Music

My Turtle Swims Sideways

ZM sang this song at Webelos camp and LC sang it at Boy Scout camp and they’ve continued singing it since. This song is pure boy humor. Don’t ask me why they like this sort of song so much.

My Turtle Swims Sideways Song

(Sing to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance)

My turtle swims sideways. (Make a swimming motion to one side)

Your turtle swims upside down. (Tilt your head back and make a swimming motion upwards)

My turtle swims sideways. (Make a swimming motion to the side again)

Your turtle is DEAD! (Tilt your head back and flop your hands back.)

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26 Responses to My Turtle Swims Sideways

  1. Shelly July 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM #

    I am going to be blunt. I do not like the ending of this song. What happened to positive values with songs and skits? Death, suicide, making fun others or something, cross dressing, have no place in BSA. The boys get enough of it with their video games, let’s not promote even more.

    I was checking songs and skits the Cubs were going to be doing at our Day Camp Family program. I had leaders upset with me about not allowing to use bathroom humor, beating another Cub Scout or about something dead in their songs and skits. They wanted me to provide them with positive feedback about their ‘sick’ songs and skits.

    We are the Boy Scouts of America and we need to rise above the gore, bathroom humor, body functions and making fun of others in our songs and skits. And it begins with us, who use the internet as a media to promote Scouting.

    • Anonymous July 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM #

      Loosen up, Shelly. Kids know the difference between humor and reality.

    • Anonymous July 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

      Get over yourself, Shelly, and give the kids a little credit. They are much smarter than you seem to give them credit for. It seems much better to me to produce a Scout that can have a giggle over some potty humor or some embarrassing situation that we all might experience than to make a boy that is protected from the world around him to the point that he cannot differentiate between reality and humor.

    • Pete October 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM #

      Shelly is a great name for a turtle.

  2. LIScouter July 11, 2011 at 10:39 AM #

    You forgot to mention that it is sung to the tune of Pomp & Circumstance.

  3. Julee July 11, 2011 at 10:48 AM #

    You often write the lyrics to songs. Some I have heard before, others I have not. Do you know if there is an audio version of these songs available, either on YouTube or on CD. I’d love to introduce new songs to my scouts but without a tune to go by, it is almost impossible.

    • Scouter Mom July 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM #

      See the comment above. I guess I never realized it, but it is Pomp and Circumstance, so I’ve added that in the article. You can always search YouTube. Most of these popular Scout songs are on there.

  4. Irene July 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM #

    Loosen up Shelly. Stop being overprotective and overbearing, Kids know the difference between reality and make believe. For aeons children have found this type of humor hilarious. It is an outlet for emotions otherwise left unspoken to.

  5. Jen July 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

    oh for heavens sake, Shelly. seriously. loosen up. they are boys. you can’t stiffle them or take the fun out of scouting for them. I’m also going to be blunt, because you seem to appreciate that.

    it may not be the type of song YOU would choose, but you have to remember this is BOY scouts and stop trying to soften it or less “sick”. don’t ruin it for them.

    If you don’t approve of the type of humor and fun that boys in scouts have been participating in for over a hundred years now, then maybe YOU need to leave the scouting program, because you’re the one who is not getting it.

    what you should be focused on, rather than how “sick” you think it is, are the smiling faces and happiness and camaraderie that is happening all around you.

    I think this is a great little song, and I would proudly teach it to my boys.

  6. kjk28 July 11, 2011 at 1:49 PM #

    My boys LOVE this song, perhaps because of its simplicty.

  7. StJoeMikey July 11, 2011 at 2:05 PM #

    I want to thank Shelly. I really do. I read the song, and I was wondering if I should do it at Resident Camp next month. I then thought of my perfect target, a Wolf that loves to give me crap all the time, but he and I love the back and forth and have a lot of fun with it.

    Then I read Shelly’s comment, and I am even more fired up to do this before the hundreds of boys at our Resident Camp and I will do it again at Webelos Weekend the week after. I will even include it if needed for Wood Badge also next month.

    So thank you Shelly. Oh and Shelly…your turtle is dead.

    • Andrea July 18, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

      I promise it will be a huge hit. They sang it at Cub Scout Day Camp for my district this summer and the boys requested it EVERY DAY! They love it for some reason.

      I had to admit that I had some issues with the fact that the turtle is dead, but boys know the difference between a joke and real life. My sons would cry a river if they saw a dead turtle. But this song makes them laugh their heads off for some reason!

  8. Scouter Mom July 11, 2011 at 2:24 PM #

    Who knew a four line song could be so controversial!

    As you can guess from my posts, I don’t have any problem with these types of songs/skits. As I said, ZM and LC loved this song. But they certainly are very respectful of wildlife and are sad when they see a dead animal in the wild, as are their friends. So I don’t see any problem with using this material in our unit. They know the difference.

    But as I always say, use your own best judgement with your own scouts. Some groups of kids might be different. If you think their temperament or nature or sense of humor is going to cause this song to have a negative impact on how they act and view the world, then don’t use it.

  9. Sherry July 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM #

    There is another verse that not everyone knows about:

    My turtle swims side ways
    Your turtle swims round and round (turn in a circle)
    My turtle swims side ways
    Your turtle is SOUP.

    All of the scouts from Tigers to 2nd year Webelos in our Pack love singing this song. They request it often. It is all in fun and what boy doesn’t like singing about dead turtles. We all know a little dirt never hurt anyone.

  10. Shawn July 12, 2011 at 6:26 AM #

    There is actually several verses to this song. I will have to ask my son when he gets home what they all are. But it’s a common song sung at many of our camporees when the boys are showing troop spirit and singing competitive songs during the lull of waiting for the next event.

    It’s called troop or patrol spirit.. Shelly.

    You do realize that scouting is supposed to be fun right? If I measured scouts moral compass by such an innocuous song, I shudder to think of what punitive judgement you pass for a more serious infraction.

    • Scouter Mom July 12, 2011 at 8:14 AM #

      Yes, if you have additional verses, please post them in the comments.

  11. Andrea July 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

    I wonder what Shelly would think of the bumblebee song. The bee gets squashed, eaten, thrown up, mopped up, and who knows what else! LOL!!

    It’s just a song!

  12. PJ July 20, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

    We sang this at Camp School and then they mentioned how it might not be correct to say dead anymore. It’s just the way things go this day. As an Aquatics Director, I was taught that we do not do the dead man float anymore, we now do the jellyfish float. So just because something has been done for years doesn’t make it ok now.

    Besides, Turtle Soup sounds yummier.

  13. Nick July 29, 2011 at 9:55 PM #

    I’m 19
    I’m an eagle scout
    And I love this song, it’s funny for kids to sing at camp
    I looked forward to singing it every summer when I was younger

  14. scoutmasterjeff July 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM #

    This is a great song. The boys love it. I was just at BSA Florida Seabase and it was sung at Flag ceremony for graduation of crews who completed scuba certification. The song is harmless.

  15. EagleWife September 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM #

    This is, beyond a doubt, the most ridiculous song ever. Our Webelos LOVE it! :) They can’t wait to teach it to the rest of the boys at our next Pack Meeting.

    (And I agree that Shelly needs to lighten up. I’m not sure how it became a suicidal, cross-dressing turtle. Perhaps “Shelly” is just a bit sensitive about turtles because they, too, have “shells.”)

  16. Mike September 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

    Our Troop loves this song and sings it often just for their Scoutmaster, who got a little tired of hearing it all the time at one of the camps. Now our Troop has a new verse to add for the next time they want to sing to their Scoutmaster. :)

  17. madmommy September 30, 2012 at 6:49 PM #

    We love this song! It was the first one we taught to our Tiger Cubs last year. We also added the verse:

    My turtle eats cornmeal.
    Your turtle eats mush.
    My turtle eats cornmeal.
    Your turtle’s still dead!

    Our asst. den master and I attended a women’s outdoor camping event, and at the campfire that night we sang this song. Apparently, word got around to the event coordinator, who then made us stand up in front of the 100 participants, many instructors, and kitchen staff the next day to sing it again, to thunderous applause :)

  18. Ken October 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM #

    I have heard this at a number of camps. One camp sings it with reindeer! And now that I think of it, I never thought it was about death, anumal abuse or halucinogenics ( to actually see flying reindeer or turtles). It is just a SILLY SONG !!!! And yes, all of our scouts enjoy it. Sometimes during a difficult hike or climb, someone will just start singing it, everyone cracks up……scout on…..

  19. JP November 7, 2012 at 1:23 PM #

    I understand both sides that have shared their comments. The main point it sounds like is for everyone to read up on the current BSA guidelines about skits and songs and follow them. I know they are not always popular policies, but they are there for a reason and as leaders we all have a responsibility to follow BSA policy whether we like it or not.

  20. Scott March 27, 2013 at 1:34 PM #

    This is not a new song, Boys like silly songs…

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