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Pratchett invented the title of the song but he did not write any words to it (apart from the fragments that appear in the novels). However, many fans (including folk singer Heather Wood) have. There is an old Oxford drinking song that uses the key phrase of the hedgehog song although Pratchett denied using it. He pled parallel evolution, and observed that: "There is a certain, how shall I put it, natural cadence to the words." Before it became simply a mild epithet for "bungling something", bugger meant to have anal sex or to be a sodomite and it is still a stronger epithet in Britain than in North America.

The text of to the Oxford drinking song that might have been the prototype for the hedgehog-song -- except that it wasn't --- an be found in Michael Green's book Why Was He Born So Beautiful and Other Rugby Songs (1967, Sphere UK), it is called 'The Sexual Life of the Camel', it probably dates back to the 1920s/30s, and it goes:

The carnal desires of the camel

Are stranger than anyone thinks,

For this passionate but perverted mammal

has designs on the hole of the Sphinx,

But this deep and alluring depression

Is oft clogged by the sands of the Nile,

Which accounts for the camel's expression

And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile.

In the process of Syphilization

From the anthropoid ape down to man

It is generally held that the Navy

Has buggered whatever it can.

Yet recent extensive researches

By Darwin and Huxley and Ball

Conclusively prove that the hedgehog

Has never been buggered at all.

And further researches at Oxford

Have incontrovertibly shown

That comparative safety on shipboard

Is enjoyed by the hedgehog alone.

But, why haven't they done it at Spithead,

As they've done it at Harvard and Yale

And also at Oxford and Cambridge

By shaving the spines off its tail!

The first version of the song was written and posted by Matthew Crosby (who tried to incorporate all the lines mentioned in the Discworld novels), after which the text was streamlined and many verses were added by other readers of the newsgroup. New verses keep getting added to regularly.

-----

Bestiality sure is a fun thing to do

But I have to say this as a warning to you:

With almost all animals, you can have ball

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS 1: The spines on his back are too sharp for a man

They'll give you a pain in the worst place they can

The result I think you'll find will appall:

The hedgehog can never be buggered at all!

Mounting a horse can often be fun

An elephant too; though he weighs half a ton

Even a mouse (though his hole is quite small)

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS 2: The spines on his back are so awful thick

you'll end up with naught but a painful prick.

He has an impregnable hole when curled up in a ball,

Hence the hedgehog can never be buggered at all!

Screwing a cow while she goes moo-moo

Will be entertaining to both her and you

Or you might try a tiger, if you have enough gall

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS 3: (So here's to the hedgehog, he's sharp as they come

You'll never get through his impregnable bum

With his nose up his arsehole and rolled in a ball

The hedgehog can never be buggered at all)

CHORUS

A fish is refreshing, although a bit wet

And a cat or a dog can be more than a pet

Even a giraffe (despite being so tall)

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You can manage a snake, though its poison might kill

It's amazing how humping a camel will thrill

You can go with a snail if you slow to a crawl

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You can ravish a sloth but it would take all night

With a shark it is faster, but the darned beast might bite

We already mentioned the horse, you may recall

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You can roger a skunk if you can stand the smell

Or even an oyster, should he let go of his shell

A troll can be rocky if down you should fall

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

For slippery fun, you can cornhole an otter

Or pego a pig after parting his trotters

Or tumble a tapir, though the prospect appall

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

For prosimian fun, you can bugger a lemur

To bolster your name as a pervert and schemer

The lemurs cry "Frink!" as a coy mating call

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

Antipodean pranks -- you can futter a wombat

Or strive with a 'roo in venereal combat

Or hump a goanna -- go on, do it all

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

A moose is amusing, a squid quite confusing

Or try on a rhino if you fancy a bruising,

Or mountin' a mountain goat (careful, don't fall!)

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You could thrust with a thrush if you fancy a climb,

Or pork a few piglets if you have the time,

A skinhead's pet cat if you don't mind a brawl,

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

A sheep that's named 'Flossy' is warm you shall see,

You can try with a wasp, you can try with a bee.

You can hump with the dog that sleeps in the hall,

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

A lion is frisky, a leopard is fun,

But to keep up with them you may have to run.

You'll be liked by the fleas at the flea-market stall,

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

A hippo is funny but take care if underneath,

A piranha is pleasant but watch out for his teeth.

Get a rodent, they can be found in the mall,

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You tail-lifting buggers from Ramtop or plain

If you take my advice you will save yourself pain

When the base urges strike you it's best to recall

That the hedgehog can never be buggered at all

CHORUS

Your hedgehog's a handful and cute as a bun

You'd think he'd be perfect for animal fun

But hatpin-like pubic hairs prove to us all

That the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You can top a giraffe if you stand on a stool

Though a Jack Russell might make you look like a fool

But the fact still remains that if you want to ball

The hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

You can hump a baboon if it doesn't hump you

And a wildebeest's really got something quite gnu

Carouse with a louse if your weenie is small

But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

CHORUS

It's hard with a crab 'cause its bum's watertight

The best way is sideways, then twist to the right

If you screw one, be thankful as shorewards you crawl

For the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.


Heather Wood has written one of the best versions, reprinted below:


Words - Heather Wood, copyright 1993 or thereabouts

Tune - Bonnie Dundee Trad (Or so I'm told).

from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett

Download a midi file of the music: type 0 or type 1.

1.
You can bugger the bear, if you do it with care, in the winter, when he is asleep in his lair, Though I would not advise it in spring or in fall-- but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
2.
If you're feeling quite coarse, you can bugger the horse, or the palfrey, the jennet, the stallion (with force), You can bugger the donkey, the mare, or the mule, Though to bugger the pony is needlessly cruel.
3.
You can bugger the ox (if you stand on a box) And vulpologists say you can bugger the fox, You can bugger the shrew, though it's awfully small-- but the hedgehog cvan never be buggered at all.
4.
Herptologists gasp you can bugger the asp, Entymologists claim you can bugger the wasp. If an insects your thing, man, then just have a ball-- But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
5.
And the elephant too, that you meet in the zoo, Can be buggered if you are sure just what to do, You will need a large mattress upon which to fall-- but the hedgehog cvan never be buggered at all.
6.
You can bugger the bees if your down on your knees, You can bugger the termites with terminal ease you can bugger the beetle, the ladybug (bird!) too, there's no end to the buggering that you can do.
7.
You can bugger the cat if it isn't to fat You can bugger the rabbit you draw from your hat You can bugger the shark that you've chased in your yawl-- but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
8.
You can bugger the ermine, and all other vermine, like rats, mice, and roaches, if your not discernin'. You can bugger the dog, it will come when you call-- but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
9.
Although Mr. Tiggy is not very big, he Avoids with great ease those who fancy his arse. He just curls in a ball, shows his prickles and all-- And the would-be seducer leaves himin the grass
10.
If you're that kind of fool, and you have a long tool, Do it with a giraffe, if you stand on a stool, Catch a yeti, who lives in the snows of Nepal-- but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
11.
For the hedgehog escapes the posterior rapes Performed upon others of different shapes Those who run, swim, or slither, they get it withal-- But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
12.
It is said, if you try, you can bugger the fly, Or the swallow as it skims so skilfully by, Use a noose or a net, or lime (if you've the gall)-- but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all
13.
You can bugger the cow (I will not tell you how), Or the boar, or the piglet, the shoat or the sow, You can bugger the ass as it stands in the stall-- But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
14.
You can order or shoo 'im, or run a knife through 'im The one thing you cannot do is stick it to 'im. If you try to seduce 'im, you'll end in a fix, His prickles defend him against rampant pricks.
15.
You can bugger the ram, you can bugger the lamb, You can bugger the ewe, though the wether's a sham, You can bugger the tiger (it may caterwaul) But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
16.
You can bugger the seal, you can bugger the eel, You can bugger the crab, though they say it can't feel, You can bugger the bat as the night casts its pall, But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
17.
You can bugger the snake (hold it down with a rake), Though to bugger the quetzal may be a mistake. You can bugger the billy, the nanny the kid, But to bugger the hedeghog just cannot be did.
18.
You can bugger the slug, though it messes the rug, You can bugger the different species of bug, Or do it with a snail, if you slow to a crawl, But the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
19.
At the end of the day, when you've had your rough way With all of those creatures, you'll just have to say "That damned Erinaceous has been my downfall--" For the hedgehog can never be buggered at all!
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