Appalachia

1000 Legged Worm Song

1000 legged bug song

A few months ago Roy Pipes left the comment below on a post I published about the song The Ninety and Nine.

Tipper – I had never before heard The Ninety and Nine, I have read in the Bible of the lost sheep. Ironically this morning, just teasing my wife, I sung The Thousand Legged Worm. Do you know it? As best I remember it goes: A thousand legged worm said to me one day, have you seen a leg of mine – If it can’t be found I’ll have to hop around on the other nine hundred ninety nine. It has no connection to the Ninety and Nine, but the numbers made me again think of it.

Roy grew up in the same general area that I did, but I’ve never heard the thousand leg song he mentions have you?

The song does remind me of a story Pap and Granny tell. Before Paul came along we lived in the little house owned by the Sherlocks. One night Granny woke Pap up screaming and hollering-it liked to have scared him to death. Once the lights were on Granny explained she felt something crawling on her and she wasn’t going back to bed until it was found! Pap discovered the culprit climbing along the headboard – a 1,000 legged bug. Pap thinks the story is funny, Granny not so much.

Tipper

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Ken
    July 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Tipper,
    Those things are really coordinated. Every time I go up to my reservoir and beyond, I see a bunch of them thousand legs. Most are sitting on a mossy log. They’re
    fascinating creatures to watch.
    One time me and Annabelle (my
    youngest grandgirl) flipped one
    off into the branch, to see if it
    could swim. The little booger
    crawled across the bottom of the
    hole and out to dry land as if
    nothing had happened…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I think I am gonna catch me on of those things and pull half the legs off of one side and see if it make him go in circles. Just Kidding!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    That is a nasty looking thing. I sure wouldn’t want one 9n my bed.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    That is a nasty looking thing. I sure wouldn’t want one 9n my bed.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    That is a nasty looking thing. I sure wouldn’t want one 9n my bed.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    That is a nasty looking thing. I sure wouldn’t want one 9n my bed.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    July 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    – seems I’ve heard that one before – not sure where -but instead of “I’ll hop around” try “I’ll hobble around”. . . this is one of those faint and fuzzy “memories”.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    How is Pap doing ?
    I love the song the ninety and nine , I remember it when I was a growing up.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    How is Pap doing ?
    I love the song the ninety and nine , I remember it when I was a growing up.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    How is Pap doing ?
    I love the song the ninety and nine , I remember it when I was a growing up.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    July 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    How is Pap doing ?
    I love the song the ninety and nine , I remember it when I was a growing up.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    July 3, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Or maybe a millipede.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 3, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Tipper–I can’t resist a tweak aimed at Miss Cindy, since she’s delivered a telling blow or two to me over the years in this forum.
    Of course 1000-legged worms are creepy. That’s how they get around–by creeping.
    That aside, I actually find them interesting and quite attractive in appearance. No doubt that says more about my outlook on life than anything else.
    Jim
    P. S. I never heard the song.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    July 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Thousand legged worms are officially called centipedes, which would actually translate as “hundred legs” or feet. We always called them “thousand leggers”, though.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 3, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Mama called them that. I had one in the bed with me yrs. ago & have never forgotton how horrible it was!!

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    July 3, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I don’t know how I learned the song, A Thousand Legged Worm, but I’ve know it since I was a child.

  • Reply
    TimMc
    July 3, 2015 at 9:59 am

    That is funny, if it had happen to my Mother, she would have packed and left, you should see her if a steak field lizard gets in the house, no sleep until that thing is caught or killed, we’d catch them, but if MaMa got to it first it was a automatic death sentence..

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    July 3, 2015 at 9:47 am

    As a child we referred to them as a “thousand legger.” Now I don’t know if that was a common expression or something dreamed up by a bunch of kids playing in the midst of nature.
    The blog remains wonderful. any creature “great or small” can be featured on your blog. I personally am enjoying the beauty of the many “June Bugs,” As children we would twirl them around and around on a string. I feel guilty now and carefully flap them off my clothesline….then ponder if they are destructive to a garden. I don’t think I will even google that.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 3, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I remember the song and the tune that goes with the words. The words I remember were more like this: Said the thousand-legged worm, as he gave a little squirm, “Have you seen a little leg of mine? If it can’t be found, I’ll have to hop around on the other nine hundred ninety-nine.”

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 3, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I’ve never heard the song but I did a little research and it seems a 1000 legged or millipede has two pairs of legs per segment. So you can count each segment and multiply by four to see how many legs it has. A centipede has one pair
    of legs per segment. I was reading the news earlier this week and a teenage boy had ear pain and doctors removed a centipede from his ear, that gives me the willies just thinking about it!!

  • Reply
    dolores
    July 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Yikes! I don’t think I want that thing crawling on me. We used to be fascinated by them when we were kids. I never heard the song before either. I do remember the night that a lizard (small one) crawled across my face while I was sleeping one night when we lived in South FL. That was a scary experience – no sleep for me that night as I searched and chased around the bedroom for that thing until I found it. Capturing it, well, that was another story.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    July 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I have never heard either song. Worms with 1000 legs or the legless ones cause me to have nightmares!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    July 3, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I have memories of seeing “1000 Legged Worms”–I think we called them “1000-Legged Caterpillars” from my childhood. I was fascinated by them, but I certainly didn’t want one to get on me or to crawl on my hands, arms or legs!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    July 3, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Its a centipede. I’ve heard and sung the song all my life and taught it to a multitude of children. My daughter couldn’t say ‘nine hundred ninty-nine’ so she sang niner niner niner nine.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

    In New Mexico, we called those critters centipedes, but they were terrifying. Occasionally one would appear in our bathtub. I assumed that they came up the drain hole, so I always get out of the tub before I pulled the plug — just in case a big one was lurking in the hole! The song’s terrific — it’s easy to sing, although I have no idea of the original tune. My friend Patsy and I used to go centipede hunting — turning over rocks with a long stick. When we found one, we would run and scream. The centipede probably died of fright!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 3, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Those sure are the creepiest things. I wonder how many legs it actually has and how it is that all the legs move at the same time.

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