Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 10:37:57 -0400
From: Wendalyn Nichols
Subject: Re: regional distribution?

Second choice. (western Montana/Seattle upbringing).
But it never started with 100 - always with 99.

Kim & Rima McKinzey on 05/04/98 02:26:34 AM

Please respond to American Dialect Society

cc: (bcc: Wendalyn Nichols/Trade/RandomHouse)
Subject: regional distribution?

There was a Bizarro cartoon in the paper on Saturday (5/2) showing a family
happily singing in a car. The caption was "The lexicon family singers on a
road trip." They were singing:

"...One less than 100 glass, narrow-necked containers of alcoholic
beverages brewed from barley & hops on the room-dividing structure - one
less than 100 glass, narrow-necked containers of alcohholic beverages
brewed from barley & hops. Take one down, pass it around...."

My question, though, is how many of you sang (sing?) that with "take one
down, pass it around..." and how many with "If one of those bottles should
happen to fall, (number) bottles of beer on the wall"?

I learned the second choice - in NYC.


(Of course, then there was the explanation of recursive music someone gave
me. The example was "100 bottles of beer on the wall, 100 bottles of beer.
Take one down, put it back up, 100 bottles of beer on the wall."