The Wheels on the Bus

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"The Wheels on the Bus"
Songwriter(s)Verna Hills

"The Wheels on the Bus" is an American folk song written by Verna Hills (1898–1990)[1] and published in 1939.[2] It is a popular children's song in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada, and is often sung by children on bus trips to keep themselves amused. It has a very repetitive rhythm, making the song easy for many people to sing, in a manner similar to the song "99 Bottles of Beer". It is based on the traditional British song "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush". The song is also sometimes sung to the tune of "Buffalo Gals", as in the version done by Raffi.

The song is now very popular for children in several other languages.

{ \key g \major \time 4/4 \partial 8 d'8 | g'8 g'16 g' g'8 b' d'' b' g'4 | a'8 a' a'4 fis'8 e' d'8. d'16 | g'8 g'16 g' g'8 b' d'' b' g'4 | a' d'8. d'16 g'4. | \bar "|." } \addlyrics { The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, All through the town. }

Normally followed by "The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish" (with action), "the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep" and "the people on the bus go up and down" (with action). Some versions substitute "bounce up and down" for "go up and down", and some modern commercial recordings of the song in children's toys simplify the tune by copying notes 7 through 9 onto notes 13 through 15.

Mad Donna's cover version[edit]

"Wheels On the Bus"
MAD'DONNA The Wheels on bus.jpg
Single by Mad Donna
Released4 May 2002
FormatCD single
  • Star Harbour
  • All Around The World Disco 0202R
Songwriter(s)Verna Hills

In 2002, American Madonna impersonator "Mad Donna" (Michelle Chappel) had a single which sampled the nursery rhyme, featuring a version of Madonna's "Ray of Light" over which the classic children's song was sung. The single reached No. 17 in the United Kingdom and also made the charts elsewhere in Europe.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ American Childhood, vol. 25, 1939, p. 56
  3. ^ "Mad Donna (3) - The Wheels On The Bus". Discogs.