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Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer

DigiTrad:
NINETY-NINE BOTTLES OF BEER


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Ten Green Bottles... (4)
Who wrote '99 Bottles of Beer', eh??? (60)


GUEST 29 Mar 17 - 03:40 PM
Bill D 29 Mar 17 - 06:35 PM
Lighter 29 Mar 17 - 07:06 PM
Joe Offer 30 Mar 17 - 12:20 PM
Joe Offer 30 Mar 17 - 01:13 PM
Joe Offer 30 Mar 17 - 01:19 PM
Lighter 30 Mar 17 - 04:22 PM
Cool Beans 30 Mar 17 - 05:20 PM
Joe Offer 31 Mar 17 - 01:03 AM
Fred Maslan 31 Mar 17 - 10:22 AM
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Subject: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 03:40 PM

What is the origin of this Weird Counting song?
I heard its from the 20th century but what's the history of it?
Please tell me


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 06:35 PM

I don't think anyone knows. Some things just 'develop' in groups and spread like the flu.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 07:06 PM

I first heard "A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall" as a child in 1959.

"Ninety-Nine Bottles Hanging on the Wall" first seems to have been published in a collection of British soldiers' songs in 1917. The tune was a little different.

There's still another version, "Ten Green Bottles Standing on a Wall," mentioned in the mid '20s. It seems to be British.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 12:20 PM

There is, of course, a Wikipedia article on this song:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_Bottles_of_Beer

The Traditional Ballad Index also has an entry:

Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer

DESCRIPTION: Need I really tell you? "Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer, Take one down and pass it around, Ninety-eight bottles of beer...." And so on, ad nauseum, drunkenness, or exhaustion
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: drink nonballad
FOUND IN: US(MW,So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 456, "Ninety-Nine Blue Bottles" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 190, "Ninety-Nine Blue Bottles" (1 text)
DT, BOT99*

Roud #7603
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Eight Little Cylinders" (counting)
cf. "Ten Little Injuns" (counting)
NOTES: Randolph's and Brown's texts, obviously, refers to "blue bottles" rather than "bottles of beer"; might this be an attempt to clean up the song for a temperate audience?
I will admit amazement that neither Randolph nor Brown seems to know this in its common form -- but then, they probably were born in the days before school buses took students on field trips. - RBW
File: R456

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Is it in the World's Greatest Songbook, the Digital Tradition? Of course: /@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4239

And yes, friends, the entire, unedited text of this song was posted at Mudcat by The Honorable Toadfrog: /detail.cfm?messages__Message_ID=814677


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Subject: ADD Version: Ninety Nine Blue Bottles
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 01:13 PM

From the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Volume III, #190;

190
NINETY-NINE BLUE BOTTLES
This sounds like a College song, though it may of course be a music-hall product. It is listed in Miss Pound's Midwestern syllabus, with "forty-nine" instead of "ninety-nine." Randolph (OFS III 210) reports it from Missouri. Presumably the blue bottles are bluebottle flies, though the term is not hyphenated in the manuscript.
'Ninety-Nine Blue Bottles.' Reported by K. P. Lewis as obtained in 1910 from Dr. Kemp P. Battle of Chapel Hill.

NINETY-NINE BLUE BOTTLES

Ninety-nine blue bottles were hanging on the wall;
Take one blue bottle away from them all
And ninety-eight blue bottles will be hanging on the wall.

Ninety-eight blue bottles were hanging on the wall;
Take one blue bottle away from them all
And ninety-seven blue bottles will be hanging on the wall.

"Etc., etc., until the last blue bottle is removed or until the singer faints from exhaustion."


-I wonder if Dr. Kemp P. Battle sang all the verses for the collector.... -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 01:19 PM

But why stop there? Here's the version in Ozark Folksongs, by Vance Randolph (Volume III, No. 456)

456
NINETY-NINE BLUE BOTTLES
I heard my father sing this in the late 90's; he had learned it as a boy in South Carolina, shortly after the Civil War.
From Mrs. Hugo Blair, Joplin, Mo., Sept. 4, 1929.


NINETY-NINE BLUE BOTTLES

Ninety-eight blue bottles
A-hanging on the wall,
Take one blue bottle
Away from them all,
Leaves ninety-seven blue bottles
A-hanging on the wall.
(And so on, until the singer is out of breath.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 04:22 PM

Nice, Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Cool Beans
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 05:20 PM

A religious Baptist in one of my graduate school classes called it "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Pop on the Wall."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Mar 17 - 01:03 AM

Gee, Cool Beans, are you sure that's not One Bottle of Pop? Note that the Digital Tradition instructs that we can substitute beer for pop. Oh, and I learned it: "Don't chuck your muck in my dustbin":

ONE BOTTLE OF POP

One bottle of pop, two bottles of pop, three bottles of pop, four
bottles of pop,
Five bottles of pop, six bottles of pop, seven bottles of bottled
pop.

Don't throw your muck in my trash can, my trash can, my trash can
Don't throw your muck in my trash can, my trash can's full.

Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar, vinegar
Fish and chips and vinegar, pepper, pepper, pepper pot.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
also with beer instead of pop
Sung as a three part round
@round @kids
filename[ POPBOTTL
DC


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 31 Mar 17 - 10:22 AM

We used to alternate "if one of those bottles should happen to fall" with "take one down and pass it around" to add a little variety.


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