Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose by Barry Louis Polisar on Tuneful Tuesday

Award winning songwriter and member Barry Louis Polisar has been entertaining children and families since 1957.

I wrote and recorded  “Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose” in 1978.  I was doing a school visit — and after a presentation for the younger grades (k-1-2-), and a second program for the older kids (grades 3-4-5), it was time to leave the school. As I walked out of the building, I overheard a couple kids talking; one was admonishing the other by saying, “How many times do I have to tell you, don’t put your finger up your nose!” That line stayed in my head as I drove, and by the time I got home, I had written the chorus and most of the verses.  I still think it’s good advice.

Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose (Original)

The song has had its share of complaints from grown-ups who feel I am giving kids bad advice, but I have to remind them the key word in the song is ‘Don’t”!

Decades after I wrote the song, the issue of bulimia was in the news and a few people objected to the last verse of the song (see lyrics below) and felt I was making fun of a very serious medical problem, but that was never my intent when I wrote the song—and once again, the verse begins with the word “don’t.”

Coincidently, when my wife and I had kids of our own, they heard my song often when they accompanied me on my concerts and school tours—and we never had to actually tell them to keep their fingers out of their noses. So music really can teach a lesson!

A few years ago, one of my grown-up fans produced and released a 2-CD, 60-song, tribute album of my songs from musicians who had my albums grown up. These were all covers of my songs and there were two great versions of this song included; one was a techno pop version and the other was a klezmer version, sung entirely in Yiddish.

I recorded a  “live” version of the song on a recording I did with a group of elementary school kids in 1979 which you can listen to as well as the two fun covers from the “We’re Not Kidding!” tribute album

 

Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose LIVE

We’re Not Kidding Tribute Album. Klezmer version by Deborah Berman & The Nogoodniks

We’re Not Kidding Tribute Album. Techno Pop version by Ham and Burger

 

Don’t Put Your Finger Up Your Nose
by Barry Louis Polisar

Don’t put your finger up your nose,
‘Cause your nose knows that’s not the place it goes.
You can sniffle, you can sneeze,
But I’m asking you–please–
Don’t put your finger up your nose.

Don’t stick your finger in your ear,
‘Cause then your ear will find it hard to hear.
You can thump and you can tug it,
but please don’t plug it–
Don’t stick your finger in your ear.

Don’t put your finger in your eye,
That’s not a thing I think you oughta try.
You can blink it, you can wink it,
But I don’t think it
Would be good to put your finger in your eye.

And don’t stick your finger down your throat.
‘Cause that will just make you start to choke.
Then up will come your dinner
and you’ll start to look much thinner,
So don’t stick your finger down your throat.

Don’t put your finger up your nose,
‘Cause your nose knows that’s not the place it goes.
You can sniffle, you can sneeze,
But I’m asking you–please–
Don’t put your finger up your nose.

Copyright 1978 by Barry Louis Polisar