With Nothing On At All


Hi, folks! We here at the Smart Aleck's Guide HQ are busily preparing for an ebook based on this site, and wanted to share a recent addition:

As widespread as parodies of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" have become, it would be a shame if there were no version about underpants. One common version at least comes close:

I wear my pink pajamas in the summer when it’s hot
I where my flannel nighties in the winter when it’s not
and sometimes in the springtime and often in the fall
I jump into my little bed with nothing on at all
Glory, glory hallelujah
glory, glory what’s it to ya?
Balmy breezes blowing through ya
with nothing on at all!

This is often printed in collections of camp songs alongside “God Bless My Underwear,” which I suppose you could say is a sort of companion piece.

This is another that’s older than people think.  It was widespread by the 1930s (sometimes in a third person version, “She wears her pink pajamas,” and with a “woolen” nightie instead a flannel one. 

But wasn’t a new song then, either;  in 1916 it was published in a book of “Harvard songs.” It appears in that book as the second verse of a “John Brown’s body” parody called “The Clam Digger.” The first verse is rather dumb, and has nothing to do with sleeping in the nude, then, in verse 2, it becomes an excuse for a bunch of Harvard guys to sing about wearing pink pajamas and flannel nighties:

THE CLAM DIGGER:
I know a man who went digging for some clam (x3)
and he didn’t catch a bally bally clam.
Glory, glory to the clam digger (x3)
for he never caught a bally bally clam!
I put on my pink pajamas in the summer when it’s hot
I put on my flannel nightie in the winter when it’s not
and sometimes in the springtime by more often in the fall
I just right into between the sheets with nothing on at all
Glory, glory for the spring time (x3)
when I just right in between the sheets with nothing on at all! 

(note from the smart aleck staff: shouldn’t it be glory glory for the autumn? So much for Harvard intellectuals!)

The book also includes a parody called “Glory for the Crimson” with which we need not bother, except to note that 1916 era Harvard men had quite a number of songs set to this tune. Newspaper accounts indicate that “With Nothing On At All” wasn’t original to Harvard, either - it had been going around awhile by the time it hit Harvard.


The Smart Aleck's Guide to Naughty Playground Songs and Children's Folklore will be available as an ebook very soon! It'll feature a lot of the research we've done from this site, expanded and revised, with an active table of contents, internal links for easy navigation, and other fancy stuff! 

1 comment:

  1. The "Clam Digger" is usually known as "Mary Ann McCarthy". She went out to dig some clams.... but all she ever got was "crabs". This mildly ribald song was a favorite on college campus. As you notice, college students took children's songs and incorporated them into their songs especially when they used the same tune.

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