On Top of Spaghetti

Tom Glazer

About On Top of Spaghetti

"On Top of Spaghetti" is a ballad and children's song with the best-known performance by folk singer Tom Glazer with the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus in 1963. The song is sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smoky". It is the tale of a meatball that was lost when "somebody sneezed". The song discusses what happened to the meatball after it fell off of a pile of spaghetti and rolled away. In 1961, to the same tune, Dick Biondi, The 9-Midnight DJ on WLS Chicago (1960–63), had recorded on IRC "The Pizza Song". In 1962 Sharon and the Lollipops recorded "On Top of Spaghetti" with a lyric credit to Sharon Ruth. It was released in June 1962 and reviewed by Billboard in its Limited Sales Potential column in June 23 of that year. A version in Swedish was released in 1962 by Snopporna. Tom Glazer with the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus, extended version was released on Kapp in 1963 with a contradictory lyric credit to Tom Glazer, but no publishing references were noted on the release labels. That version reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. 


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On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed

It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door

It rolled in the garden and under a bush
And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty as tasty could be,
And early next summer it grew to a tree.

The tree was all covered with beautiful moss
It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball and don't ever sneeze.

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Tom Glazer

Thomas Zachariah "Tom" Glazer (September 2, 1914 – February 21, 2003) was an American folk singer and songwriter known primarily as a composer of ballads, including: "Because All Men Are Brothers", recorded by The Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary, "Talking Inflation Blues", recorded by Bob Dylan, and "A Dollar Ain't A Dollar Anymore". He wrote the lyrics to the songs "Melody of Love" (1954), and "Skokian" (1954). more »

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Written by: TOM GLAZER

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

14 facts about this song

Song Origin
"On Top of the Spaghetti" is a popular children's song written and first recorded by folk singer Tom Glazer in 1963.
Inspiration Source
The song is set to the tune of the traditional folk song "On Top of Old Smoky", thereby making it a parody.
Song Content
The lyrics of the song tell a humorous story of a lost meatball that was sneezed off a pile of spaghetti and rolled away, later becoming a tree.
Success Level
In 1963, "On Top of Spaghetti" reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Album Appearance
The song appeared on Tom Glazer's album titled '...Sings Honk-Hiss-Tweet-GGGGGGGGGG and Other Children's Favorites'.
Pop Culture Impact
"On Top of Spaghetti" has been covered by numerous artists, and it is often sung at summer camps and in school classrooms.
Lifetime Achievement of the Singer
Tom Glazer, who is both the songwriter and the performer of "On Top of Spaghetti," is also known for his work as a social activist and author.
Fiscal Success
"On Top of Spaghetti" was considered one of the most financially successful compositions for Tom Glazer.
Lyrics Continuity
The storyline of the runaway meatball in the song continues in two follow-up songs titled "Don't Sit Down" and "I'm Looking Over."
Musical Style
"On Top of Spaghetti," while a children's song, also falls under the genre of Folk music because of its use of the traditional "On Top of Old Smoky" melody.
The original recording of "On Top of Spaghetti" features Tom Glazer's vocal performance with simple guitar accompaniment.
Cultural Influence
The song has been translated and performed in many different languages around the world, demonstrating its widespread popularity and influence.
Hospital Reference
The song may indirectly teach children about germs spreading through sneezing, as the meatball causes a commotion after being sneezed off the spaghetti.
Song Longevity
Over half a century after its release, "On Top of Spaghetti" remains a staple in children's music, highlighting its timeless appeal.

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    On Top of Spaghetti

    694     37

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1963

    Billboard #14

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