So What's Up with That '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall' Song?

Someone was really bored.
99 bottle

Photo Modified: Flickr / Steve Jurvetson / CC BY 4.0

Who in the world thought of this song?

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottle of beer — we know you’ve heard it, and we’re sure you’ve sang it. Though the song has a catchy tune, chances are the only time you sing it is when you’re stuck in a car for hours. Why? Because it takes forever to finish.

You’ve sung “99 Bottles of Beer” over and over again, but why? Or better yet, have you ever looked into who was bored enough to come up with it?

If you’ve ever gone in search of the origins of this tune, we wish you luck. We looked at numerous sources, and it seems as though the song doesn’t have a specific author. The only information that can be found is that it is believed to have originated in America and has been sung in the U.S. and Canada for decades.

According to Urban Dictionary, some believe the song was based on the fourteenth-century nursery rhyme “Ten Green Bottles.” This has yet to be verified, however.

It’s a shame that the songwriter is lost to history, but we’re more concerned about other things. For example, why are a bunch of school kids sitting around talking about something they can’t even drink? A little ironic, don’t you think?


The accompanying slideshow is provided by fellow The Daily Meal Managing Editor, Lauren Gordon.