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Found a Peanut facts for kids

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"Found a Peanut" is a traditional song, often considered a children's song, in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Israel. In Israel it is titled "I Swallowed a Peanut" (Balati Boten; בלעתי בוטן). It is popular to sing when travelling, as it has a very repetitive format that is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing. It is sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine". It may often be sung around a camp fire.

Basic lyrics

A basic version of the variable lyrics is:

Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
Just now found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
Cracked it open, cracked it open, cracked it open just now
I Just now cracked it open, cracked it open just now.
It was rotten, it was rotten, it was rotten just now,
Just now it was rotten, it was rotten just now .

Then it continues with the same rhythm:

Ate it anyway
Got a stomachache
Called the doctor
Said I would'nt Die
Died anyway
Went to Heaven
Found the gates locked
Got hotter
Woke up
Found it was a dream

The Israeli/Hebrew Version

Many variations

The simple repetitive structure of the song lends itself to near infinite variations. Sometimes "Just now" is substituted for "last night". Sometimes the verse will not reference the preceding verse as in the first example above.

Versions current in Baltimore in 1955 weren't quite as heavenly focused, and ended in: "Shoveling coal, shoveling coal, shoveling coal just now ..."

Another common variation on "last night" is "yesterday". This is used by "This Morning With Richard Not Judy" by Stewart Lee and Richard Herring.

Other substitutions include:

  • Other foods can also be used, such as an apple, for which the second line can be "it was wormy".
  • "It was rotten" by "Found it rotten", "It was mouldy", or "Green and mouldy".
  • "Ate it anyway" by "Still I ate it" or "Ate it anyhow".
  • "Got a stomachache" by "Got sick" or "Appendicitis".
  • "Wouldn't take me" by "Kicked an angel", "Punched St. Peter", or "Said a naughty word".
  • "Penicillin" by "Didn't Work".
  • "Operation" by "Cut me open", "Took the peanut out", "Sewed me up again", "Left the scissors in", "Cut me open again", or "Had surgery"
  • "Wouldn't take me" by "Wouldn't take me", "Went the other way", "Didn't want me".
  • "It was a dream" by "Shoveling coal".
  • "Couldn't save me" by "Died anyway"
  • Sometimes, after "Woke up" it's "Found a peanut" again.

The Hebrew version sometimes introduces the verse: "Now I'm dead" (Akhshav ani met, עכשיו אני מת) before "I ascended to heaven". Sometimes "God" (Elohim, אלוהים), rather than "Gabriel" is used. Finally, sometimes before the recap either the verse: "So I answered him" (Az aniti lo, אז עניתי לו) or a single line: "So I answered him thus:" (Az aniti lo she-, -אז עניתי לו ש) is added.


Some attribute the song to Jack Schafer of Detroit, MI in 1958, although the song appears in the 1949 film A Letter to Three Wives. Those lyrics end at "Ate it anyway."

Other evidence, however, suggests that the song was widely known in the United States as early as the 1940s. A 1945 issue of the Florida Flambeau describes "Found a Peanut" as an "old song" from "high school days." Likewise, the Norwalk Hour described a performance of the song in a school talent show in 1942.

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