The Song That Never Ends
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"The Song That Never Ends" (originally, "The Song That Doesn't End") is a self-referential and infinitely iterative children's song. The song appears in the album Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along by puppeteer Shari Lewis. It is a single verse long song, written in an infinite-loop motif in a march style, such that it naturally flows in a cyclical fashion, repeating the same verse over and over. It is still a very popular tune, typically sung during long car journeys. The song was written by writer/composer Norman Martin in 1988.
|Original version||Classical variation|
This is the song that doesn't end
This is the song that never ends
Notable appearances and recordings
The most notable appearance of the song in the US was as the closing theme of Lamb Chop's Play-Along, a 1992 televised puppet show on PBS, though with slightly different lyrics and a slightly different title (known as "The Song That Doesn't End"). At the end of each episode, the puppets and children would sing several verses of the song while hostess Shari Lewis would try in vain to stop them. They would eventually leave (on her urging), even while beginning a sixth verse (which eventually fades out). Then the puppet character Charlie Horse would return and try to get to sing the song again. But Shari however stops him successfully by grabbing his mouth and persuading him to "go away", and not to slam the door (though Charlie did).
A short rendition of the song appeared in a skit on the animated TV show Cartoon Planet (the skit is also featured on the companion album, Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que). Brak sings the song until he is asked to stop by Zorak, who finds it annoying. Brak explains that he is unable to because it's the "song that doesn't end." He attempts to continue until Zorak loses his temper, causing Brak to cease, remarking, "I guess it just ended."
The song has been adopted as an unofficial anthem by disparate groups. The Discordian organization (or disorganization) known as POEE has listed the song in their material with claims that it was written by a member, while fans of the rock band Styx adopted a variation, "The Tour That Never Ends", to describe Styx's 400-plus date tour in the late 1990s in support of their album Brave New World.
It was also the subject of a single strip in Dave Kellett's Sheldon webcomic.
In the Smart Guy episode "Love Bug", Mo and Yvette (Omar Gooding and Essence Atkins) perform "The Song That Never Ends" variant in order to annoy a fellow contestant to see if he will exit the car they are supposed to stay in for an entire weekend in order to win it. The two eventually (and suddenly) stop singing, driving the man crazy as to whether they will start singing the song once again, leading to him escaping the car and automatically eliminating himself from the contest.
- Discogs "Discogs' Entry for Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- AllMusic"AllMusic's Entry for Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Shari Lewis (Author), Marty Gold (Author, Editor), Debbie Cavalier (Editor) Lamb Chop's Play-Along: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Warner Brothers Publications, 1996, p. 108. ISBN 1576233545