"The Song That Never Ends" (also referred to as "The Song That Doesn't End") is a self-referential and infinitely iterative children's song. The song appears in the album Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along by puppeteer Shari Lewis. It is a single-verse-long song, written in an infinite-loop motif in a march style, such that it naturally flows in a cyclical fashion, repeating the same verse over and over. It is still a very popular tune, typically sung during long car rides.
This is the song that never ends.
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend(s).
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
and they'll continue singing it forever just because...
(The song repeats endlessly.)
Alternate versions of the song use “doesn’t end” instead of "never ends”.
Notable appearances and recordings
A version of the song (known as "The Song That Doesn't End") was used as the closing theme of Lamb Chop's Play-Along, a 1992 televised puppet show on PBS. At the end of each episode, the puppets sang the verses of the song while hostess Shari Lewis would try in vain to stop them. They would eventually leave on her urging, even while beginning a sixth verse (which eventually fades away). Then the puppet character Charlie Horse would return and try to get to sing the song again. However Lewis would stop Charlie Horse by covering his mouth and would then order him to "go away". Charlie Horse does as Shari Lewis tells him. He leaves, but slams the door before Lewis could tell him not to slam the door. After the door was slammed, Lewis then faces the audience with an exasperated expression and says "door". But at least it is now fully silent (with the annoying group gone) which is her only consolation.
A short rendition of the song appeared in a skit on the animated TV show Cartoon Planet (the skit is also featured on the companion album, Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que). Brak sings the song until he is asked to stop by Zorak, who finds it annoying. Brak explains that he is unable to because it's the "song that doesn't end." He attempts to continue until Zorak loses his temper, causing Brak to cease, remarking, "I guess it just ended."
The song has been adopted as an unofficial anthem by disparate groups. The Discordian organization (or disorganization) known as POEE has listed the song in their material with claims that it was written by a member, while fans of the rock band Styx adopted a variation, "The Tour That Never Ends", to describe Styx's 400-plus date tour in the late 1990s in support of their album Brave New World.
In the Annoying Orange episode, "A Loud Place", Orange and his friends are singing the song at the beginning of the episode while in a band rehearsing.
In season 2 episode 10 of Good Girls, Annie Marks sings the erroneous version of the song with the lyrics "This is the song that never ends".
In an episode of Smart Guy, Yvette and Moe sing a version of this song to annoy a man while trying to win a car in a competition to see who can stay in the car the longest.
- Discogs "Discogs' Entry for Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- AllMusic"AllMusic's Entry for Lamb Chop's Sing-Along, Play-Along". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Shari Lewis (Author), Marty Gold (Author, Editor), Debbie Cavalier (Editor) Lamb Chop's Play-Along: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Warner Brothers Publications, 1996, p. 108. ISBN 1576233545
- Moro, Andrea; Chomsky, Noam (13 November 2015). The Boundaries of Babel: The Brain and the Enigma of Impossible Languages. MIT Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-262-02985-8.