Lye Soap Use #7 – Inspiring a Song

Comic Musician John Standley sang “Grandma’s Lye Soap” on his album, “It’s in the Book.” The album was a mock 1950s tent revival that included “Grandma’s Lye Soap” as a “gospel” song. The album made it to No. 1 on the Billboard in 1952, but I don’t think many of us know anything about John Standley. Yet “Grandma’s Lye Soap” remains a fun novelty song sung in many old-time circles. I hope you enjoy Lew Dite’s version. Scroll down for the lyrics.

Grandma’s Lye Soap

Do you remember Grandma’s Lye soap,
Good for cleaning throughout the home -
But the secret was in the scrubbing -
It wouldn’t suds, it wouldn’t foam!

CHORUS:
O let’s all sing right out for Grandma’s Lye Soap
Good for cleaning all over the place,
The pots and kettles, the dirty dishes-
Good for hands, and good for face.

Verse:
Little Herman and brother Thurman
Had an aversion to washing their ears
Grandma scrubbed them with the lye soap
And they haven’t heard a word in years!

CHORUS:
O let’s all sing right out for Grandma’s Lye Soap
Good for cleaning all over the place,
The pots and kettles, the dirty dishes-
Good for hands, and good for face.

Verse:
Mrs. O’Malley, out in the valley
Suffered from ulcers, I understand
She swallowed a cake of Grandma’s Lye Soap-
Has the cleanest ulcers in the land!

CHORUS:
O let’s all sing right out for Grandma’s Lye Soap
Good for cleaning all over the place,
The pots and kettles, the dirty dishes-
Good for hands, and good for face.

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5 Responses to Lye Soap Use #7 – Inspiring a Song

  1. Catherine says:

    What fun! Thank you for sharing, Beth!

  2. Edward Spiro says:

    Thanks for the lyrics to Grandma’s Lye Soap. We used to sing the song at YMCA camp in the late 1950′s where it was a favorite judging by the enthusiasm with which it was sung. The verse with Herman and Thurman ended with “and now they haven’t heard a dirty word in years” which may have just been a variation to be expected coming from an all boys’ camp, but it makes sense, the song being about soap and all. Anyway, Thanks again.

  3. jackerle says:

    I remember it from my childhood and this morning, memorial day, the words magically came to me as I washed dishes, this is, part of the words so I googled. I LOVE IT

    THANKS for posting

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