Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Bacteriological Verse

Bacteriological Verse

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 01, 2014

This isn’t Mormon poetry, but it was published in the Juvenile Instructor in 1902, taken from some unrecorded publication (it’s marked as “selected” poetry; Googling shows some sources giving credit to the Washington Star). My Facebook friends enjoyed it so much that I’d better post it here for everybody. You can sing it to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” – if you come up with another tune that fits, please suggest it.

Modern Carol

Oh, let us all be joyous while we may,
Though the scientists annoy us every day.
For they agitate the topic
Of these creatures microscopic,
’Till we’re getting misanthropic, old and gray.

So now to drown our sorrow let us try,
Lest some microbe on the morrow should draw nigh,
Let the song and dancing thrill us,
Let’s forget that a bacillus
Hopes with all his heart to kill us by and by.




  1. I just keep thinking “Masque of the Red Death”

    Comment by Grant — March 1, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

  2. “the scientists annoy us every day” I love that!

    Comment by StevenP — March 1, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

  3. … And Gilbert and Sullivan?

    Comment by Gary Bergera — March 1, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  4. This reminds me of a song in a Spanish hymn book I have. It’s from the germ’s point of view when a kid brushes his teeth. They scream and then die.

    Comment by Carol — March 1, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

  5. This is a hoot!

    Comment by David Y. — March 1, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

  6. Now you’ve got me humming this in my head….

    Comment by Bruce Crow — March 1, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  7. “Tooth Bugs,” Carol? :)

    “I do not want to clean my teeth, a little boy once cried,
    “I’ve washed my face and combed my hair, Thats quite enough,” he sighed;
    Some tooth bugs hiding in his mouth, Began to dance in glee;
    “At last we’ve found a home,” they cried, “We do not have to flee!”
    “This boy has such a nice warm mouth, We’ll linger here all night;
    His teeth are filled with bits of food, We’ll eat with all our might!”
    The small boy heard their shout of glee, “Get out of there,” he cried;
    He grabbed his brush and scrubbed and scrubbed ‘Till every tooth bug died.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 1, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

  8. Yes! That’s it. I’ve never seen it in English. I used to act it out during tooth brushing time when I was a preschool teacher. Was this in The Children’s Friend?

    Comment by Carol — March 1, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

  9. It was in some of the Primary songbooks. May have been in the Children’s Friend at some point, too, but it was a regular Primary song. One of Primary’s major early 20th century goals was health, after all.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 1, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

  10. That is very funny! True too!

    Comment by David — March 2, 2014 @ 4:00 am

  11. I love it!

    Comment by Juliathepoet — March 2, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

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