"Beer Barrel Polka", also known as "The Barrel Polka" and "Roll Out the Barrel", is a song which became popular worldwide during World War II. The music was composed by the Czech musician Jaromír Vejvoda in 1927.Eduard Ingriš wrote the first arrangement of the piece, after Vejvoda came upon the melody and sought Ingriš's help in refining it. At that time, it was played without lyrics as "Modřanská polka" ("Polka of Modřany"). Its first text was written later (in 1934) by Václav Zeman – with the title "Škoda lásky" ("Wasted Love").
During World War II, versions in many other languages were created and the song was popular among soldiers, regardless of their allegiances. It was claimed many times that the song was written in the country where it had just become a hit. Its actual composer was not widely known until after the war.
Bobby Vinton recorded "Beer Barrel Polka" in 1975. The song was released as the follow up single to his multi-million selling "My Melody of Love" and reached number 33 on the Billboard and number 45 on the Cashbox Top 40 hit charts. The success of the single, which was particularly popular on jukeboxes, led to its inclusion on Vinton's Heart of Hearts album in 1975.
It is sung in the final scene of the Rumpole of the Bailey television episode, "Rumpole and the Alternative Society" (1977).
It was played by Amanda McBroom as Eleanor Carlyle on piano at officers' club in M*A*S*H season 9 episode 20 (second part of "That's Show Biz") after she says that "Even Dvorak and Brahms wrote folk dances" to Major Winchester.
At San Jose Giants home games, a batter from the opposing team is designated the "beer batter." If the San Jose pitcher strikes out that batter, beer is half price in the beer only lines for the 15 minutes immediately following the strike out. The beer batter promotion is in effect only for the first six innings of the game. The PA system plays Beer Barrel Polka whenever the beer batter comes to the plate and after every strike during the beer batter's at-bat (through the first six innings). After the sixth inning, the beer batter becomes the apple juice batter and if he strikes out, fans get half-priced Martinelli's apple juice.
In the Family Matters episode, "Chick-a-Boom", Steve Urkel's creates a powder that explodes up when the song "Roll out the Barrel" is played.
In the Hogan's Heroes season 1 episode "Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sights", Colonel Hogan convinces the Luftwaffe that he knows the details of the Norden Bombsight and has pro-Nazi leanings. To firm up the subterfuge, Colonel Hogan describes a vacuum cleaner named "The Norden" in front of a wiretap with the crew singing "Beer Barrel Polka" loudly, interrupting lines of dialog. Commandant Klink believes the performance because the various details not covered up by singing appear to describe a bombsight.