which was right, and now I have a whole song! Thanks everyone!

    Also, I seem to recall reading once that two bits was actually 25 cents. Back in the days when almost all money was paper, a “bit” was 12.5 cents… can anyone confirm this?

    P.S. I was born in Ontario, Canada in 1976. As a kid, we did the tunnel honking and the raise your feet for a railroad track. Never heard the hold your breath for a cememtery or any of the others, but I’ll ressurect them now for my daughter! Should be fun!

    Comment by Lee on March 18, 2009 @ 9:34 am
  33. shave and a haircut,bay rum
    Don’t chew tobacco ,chew gum
    Clothes on a washline dry up
    You said a mouthful ,shut up !

    Comment by Stuart K. on April 22, 2009 @ 7:24 am
  34. Tunnels….IN UTAH?!?!?!? There are no “real” Tunnels in Utah! An No one Honks that in Utah.. EVER!!. Geesh.. you’re gonna scare people away from this state!

    Comment by ME on May 18, 2009 @ 10:14 pm
  35. I was born in 1942 and the way my sang it was with Tom Mix and Pearl White and the baby being all right. My aunt would be about 90 years old

    Comment by Bob Winsboro on September 4, 2009 @ 9:43 am
  36. I’ve heard (this may or may not be true) that this is the most widely used catch phrase ever. Possibly just for the rhythm (knocking doors, horns honking, etc.)

    Comment by Ryan on December 9, 2009 @ 5:18 pm
  37. I’d believe it. It’s the most popular one I hear.

    Comment by Dan on December 9, 2009 @ 6:47 pm
  38. From the midwest…
    Shave and a hair cut – two bits
    Who did he marry?
    His horse
    What did it end up?

    Also always held our breath going past a cemetary and lifted our feet going over railroad tracks.

    Comment by Anne on February 22, 2010 @ 8:33 am
  39. That’s pretty funny :)

    Comment by Dan on February 22, 2010 @ 9:45 am
  40. My favorite cowboy was Tom Mix. The diddy I always sang was ” Save and a haircut two bits. Who got married? Tom Mix. Who did he marry? Alice White. I remember when he got killed I was really sad. My Grand-Dad trying to be nice got me an orange handle cap pistol with Gene Autry on it. This didn’t work. I never did really liked another cowboy until Roy Rodgers was retired and did promotions.

    Jim Clarke

    Comment by J. Clarke on February 22, 2010 @ 9:11 pm
  41. For a second I thought the part about him dying and you being sad was part of the ditty. That was one weird ditty!

    Comment by Dan on February 22, 2010 @ 9:19 pm
  42. We used to sing:

    Shave and a hair cut two bits
    Who you gonna marry – Tom Mix
    How many kids you have – 26
    What are you gonna call them – toothpicks

    Comment by Lynda Moore on April 13, 2010 @ 4:48 pm
  43. Shave and a haircut, two bits.
    Who’s gonna pay for it? Tom Nix.
    Whatcha gonna feed him on? Cold Grits.

    Don’t know where that came from, but that’s how my grandmom sang it in the 60s

    Comment by Elizabeth on September 17, 2010 @ 7:11 am
  44. All the variations are amazing! This is my memory:

    Shave and a haircut, six bits,
    Who’s the barber, Tom X (maybe Mix).
    What’re your gonna feed him? Steak bones?
    Who’s gonna eat ’em? Spike Jones.

    Comment by Polly on September 25, 2010 @ 8:54 pm
  45. I’m 27, and my whole childhood we sang “shave and a haircut, 2 bits; who ya gonna marry? thomas
    whatcha gonna feed him? ham bones
    who’s gonna eat ’em? spike jones

    then we’d instantly go into the “my momma told me” song.

    Comment by Janice on September 27, 2010 @ 9:08 pm
  46. To Lee (#32)

    12.5 cents was in fact a traded amount. It was a pie-shaped section from the silver dollar after it had been ‘cut’ by a dollar cutting machine usually in a bank. The western settlers carried silver dollars as there were no nickels, dimes, and quarters around. To make smaller change they would have them sliced in half, then quarters, then eighths. That’s how you get the 12.5 cents value and that’s why the New York Stock Exchange trades in eighths. The American Stock Exchange trades in tenths. Two bits, due to inflation (blame the FED for that), carried a stigma of little value. (Two bit whore, etc.) lol

    Comment by Todd on January 16, 2011 @ 7:46 pm
  47. This is what Maria remembers..

    Shave and a haircut…2 bits.
    I’ve got a girl with……2 tits.
    Everytime I squeeze them…..she !@#$.

    Comment by Maria on February 21, 2011 @ 10:36 am
  48. Enjoyed all of these but we’re looking for the raunchy version which we remember our dad saying occasionally. Something about a whore house and can’t —t. Anybody know this one??

    Comment by Penny on March 3, 2011 @ 5:13 pm
  49. My grandmother sings:

    Shave and a haircut–two bits
    Who got married–Tom mix
    Who was he doctor–buck jones
    What did they feed him–dog bones

    Awesome!!! Thought it was always something she made up for us but it’s cool I found others!!

    Comment by Dusty on March 16, 2011 @ 5:45 pm
  50. In the very early thirties we used to sing it as:
    “Shave and a haircut, two bits
    Who got married, Tom Mix
    Who/Whom did he marry, Pearl White
    How did he like her, all right”

    Whoever sings it as “six bits” must have heard it 20 years later when inflation set in. Saw on another discussion “who did he marry, Alice White” but that doesn’t fit as smoothly as Pearl White and since Pearl White was a kind of contemporary of Tom Mix, it made more sense to connect him to Pearl White than the made up person Alice White, neither one of which he really married).

    Comment by Ray W on April 11, 2011 @ 1:05 pm
  51. Playing around in our Albany NY neighborhood we’d sing many
    ditties. This one always ended with Tom Mix
    Shave and a haircut, two bits
    Who married Mona, Tom Mix (Ah, memories)

    Comment by Ray Marco on June 16, 2011 @ 3:10 pm
  52. While reading this it occurred to me that this was a rhyme people used to say when i was younger. I grew up in the nineties for reference :D
    “Somebody farted, pee-you!
    Who did it come from? From you!
    When did it happen? Last night!
    How did it feel? Just right!”

    Very childish I know, but a play on the same rhyme nonetheless.

    Comment by Youngin on July 2, 2011 @ 6:13 pm
  53. @Youngin Thanks for the updated reference ;)

    Comment by Dan on July 3, 2011 @ 9:37 am
  54. Shave and a hair cut – two bits
    Who was the barber – Tom Mix
    Who did he marry – Pearl White
    How did he like her – alright

    Comment by Valerie on August 21, 2011 @ 4:21 pm
  55. I grew up in the 50’s. We used to sing this version:

    “Shave and a haircut, two bits,
    Who got married? Tom Mix
    Who did he marry? Anne O’Shea
    How is the baby? Okay”

    Comment by Marcia on August 28, 2011 @ 10:15 am
  56. Well I walked around the corner
    And I walked around the block
    And I walked right in to a doughnut shop
    I picked up a doughnut fresh from the grease
    And I handed the lady a five cent peace
    well she looked at the nickle and she looked at me
    and she said this is no good you see
    There’s a hole in this nickle and it goes straight through
    says I; there’s a hole In the doughnut too!

    Shave and a hair cut two bits
    That’s how the barber gets rich
    Shave and a hair cut no more
    That’s how the barber went poor
    Thanks for the doughnut no more
    That’s all the doughnuts im poor.

    Comment by riotburk on September 8, 2011 @ 7:07 pm
  57. My mom sang that to us when we were kids. She always sang the whole thing together.
    Also my family held our breath in tunnels; my dad said this is because if an old wives tail that the air is toxic inside..we also honked; he said it was from a time when most tunnels were one lane and people were warning oncoming traffic.

    Comment by riotburk on September 8, 2011 @ 7:14 pm
  58. Grew up in PA. Parents used to sing, “Shave & a haircut, two bits!” My own kids know the tune, but when I just added the words today, they wanted to know where that came from. Since I don’t know the origins, I googled it & ended up here. Enjoyed reading the comments on this thread. We used to hold our breath over a bridge as well as pick our feet up off the floor of the car.

    Comment by Amy on September 15, 2011 @ 10:25 am
  59. We honked the tune in tunnels with our kids. It has become my knock on any door of family or neighbors or friends, only I never add the last “two bits” knock – – it drives the person on the inside of the house a bit crazy, waiting for the last two knocks! LOL Well, at least I’m confessing, that is my motive, with smile on my face each time I do it.
    Fun to hear the history of other Americans across this grant country of ours.

    Comment by Jess Dixon on October 9, 2011 @ 9:05 am
  60. and maybe we should start comment on those old Berma Shave signs along the highway. How I remember enjoying reading them with sparked anticipation, waiting to see what was coming next, as my mom and I drove from Ohio to California on the ond two land Rte. 66 in a ’33 Plymouth coupe with that old “rumble seat” and a worn smooth spare tire in 1949. Mom let me drive on those long, lonely streaches of highway across the open prairie land, with a cushion behind my back so I could reach the pedals.

    Comment by Jess Dixon on October 9, 2011 @ 9:10 am
  61. Honking going through a tunnel scares away the evil spirits! Probably because of all the Chinese nitro couriers that were killed bringing it into the tunnels here in B.C.

    Comment by Steve on March 18, 2012 @ 7:44 pm
  62. I always thought “Tom Mix” was “Dominick” !! lol Now I know.

    Comment by Frank on April 18, 2012 @ 12:17 pm
  63. The way my grandmother and mother taught us was:

    Shave and a haircut, two bits!
    Who ya gonna marry? Thomas!
    What ya gonna feed him? Neck Bones!
    Who’s gonna eat them? Spike Jones!

    This was followed up by the lady with the bald headed baby song

    Comment by Alicia on June 29, 2012 @ 11:00 am
  64. Our’s were…lift feet over railroad tracks (so your feet don’t get caught), hold breath over bridge (golden gate was the westcoast mother of all), honk thru tunnels (my deaf dad was the honk-master, and yes, I still do it), never did the cemetery one.

    Comment by kelly on August 8, 2012 @ 11:08 am
  65. In addition…our lyrics were:

    Shave and a haircut, two bits
    Who was the barber, tom mix
    Who did he marry, Faye Rae
    How is the baby, okay
    What did they name her, ………….this was the part I forgot. And I think a whole other line.

    And super annoying, like hearing someone say the first part and then silence. The worst torture since “She’s a brick..”

    Comment by kelly on August 8, 2012 @ 11:14 am
  66. Thomas…correction. lol

    Comment by kelly on August 8, 2012 @ 11:15 am
  67. Oh yeah,
    How olds the baby, six months
    What did they name her, ………..

    ..dang it!

    Comment by kelly on August 8, 2012 @ 11:18 am
  68. Ok kids, here my Dad’s version, who was born in 1922:

    Shave and a haircut, 2 bits.
    Who’d got married? Tom Mix.
    Who’d he marry? Shea Ray.
    How’s the baby? OK.
    Who’s the doctor? Doc Jones.
    What’ya feed the baby? Big bones.

    Comment by Chris on September 30, 2012 @ 10:01 pm
  69. They way I heard it growing up in the 50’s, was:

    Shave and a haircut, two bits
    Who you gonna marry, Tom Mix
    If he falls and breaks his bones,
    Who you gonna marry, Buck Jones.

    The girls used to sing that song while jumping rope. Since I had three sisters, I heard it a lot.

    As for the tunnels, it goes back to the early days when tunnels were one lane wide. You honked your horn to let others know you were entering the tunnel. If you heard a reply, one of you had to back out.

    Holding your breath going through a tunnel? Just a challenge kids played while driving in the car. But the cemetery? That was a superstition – you didn’t want to inhale those evil spirits in the cemetery.

    Comment by Pete on November 6, 2012 @ 8:14 am
  70. Mom and dad taught me and my sister that knock and rhyme. I don’t remember how this got started, but my sister and I would lif our feet when we crossed a bridge over water, lift our arms up when we went under a railroad track, and our dad always honked the horn in a tunnel. I think he enjoyed the echo. He also taught us a game called “cow poker”. When we passed a pasture on our own side of the car, we counted or estimated how many cows there were. When you pass a graveyard you had to start over. Whoever had the most cows at the end of the trip won. Lots of things to keep little ones busy on a trip. Great memories. Way before the age of dvd players in cars.

    Comment by JMcB on January 8, 2013 @ 1:21 pm
  71. My gramma taught me:

    Shave and a hair cut – two bits
    Who’s getting married – Thomas
    Who is he marrying – Pearl White
    How is the baby – All right
    What do they feed her – Ham bones

    I’m pretty sure there’s another line to rhyme with bones.

    Comment by Atalaya on May 16, 2013 @ 4:30 pm
  72. @Atalaya I’m amazed at all the variations – thanks for adding yours. A few lines that rhyme with bones from former comments are, “Who you gonna marry, Buck Jones” and “Who’s the doctor? Doc Jones.”

    Comment by Dan on May 17, 2013 @ 12:36 am
  73. Shave and a Haircut, 2 Bits
    Who is the Barber? Tom Mix
    Whatcha gonna Feed him? Neck Bones
    Who’s Gonna Eat ‘Em? Buck Jones
    Run to the River, Jump In.
    Sink to the Bottom,
    The End.

    Comment by Jim Lilly on July 8, 2013 @ 2:36 pm
  74. I believe it originated with a Gilbert & Sullivan show.

    Comment by sue raypole on July 18, 2013 @ 10:15 am
  75. @Sue I’m not sure it originated with Arthur Sullivan, but it’s one of the early uses of the tune according to Wikipedia. Another fun fact is that the tune is highly offensive in Mexico. If you change your car horn to that tune, be careful south of the border.

    Comment by Dan on July 18, 2013 @ 10:22 am
  76. Shave and a haircut, two bits.
    Are ya gonna get one, you bet.
    Cow and a milkmaid, six tits.

    Comment by John Hingley on October 27, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
  77. I grew up in the 1930s and 1940s in Detroit, MI and my Mother sang these words:
    Shave and a haircut — two bits.
    Who is the barber? — Tom Mix.
    Who did he marry? — Pearl White.
    How is the baby? — Alright.

    Comment by Carol Ann Beistle on January 6, 2014 @ 4:43 pm
  78. My version was:
    Shave and a haircut two bits
    Who’s in the alley? Tom Mix
    How’d he get there? by Trix
    Who’d he marry? Pearl White
    How’s the baby? All right!

    Comment by Dot Lineberger on May 3, 2014 @ 7:44 am
  79. That doughnut song in 56 brought back memories of summer camp around a campfire where we sang it. We always ended the song with:
    Thanks for the doughnut
    So long

    Comment by Martin Cohen on May 13, 2014 @ 4:56 am
  80. @Martin Hah, that’s a great way to end any song :)

    Comment by Dan on May 13, 2014 @ 8:45 am
  81. I grew up in Ohio in the 60s. My mother taught us to lift our feet from the car floor while driving under a railroad bridge. We were also supposed to touch the car ceiling and close our eyes and make a wish. But ONLY if a train was going over while we were going under. This was especially fun because my mother would do it WHILE she was driving!

    Comment by Denise Zelinski on October 13, 2014 @ 1:36 pm
  82. Wow I have never heard of any rituals for bridges,tunnels,anything in my life! I guess my family never did that at all. I have heard Shave and a Haircut, two bits. But never the rest! And I grew up around my older relatives,not parents. Also, I am 39 and in the 80s people sang it like wolf in the henhouse,stand back! Or crump diddely wombat,stand back! Never normal. We sang the two dead boys poem though!

    Comment by Kayfabe on August 16, 2015 @ 11:10 pm

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