little toot

When I was a wee lad I loved listening to a song about a little tug boat named Little Toot on the record player. So great was my vigor and enjoyment of this song that I would often dance about, emphasizing the toots in the song with a vigorous leap of joy.

My family was gathered in the living room one evening and I was entertaining them with one of my little toot dances when I leaped with such force and vigor that, to my horror, I ripped a hole in the crotch of my pants. As I stated earlier, I was a wee lad, and as such, was quite embarrassed by this incident.

Here is a short clip of what I think was the song. The lyrics are on the page I linked to above, but I remember them slightly differently. I’m likely in error because it has been quite some time.

Update 22 Dec 2010: A version on YouTube.


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  1. And here I thought you were going to talk about leaping across the room with such vigor that you actually tooted. :)

    Comment by scott on June 1, 2006 @ 8:30 am
  2. Yeah, I realized some people might think that was the outcome as I was writing it. At least it kept you guessing.

    Comment by dan on June 2, 2006 @ 7:45 am
  3. I am searching for the words to a children’s record song about Toot Toot Toodles, the Tugboat.. My children used to sing it at the top of their lungs. My husband and I have been wondering what comes after “Toot toot Toodles the Tugboat, Goes toot toot toot all day. Is this your song?

    Comment by shirley moore on November 17, 2006 @ 5:32 am
  4. Tune Zone would not let me into your link. “Forbidden”

    Comment by shirley moore on November 17, 2006 @ 5:35 am
  5. shirley: Nope, it’s not my song, and it appears that toon zone is changing their links so mine are now broken. I looked around for the lyrics but didn’t find anything.

    Comment by dan on November 17, 2006 @ 6:26 am
  6. i had this record when I was little and played it constantly…i think my brother finally snapped and broke it…i vaguely remember the lyrics

    Comment by pat on January 26, 2010 @ 8:23 pm
  7. As I remember a few lines, it went: Little Toot was just a tug, just a happy harbor tug and though he tried to be good, he never could behave. I don’t remember anything more than little scraps and bits. I’d like to get a recording of this. I’d like to put together a collection of those childhood memories of mine. I was hoping to find something of that here.


    Comment by bablhous on December 21, 2010 @ 7:52 pm
  8. @bablhous I’ve updated the post with a link to a version on YouTube. It doesn’t sound like the version I remember, but it fits your recollection of the words.

    Comment by Dan on December 22, 2010 @ 12:48 am
  9. I found an old children’s record in my aquired collection. I tried a search to get more information, and discovered that I can’t find published lyrics for it anywhere on the web. It is a red 78 rpm 6 1/2 inch record titled “Toot Toot Tootles”. The label is Record Guild of America, Inc. Copywrighted 1954 Sage Music, Inc. The song uses both sides of the record. It is sung by Norman Stanley with the Guild Orchestra. I will try posting this message and if it posts successfully, I will post the lyrics.

    Comment by Paul Good on October 21, 2011 @ 9:32 am
  10. I realize that this thread is looking for info on Little Toot, but this is the best discussion I’ve found to post the lyrics for Toot Toot Tootles.

    Toot Toot Tootles

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Goes “toot toot toot” all day
    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Sails up and down the bay

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    He has no time to play
    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Just tugs and chugs away

    Tootles knows all the great big ships
    He knows just where they’ve been
    As they come in the bay they toot
    And Tootles tugs them in

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    He gives a toot and then
    All the boats in the harbor
    Go “toot toot toot”
    Then Tootles toots again

    (instrumental interlude)

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    One day went on a spree
    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Set out to cross the sea

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Thought he was big and strong
    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Sailed right into a storm

    Giant waves tossed him up and down
    Poor Tootles creaked and groaned
    A great big wave turned him around
    And Tootles hurried home

    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Is back inside the bay
    Toot Toot Tootles the tug boat
    Will never sail…
    Will never sail away

    Comment by Paul Good on October 21, 2011 @ 9:42 am
  11. I was thinking about this song all day today. Had the 45 RPM version as a 5 yr old in 1948. I remember the beginning and the end. I cannot remember what goes between “try as he might he just could not behave and the end. Here is The end: “Ship in distress came into view…all by himself he made the rescue…now the other tug boats stand around and root….they root for little toot.”

    Comment by Dave on November 14, 2011 @ 4:28 pm
  12. This is definitely one of those tunes that sticks in your head all through the years of one’s life…Had the pleasure of singing it to my son when I gave him a bath and we would play with little boats while doing so…My son is 23 now and lives on the other side of the country but still remembers when bath time was “Tootles” time…Thanks for the full lyrics! :{)

    Comment by Ramon Gomez on February 12, 2012 @ 11:11 am
  13. @Ramon That’s cool (though it makes me feel a little old :)). You’re very welcome for the lyrics.

    Comment by Dan on February 12, 2012 @ 4:44 pm
  14. he got so sad, so very very mad…he said oh shoot! a ship in distress came into view; all by himself he made the rescue, now the other tugboats stand around and root: they root the little toot! chug chug chug, heave ho my lad, make a big chug just like your dad!

    Comment by Roxanne on May 10, 2012 @ 3:56 pm
  15. As a pre-schooler I think I learned to read by following along with the Little Toot song using the book that came with the record. Must’ve driven my family crazy as I was playing it or singing it constantly. Ten years ago I bought a Mini Cooper and my vanity license plates read “Lil Toot.” It just seemed appropriate.

    Comment by Judie M on May 12, 2014 @ 8:18 am
  16. @Judie That’s awesome. And a great idea for a vanity plate :)

    Comment by Dan on May 12, 2014 @ 8:54 am
  17. These are the lyrics I remember. I have the tiny record from the 50’s, but no way to play it! Anybody remember the middle about him playing in the Barbour?
    Little Toot was just a tug,
    Just a happy harbor tug,
    And he came from a line of tugboats fine and brave.
    But it seems that little Toot,
    He simply didn’t give a hoot,
    Though he tried to be good he just could not behave.
    He’s cute as a bug,
    the chubby little tug called little Toot
    Toot toot toot
    He gets the goat
    of every boat afloat with his little toot
    Toot toot toot
    —this is the the part I don’t remember
    One day a ship in distress
    Came into view
    All by himself he made the rescue
    Now the other tugboats
    stand around and root –
    They root for little Toot!

    Comment by Shari Faltus on May 28, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

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