Ten Green Bottles

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For the Vivian Jeanette Kaplan novel, see Ten Green Bottles (book).

"Ten Green Bottles" is a song that is popular in the United Kingdom. In essence, the song is a single verse repeated, each time with one bottle fewer:

" Ten Green Bottles hanging on the wall,

 Ten Green Bottles hanging on the wall,
 And if one Green Bottle should accidentally fall,
 There'll be Nine Green Bottles hanging on the wall."

" Nine Green Bottles hanging on the wall,

 Nine Green Bottles hanging on the wall,
 And if one Green Bottle should accidentally fall,
 There'll be Eight Green Bottles hanging on the wall."

There are variants with standing or hanging instead of sitting.

Other variants include Ten German Bombers and the American 99 Bottles of Beer

" There were ten German Bombers in the air,

 There were ten German Bombers in the air,
 There were ten German Bombers,
 Ten German Bombers,
 Ten German Bombers in the air."

" And the RAF from England shot one down,

 And the RAF from England shot one down,
 And the RAF from England,
 The RAF from England,
 The RAF from England shot one down."

There is also a variation in French called "Les Moutons" ('The Sheep'), sung by Jacques Brel in the album Jacques Brel 67 (1967).

Parodies[edit]

Actors Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving sing a parody of "Ten Green Bottles" called "Ten Fat Trannies" in the 1993 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

In Sue Townsend's novel The Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole (1982), Adrian's class starts singing "Ten Green Bottles" on the bus during a school trip. They then start singing "Ten Green Snotrags" and the bus driver yells at them.

In the September of 1998, a French scholar discovered a poetry manuscript containing words which were estimated to come from the 14th century England: " Syxthene bowtell gryne

 Yhangen, Yhangen
 Yhangen, Yhangen
 Syxthene boxtell gryne
 Doonfal won
 Syxthene boxtell gryne
 Yhangen, Yhangen

...... The structure and language of this folk song supported that it was indeed an early version of the 'Ten Green Bottles' which children are taught in the current century.

In the episode "Summer" (2000) of the television show The Vicar of Dibley, Rev. Geraldine and the other members of the church council chain themselves to the church in protest. In the middle of the night, to combat boredom, Frank Pickle (the most dry and boring council member) starts singing, "One hundred thousand green bottles, hanging on the wall. One hundred thousand green bottles, hanging on the wall. And if one green bottle, should accidentally fall, there'll be ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine green bottles, hanging on the wall!" By this time, everyone has joined in.

In the film "Nothing But the Night" 1973, children on a field trip on a school bus sing this song for an extended period of time annoying the bus driver. The origin of the folk song has been lost over time, however there is reference it being from Yorkshire.