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On Top of the Spaghetti Poem

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Overview of Top of Spaghetti Poem

On top of spaghetti is a very popular English poem for kids. It was written and sung as a song by the popular folk singer Tom Glazer in 1963. The tune of the song matches with a traditional folk song 'on top of old smokey. In fact, the inspiration for on top of spaghetti came from the traditional song on top of old smokey. This children's ballad tells the story of a meatball on the run. 

In this article, we will read the whole story of the meatball on the run with the lyrics of the ballad. We will discuss the theme of the song while reading one of the best poems about spaghetti. At last, we will wrap up with on top of spaghetti poem summary. 

On Top of Spaghetti

On Top of Spaghetti

On Top of Spaghetti Poem lyrics

On Top of Spaghetti

On top of spaghetti,

All covered with cheese,

I lost my poor meatball,

When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,

And onto the floor,

And then my poor meatball,

Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,

And under a bush,

And then my poor meatball,

Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty

As tasty could be,

And then the next summer,

It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,

All covered with moss,

And on it grew meatballs,

And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,

All covered with cheese,

Hold on to your meatball,

Whenever you sneeze.

About the Author

Tom Glazer was the best-known American songwriter and singer. He was primarily known as a composer of ballads. He was born in 1914in Philadelphia. And died at 88 in 2003. He has written many children's songs including why does the sunshine? battle hymn of the children, etc. 

Children Singing on Top of Spaghetti Poem

Children Singing on Top of Spaghetti Poem

Theme and Meaning of the Poem

The poem ‘on top of spaghetti’ is a story-based poem. The story is of a meatball. A child (the poet) was eating a meatball. The meatball was kept on the table but someone sneezed and the meatball swept to the floor from the table it was kept on. The meatball ends up rolling outdoors. It gathers dirt, gravel, dust, and bits of trash while it is on the move. Finally, the meatball drops under a shrub. The meatball was covered with cheese and got all dirty as it rolled onto the ground. The song says that after falling under a shrub, the meatball was reduced to mush. Then the poet says that the next summer, there would be a tree of meatballs and there would be a whole lot of meatballs on that tree. The tree would bear saucy meatball fruit identical to the poet's meatball. 

The poet, in this poem, has a fantasy that his meatball would eventually grow into a tree and the tree would produce as many meatballs as he wants. Now, at the end of the poem, the poet is saying that while eating a meatball covered with cheese, be careful. As the meatball can fall if someone sneezes and you will not be able to eat the meatball.

On Top of Spaghetti Poem Summary

On top are a ballad and a children’s song originally sung in 1963. It was the first classical children’s ballad sung by Tom Glazer. The idea of chasing a meatball that is covered with cheese and then rolled down to the floor presented in the poem might sound nauseating, but in a fun way, it is presented as a fantasy. The fantasy where a meatball would eventually grow into a tree. The poet would be able to eat as many meatballs the next summer.

In this article, we learned about the classical ballad on top of spaghetti which is one of the best poems about spaghetti. We also read its meaning and we also learned about its author and the origin of the song. We hope you enjoyed reading this amazing poem, in case of any other doubts feel free to ask in the comments.

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FAQs on On Top of the Spaghetti Poem

1. Throw some light on the traditional folk song ‘on top of spaghetti’ came out from?

The ‘on top of spaghetti’ came out from the ‘on top of old smoky’ which is a traditional American folk song. It came out as music in 1951. One of the earliest versions of this song was written by ‘Cecil Sharp’.

2. Give names of five other classical folk songs.

Five other classical folk songs are - 

  • Puff the Magic Dragon - It is sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary, written by Lenny Lipton and Peter Yarrow.
  • Morning Town Ride - It is sung by the seekers, and written by Malvina Reynolds.
  • Blowin’ in the Wind - It is sung by Joan Baez and written by Bob Dylan
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads - It is sung by John Denver, written by John Denver, Bill Danoff, and Taffy Nivert
  • Kumbaya - It is sung by Pete Seeger.

3. What is the name of another song written and sung by Tom Glazer?

The name of another song sung by Tom Glazer is All men are brothers.