Halloween Chaos Countdown: The Hearse Song & Lincoln
I first heard of this song in the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. This is a nice cover:
Don’t ever laugh as a hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet,
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks,
And all goes well for about a week,
And then your coffin begins to leak.
And the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose.
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
and that’s what you eat when you are dead.
And the worms crawl out, the worms crawl in.
The worms that crawl in are lean and thin,
The ones that crawl out are fat and stout.
Your eyes fall in and your hair falls out.
Your brain comes tumbling down your snout.
And the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
They crawl all over your dirty snout.
Your chest caves in, your eyes pop out,
And your brain turns to sauerkraut.
They invite their friends and their friends too,
They all come down to chew on you.
And this is what it is to die,
I hope you had a nice goodbye.
Did you ever think as a hearse goes by,
That you may be the next to die?
And your eyes fall out, and your teeth decay,
And that is the end of a perfect day.
The origins of the song are unknown. It is said to date back to the 19th century and there are slight variations to the song. It’s fun to sing.
Typing of hearses, Abraham Lincoln’s hearse was pretty pimp.
I have a thing for Lincoln. Even when he was alive he still looked dead…
Fun weird Lincoln fact: Lincoln used to see his doppelgänger in the mirror. In Lincoln’s biography, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, Carl Sandberg wrote:
A dream or illusion had haunted Lincoln at times through the winter. On the evening of his election he had thrown himself on one of the haircloth sofas at home, just after the first telegrams of November 7 had told him he was elected president, and looking into a bureau mirror across the room he saw himself full length, but with two faces. It bothered him; he got up; the illusion vanished; but when he lay down again there in the glass again were two faces, one paler than the other. He got up again, mixed in the election excitement, forgot about it; but it came back, and haunted him. He told his wife about it; she worried too. A few days later he tried it once more and the illusion of the two faces again registered to his eyes. But that was the last; the ghost since then wouldn’t come back, he told his wife, who said it was a sign he would be elected to a second term, and the death pallor of one face meant he wouldn’t live through his second term.
Lincoln also had a dream of seeing his own corpse, not long before he was assassinated:
About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers, ‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.
There are quite a few conspiracy theories and paranormal stories surrounding the death of Lincoln and even his assassinator, John Wilkes Booth. A look-alike claiming to be Booth ended up being mummified and his friend showed him around the carnival freak show circuit for several years until a private collector purchased him.