Bottles of Beer on the Wall...100 or 99, and do you pass them all around or do they fall?

In this thread, I posted the lyrics as

100 bottles of beer on the wall
100 bottles of beer.
So you take one down
And pass it all around,
99 bottles of beer.

Other people have posted they start at 99, and

if one of them should fall
98 botles of beer on the wall.

Which version do you remember from your childhood?

I’ve heard both but the “if one of the bottles should happen to fall fall” version always sounded really awkward when “down” and “around” rhymed a bit better.

I only heard the “fall” version at a camp and that was just one year when a more Christian-leaning director decided that as we were all kids, the equally underage counselors should promote drinking alcohol, so they had to “fall” not be “passed around.”

We take them down and pass them around, of course. We used to try to mess each other up by throwing in a “happen to fall” every now and again.

It always seemed like we should have started from 100 but the song is called “99 bottles of beer” so I voted 99.

I wish there were two options. My childhood memories are 99 bottles, but the verses I know are:

“(You) Take one down, Pass it around”


“If one of the/those bottles should happen to fall”

not the ones given in the OP. (I can’t quite make those versions scan to how I know the tune.) This is how I know it, sometimes with the “you” omitted.

Another poll question would be, who has been present when all 99 or 100 verses were sung?

Extra credit if it was on a school bus or other situation where grownups were a captive audience.

I voted for 100, but, d’oh, in my experience it always starts at 99.

I don’t think we ever got past the 70s.

We sang it on a car trip to Montana. My uncle bet us we couldn’t sing it backwards in the same amount of time. To the consternation of the other adults in the car, we proved him wrong.

It is 99, and ‘if one of those bottles should happen to fall’ is the bowdlerized version. Or perhaps the wink-wink-nudge-nudge version.

99 bottles get passed around, and I learned the other one as:

*There are ten green bottles
a-standing on the wall.
There are ten green bottles
a-standing on the wall.
But if one green bottle
Should accidentally fall.


There’ll be nine green bottles a-standing on the wall!*

Then it continues from nine, etc.

When I was a kid (in England) it was “10 green bottles”, and they fell. But there is no poll option for me.

99 bottles, and either falling or passing around is acceptable, depending on the age of the singers.

99, always passing. If I ever had to do a number of verses about falling bottles I would probably be in tears over the waste of good beer.

We start with 99, and alternate between passing them 'round and
if one of those bottles should happen to fall
what a waste of alcohol!*
[resume count one lower]

Over Macho Grande?

As I recall, the bottles that you pass around are beer. The bottles that may accidentally fall are green bottles, contents unspecified.

As in, “If one green bottle should accidentally fall, there’ll be 9* green bottles, hanging on the wall.”

Different tune, too, not that either one is particularly melodic.

*I think the green bottles started with fewer bottles, too. Maybe 10?

Whether or not they were passed around or fell depended on who I was traveling with. When it was a church function they fell…

0 bottles of beer on the wall
0 bottles of beer
go to the store
buy some more
99 bottles of beer on the wall

99 that get passed around, as is only right and proper.

99, though for jokes we’d sometimes start with “a million bottles of beer on the wall”. Never 100.

“take one down pass it around” unless at some sort of church event, where it turned into “if one of those bottles should happen to fall”