• Title • NATwA Songbook
  • Publisher • North American Tiddlywinks Association
  • First Edition Date • February 1976
  • Second Edition Date • October 1981
  • Note: This web page includes several songs that were not published in the first or second edition of the NATwA Songbook.
  • Authors • The NATwA Song Committee: Moishe (Michael Schwartz), Carl Chenkin, Scott Hirsh, Bill Gammerdinger
  • Preparation • Typewritten
  • Production • booklet with small pages
  • Proofread date • 17 September 2022
  • Update date • 17 September 2022
  • To do •
    • Add audio//video versions or links of winks songs

Origin of the NATwA Song Committee: a semi-authorized history

This article originally appeared in Newswink 8, 12 May 1978, on pages 1 and 2, and was written by Moishe (Michael Schwartz).

Spike is the nickname of Carl Chenkin.

By now every winker has seen the NATwA Song Book and heard its rousing songs sung at tournaments and other places where winkers gather. Many, perhaps, have found themselves spontaneously singing tiddlywinks songs while taking showers or just walking down the street, oblivious to the distress and confusion of roommates and passers-by. This is the story of those songs.

The story begins on Route 17 in New York, immediately after the Western Regionals in 1974. This was the Western Regionals which saw the breakup of Hythnlbtwoc, and the emergence of the TKO’s. After this tournament, Spike began to sing:

“The TKO’s play sensible
They’re never reprehensible
But always stout of principle
Dadadadadadadada.”

It was an idea whose time had come.

On that trip, we finished “The TKO’s Fight Song“, “Squop, Squop, Squop“,  “Break Up Their Piles“, and “ARW Forever“. Later, we wrote other songs while driving to and from tournaments. Why not? It was a whole lot more fun than playing Botticelli. One person, generally Spike, would sing the first line of a proposed song. Then we both sang back and forth, occasionally adding or changing a line until the song was done. Then we would try something  different and come back to it later. Or else we never would get back to it. The following song, for instance, never seemed to go anywhere:

(to the tune of “Onward, Christian Soldiers”)
“Onward, NATwA Winkers
Squopping out the foe.
If you squop your partner,
Always let him go.”
etc.

The last thing I’d like to tell about is “!“, the highlight of our songwriting career. I’ve always liked Sousa marches. One evening, while we were passing through Hartford, I mentioned to Spike that I had long wanted to write a winking song to the tune of “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. Spike came back with “I’m all for winking, and winking’s all for me.” “Oh no!” I said. “We’re actually going to do it!” And so we did. The song started out reasonably enough, but soon got out of hand. When we had finished, it was clear to us that this time we had gone too far. When people first asked us to sing it we refused, and when we did try to sing it we couldn’t because we were laughing too hard. But then it turned out that people liked the song. It just goes to show.


NATwA Songbook

“Fiat vines, rust calm”  translates from the Latin into English as: “Play winks, though the heavens crumble.”

Fiat vincs, ruat caelum

Songs written by the North American Tiddlywinks Association Song Committee.

© 1976-1981 North American Tiddlywinks Association. All Rights Reserved.



Squop, Squop, Squop Keep Right on Squopping

(Tune: The Tramp)

Squop, squop, squop, keep right on squopping
Cover red and cover blue *
And if you’re really feeling hot
You can put them in the pot
And then victory will soon belong to you

or alternatively:
Cover yellow cover green
And if you’re really feeling hot
You can put them in the pot
And your victory will soon by all be seen.


You'll Never Squop Alone

(Tune: You’ll Never Walk Alone)

When you aim at a pile
Get a lot of loft
And don’t submarine underneath.
Though they’re guarding their pile
With an army of winks
And they’ve not missed a squop since the start.

Squop on to their pile
Squop on past their winks
Though the mat they seem to own
Squop on, squop on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never squop alone
You’ll never squop alone.


ARW Forever

ARW stands for the Association of Retired Winkers, a notional organization loosely associated with NATwA.

 

(Tune: Solidarity Forever)

When your winking days are over
And you really need a rest
If you want to roll in clover
When you’ve ceased to give your best.
There are other winkers like you
Who can help you on your quest.
For the Union makes us strong.

Chorus:
ARW forever, ARW forever, ARW forever,
For the Union makes us strong.

When you’re hanging up your squidger
And they have you ‘neath their heel
You will never be forgotten
‘Cause we know just how you feel
And you never need go hungry
You can eat your Meals-on-Wheels!
For the Union makes us strong.

Chorus


The Continentals

(Tune: The Marine Hymn)

From the port of Massachusetts
To Toronto’s distant shore
For the Delaware and Raritan
The eager winkers pour.

To the Continental Tournament
High above Cayuga’s gorge.
There to play with fellow winkers
And eternal links to forge.


The Winkers' Fight Song

(Tune: The Notre Dame Fight Song)

Break up their piles
Free all your winks
Send theirs a mile
Make their hearts sink.
Put all of your winks on top
Theirs on the bottom never say stop.
When you have squopped them
Every last one
Then you can really
Start to have fun
Piddle all one colour free
And pot out to victory!


Winkers' Lament

(Tune: Red River Valley)

O We lost when we played green and yellow
And we lost when we played red and blue
All your long shots just rolled off the table
And my short squops just landed on you.

O our first game we lost seven-zero
In the third round we still were ahead
I just wanted to piddle our pile
But I potted their last wink instead.

When the schedules for each round were posted,
Our opponents would all shout with glee
We forgot all the flips in Perquackey
Going home we ran into a tree.

Still our ghosts can be seen at each tourney
For as winkers we live and we die
Yes we’re missing our shots now forever
In that great winks match up in the sky.


Streets of Toronto

(Tune: Streets of Laredo)

In the beginning I picked up a squidger
This part of the story is pleasant to tell
My tactics were brilliant,
My gromps never failed me
My squopping and potting were perfect as well.

Opponents would tremble whenever they faced me
Their blood turned to water,
Their arms turned to wood
I still rue the day
When that stranger approached me
Saying, why don’t you try this
It will make you feel good.

Now my hands can’t stop trembling,
My eyes can’t stop blinking
My mind gets befuddled
Halfway through the game
I tell you my story to give you this warning:
Once you’ve smoked dope
You will never be the same.


NATwA Anthem *​

My Country Tis of Thee was sung by by Marian Anderson in 1939 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C..

(Tune: My Country Tis of Thee)

My NATwA tis of thee
Winking Society
Of thee we sing.
Protector of our game
Homage to thee we pay
All winkers praise thy name
Till their dying day.

* Also ETwA Anthem sung to the tune of God Bless the Queen.


Song For Old Winkers

(Tune: Streets of London)

Round the mat the old man hobbles
In his hand his squidger wobbles
Lining up the shot he expects to miss
In his eyes you see a yearning
Visions from the past returning
Friendless and hopeless, still he must persist

It’s a long long road we travel on
And in the end there comes a day
Nothing left you but your pride
There’s no one standing by your side
No one to turn to and nowhere to stay.


TKO Fight Song

The TKOs are The Knowledgeable Ones, a NATwA tiddlywinks team that was a successor to Hyth.

(Tune: The People’s Flag)

The TKO’s play sensible
Relentless and invincible
We’re never reprehensible
But always stout of principle

We show no mercy to our foes
But elbow ribs and stomp on toes
The TKO’s play sensible
Relentless and invincible.

We once were Hyth but now we’re not
We are a mighty juggernaut
When we appear upon the scene
Grownups cry and children scream.

And if somehow we fail to win
We face disaster with a grin
We once were Hyth but now we’re not
We are a fighting juggernaut.

Of this I say you can be sure.
Our thoughts are clean, Our hearts are pure
But when we’re filled with righteous wrath
Woe to all who cross our path

And when we gnash our teeth, it sounds
Like a rumbling underground
Of this I say you can be sure
Our thoughts are clean, our hearts are pure.


He is a TKO

(Tune: He Is an Englishman)

He is a TKO
For he himself has said it
And it’s greatly to his credit
That he is a TKO
That he is a TKO

For he might have played for Somerville
Or the Zoo, Cornell, or Rivendell
Or perhaps for M.I.T.
Or perhaps for M.I.T.

But in spite of all temptation
To leave his present station,
He remains a TKO
He remains a TKO.
TKO.


Home on the Mat

(Tune: Home on the Range)

Oh give me a mat, and a surface that’s flat,
And a set of winks and a pot
And I’ll be content, feel my hours well spent
There’s enjoyment in every shot.

Winks! Winks, that’s for me
The game of the happy and free
O Life’s a delight
Playing winks every night
Just try it and you will agree.


Green Wink

(Tune: Teen Angel)

Dedicated to the memory of Clure

You’re my last wink
But now you’re gone
They’ve taken you away
You’re underneath that big red wink
I’ll never get to play

Green wink! Can you hear me?
Green wink! Can you see me?
Are you somewhere under there?
Please free him God, O hear my prayer.


(Teddy Bear Picnic)

(Tune: Teddy Bear Picnic)

If you shoot onto that pile of winks
You wouldn’t be very wise.
If you shoot onto that pile of winks
You’re in for a big surprise.

For standing there are a number of winks
Who’ll jump on you before you can blink
If you come near
You certainly will get squopped out.

See my partner lick his chops
You know there’s nothing he would rather
Do than make a squop
As for me I’m ready too
In fact there’s really nothing I can see
For you to do

Don’t try bombing, it won’t work
Our piles much too solidly built for that,
Bomb the pile or try to pot
The chances are that you will not
Get more than a single point


Take Me Out to the Winx Match

Pumpkin bread was a popular winking recipe; pumpkin bread arrived at many a winks tournament.

(Tune: Take Me Out to The Ball Game)

Take me out to the winx match
Take me out to the fun
Give me some pizza and pumpkin bread
That’s the reason I got out of bed

For it’s pot and squop for your own team
To play your best is the aim
And it’s red, yellow, blue, and then green
At the old winx game 


This Mat is My Mat

(Tune:  This Land is Your Land)

I love my winks mat, just like a brother
It’s gray on one side, white on the other
I love my mat more than I love my mother
This mat is made of 2-ply felt

It isn’t dacron, it isn’t orlon,
It isn’t rayon it isn’t cotton,
It isn’t wool, and it isn’t linen,
This mat is made of 2-ply felt

The winks respond to my every motion
Without a whimper, with no commotion
So I treat my mat with love and devotion
This mat is made of 2-ply felt


(Pack up Your Sorrows)

(Tune:  Pack Up Your Sorrows)

No use crying, when you are losing
And they are well ahead
If you are squopped out, you and your partner
May think your chances have fled.

Ah but if somehow you could break up their pile
With a well aimed shot
You could squop them, boondock and gromp them
Then pot yours in the pot.


Winkers' Song

(Tune:  Casey Jones)

When winkers get together
There is always lots of cheer
Partly cause of winks
And partly cause of beer.
But winkers all can tell you
That they really have a ball
And they make it to the matches
If they have to craw

Refrain:
Tiddlywinks takes a lot of muscle
Tiddlywinks takes a lot of nerve
Tiddlywinks takes a lot of hustle
And winkers are respected
Everywhere they go.


Red Scarf Blues

“Red Scarf” was the nickname and a clothing accessory sported by winker Bill Gammerdinger.

(Tune: Pretty Boy Floyd)

Come gather round my winkers
And a story I will tell
Of a winker known as Red Scarf
All of NATwA know him well

It was on a cold fall evening
That he laid his squidger down
Saying my winking days are over
Less a better partner can be found

For I want my 4.0 average
It will come as no surprise
And it’s more important to me
Than my tearful teammates’ cries

Yes I’ll pay what price it takes
Either sin or hanky-panky
Yes I’ll do whatever’s needful
To play with Mr. Renke

So ignore all of my teammates
Yes forget the whole damn crew
For I’m taking what I want
Yes I’m jumping to the Zoo

So gather round me winkers
Oh the story’s ofttime told
Of a winker known as Red Scarf
And the day his soul was sold


!

(Tune: Stars and Stripes Forever)

I’m all for winking and winking’s all for me
Winking is the game we play
All the winkers stand and shout hooray
Winkers raise your squidgers
Winkers always show your pride
Winkers are a jolly crew
There’s nothing we’d rather do
Nothing we’d rather do
Winkers always lend a hand
To all throughout the land
Time to join with your comrades
One and all, Brother and Sister Winkers
Time to march through the land
And make a stand
For the power and the Kingdom and the glory

A winker must always be pure
In thought and in word and in action
A winker must always  secure
Justice for one and for all

For the forces of darkness are sure
To continue to strive to surround us
So a winker must always be sure
To light the light
To fight the flight
To preserve freedom!

Never shirking duty
Never slacking off or sleeping
Persevering to the end

Never compromising
Never lying never cheating
One on whom you can depend

When you need a loyal man or woan
Look for winkers you’ll not suffer

Winkers will defend you from all comers
They’ll protect you none are tougher

Let us never squander our resistance
Let us always strengthen our insistence
Let us always strike a blow for freedom
By the strength of our persistence.

For the dawn of the new age is nig
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
The darkness will soon turn to light
As we march to the promised land.

Though armies may stand in our path
By the strength of our winking we’ll conquer
No more shall we be enslave!
Hear freedom’s call!
To one and all!
Become a Winker!


Continentals Here We Are

These lyrics were written by Scott Hirsh and Bill Gammerdinger and first sung in public at the 1980 Continentals at the Willard Straight at Cornell University on 16 February 1980.

California Here I Come was sung by Al Jolson in 1924.

(Tune: California, Here I Come)

Continentals, here we are!
Snow and sleet won’t stop our car.
We’re flying, we’re driving, we’re Ithaca bound
No stopping our squopping
We can’t wait another round.

Though we are two hours late
We will still be playing great
Open up your Willard Straight
Continentals, here we are!



Four Small Winks

In the December 1977 edition of My Winkly Reader, this song was called Blitzers’ Lament.

(Tune: Four Strong Winds) Four small winks have been potted, Two large ones still remain; All those times I’ve tried blitzing always fail. For my partner’s getting squopped And it’s time to put mine in. I’ll be happy if my squidger does its thing. Think I’ll try the nurdled one first – It’s the one they’re bound to squop; Off the cup and off the table it did roll. Double attacked now – I feel helpless, My last wink it can’t be long – But I’ve been through this a hundred times or more Four small winks have been potted, Two large ones still remain; All these times I’ve tried blitzing always fail. For my winks are underneath now And it’s time for eight free turns – I’ll be happy if I ever shoot again. Think I’ll sit down for a while now And just watch the game conclude. With luck we can get two points, if they pot. Double boondocked – I feel helpless, My last wink’s three feet away. I’ve been through this a hundred times or more. Four small winks have been potted, Two large ones still remain; All these times I’ve tried blitzing always fail. I should learn my lesson better As we write down a 7-0; I’ll remember if I ever play again.

The Tale of Renaissance

The NATwA team, Renaissance, was formed in Fall 1976 and endured for several years. The Dragon is American winker Dave Lockwood. The song Yankee Doodle was written by George M. Cohan in 1904, and famously sung by James Cagney in the 1942 film and also elsewhere by Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

(Tune: Yankee Doodle)

 

Now here’s the tale of Renaissance
We are a mighty winks team.
We grind opponents into dust
It’s enough to make you scream.

We can beat you with a blitz
Or squop out all your winks
You’re starting at a 6-1 loss
Before you’ve time to think.

We’ll boondock all your winks away
Bristol on your doubles
We never miss a pot in rounds
You really are in trouble.

Color order you to death
Blow up all your piles
When we get our 7-0
You know we’ll all be smiles.

Even if you squop us out
We’ll come back if we’re able
And when you try a crucial shot
We’ll even kick the table.

Doesn’t help to call a judge
We’ve got them in our pocket
Your squidger isn’t worth a damn
You might as well go hock it.

If you should somehow win a game
You’d better not start braggin’
For soon you will be running scared
When you have to face the Dragon.

When the final game is through
You’ve gone down to defeat
Now you know our motto’s true
You just can’t beat our Meat.


I Dare Someone To Say I Should Squop

In the December 1977 edition of My Winkly Reader, this song was called Try for the Pot and sung to the tune of Try for the Sun.

The song Who’s Gonna Be the One was written and sung by Donovan.

The Macho Winker’s Song

(Tune: Who’s Gonna Be the One)

CHORUS

And who’s going to be the one
To say it was no good what I done;
I dare someone to say I should squop
When I want to try for the pot

I had two winks sitting there pretty,
One more was on a pile.
Seven points could soon be in our kitty –
Let me win this game for us in style.

CHORUS

My partner though said I should piddle.
She says five points will do.
To me however it seemed too little;
I just want to get a higher score for you.

CHORUS

My first shot had too much power;
My heart sank while it soared.
The very next turn it got devoured;
Now it looks like we will only get four.

CHORUS
(To say it was macho what I’d done)



Relix Dead Ahead

Gammerdinger is Bill Gammerdinger. York is Dave York. Injun is The Dumb Indian (Saul Agranoff). Renke is Bill Renke. Relix is the NATwA tiddlywinks team that was a successor to the Zoo team. The name of the Relix team was based on a newsletter of Grateful Dead afficionados. Tim is Tim Schiller.

(Tune: Casey Jones – the other one)

CHORUS
Trying that squop, high off the pot
Gammerdinger’s better rethink that shot
York is ahead, Injun’s behind
And I think that Renke’s just lost his mind.

Relix have got to get out on time
Be at the tourney ’bout a quarter to nine.
Out at the party ’til well after two
So at the game you know it’s real hard to aim.

CHORUS

Trouble ahead!  Tim can’t play red!
Playing with green he’d be better off dead.
Scotty’s still sleeping; losing 5-2
Ferd squops the wrong wink, a green not a blue.

CHORUS

Somehow they rise and make others pay
Got two bad eyes but they still can play.
Come to the end, you know it’s Relix again
Others may grin, but the Relix just win.

CHORUS


Little Davy

Little Davy is winker Dave Lockwood; Billy is Bill Renke; Captain Timmy is Tim Schiller, Mr. Horsemeat is Larry Kahn. Big Mama is one of Larry Kahn’s two-inch squidgers.

(Tune: John Henry)

When Little Davy was just three days old
Sittin’ on his papa’s knee
He picked up a squidger
and a little piece of felt
Said, this squidger’ll be the death of me.
Lord Lord, this squidger’ll be the death of me.

They took Little Davy to the Institute
Where he met Billy who was so high.
Little Davy so small, big Bill so big
That he laid down his squidger and cried.
Lord Lord, he laid down his squidger and he cried.

Captain Timmy said to Little Davy,
I believe the Institute’s sinking in.
Little Davy laughed at the captain and he said,
That ain’t nothing but my squidger sucking wind.
Lord Lord, ain’t nothing but my squidger sucking wind.

Mr. Horsemeat said to Little Davy,
I’m gonna bring Big Mama around.
I’m gonna bring Big Mama out on the job,
I’m gonna squop your winks on down.
Lord Lord, gonna squop your winks on down.

Little Davy said to the Horsemeat,
You know, a man ain’t nothin’ but a man
But before I let Big Mama squop me down
I’m gonna die with this squidger in my hand.
Lord Lord, gonna die with this squidger in my hand.

The man who invented Big Mama
He thought he was mighty fine
But Little Davy chalked up fourteen points,
And Big Mama only made nine.
Lord Lord, Big Mama only made nine.

Little Davy squoppin’ on the right side,
Big Mama squidgin’ on the left.
Little Davy squopped Big Mama down
But he worked his fool self to death.
Lord Lord, he worked his fool self to death.

Little Davy piddled that morning
‘Til his bristols were striking fire.
But he worked so hard that he broke his poor heart
And he laid down his squidger and died.
Lord Lord, he laid down his squidger and died.

So they took Little Davy to the graveyard
And they buried him in the sand
And every old-time winker rolling on by
Says, there lies a squidger drivin’ man.
Lord Lord, there lies a squidger drivin’ man.

* All characters is this song are fictitious, and any resemblance to any winkers, living or dead, is strictly coincidence


Unfinished Song

The song You’ve Got to Give a Little appears in the 1967 film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The song was written in 1936 by Billy Hill and is entitled The Glory of Love.

(Tune: You’ve Got to Give a Little)

You’ve got to squidge a little, squop a little,
Make that pot and make that piddle
That’s the story of,
That’s the glory of winks.


Wild Winkend

This winks song was written in the mid-1970s.

(Tune: The Ballad of Jed Clampett, the Beverly Hillbillies television show theme song.)

Ferdie pulled up and rolled out the felt
The squidgers were so hot we thought they would melt
We’re feelin’ good and we just got started
It won’t be long ’til all the winks are potted
Hey boys, it’s a wild winkend

Bob sets the clock and we started to play
“Chickens Courageous” is what the shirts say
It won’t be long ’til we start a-squoppin’
Pretty soon the piles will be poppin’
Hey yeah it’s a wild winkend


Villains Song

Editor’s note: This song is about the Somerville winks team, the Somervillains, beating the Zoo team and winkers, and was written by some combination of Ferd Wulkan and Bob Henninge. Gammer is Bill Gammerdinger; Indian is Saul Agranoff; Craig is Craig Schweinhart; Lewis is Lewis Stein; Barry is Barry Rogoff.

(Tune: Going to the Zoo, written by Tom Paxton and also sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary.)

 

Villains gonna play the Zoo tomorrow
Zoo tomorrow
Zoo tomorrow
Zoo tomorrow
Villains gonna play the Zoo tomorrow

See Bill Renke with his joint still smoking
There he sits still toke toke toking
All his records being broke broke broken
And he will toke all day

CHORUS:
We’re gonna beat Zoo, Zoo, Zoo
Tomorrow you’ll rue, rue, rue
Beat Tech too, too, too
We’re gonna beat Zoo

Look at Gammer with his red scarf flying,
Writing in his book a sigh, sigh, sighing
Him we’ll beat without even trying
And he will sigh all day

CHORUS

Dreaded Indian – can’t hold his squidger,
He’s lost his touch, he’s just a bridger,
It will make a pretty picture
When he’s squopped all day.

CHORUS

Why’s that Craig hesitatin’
Scratching his head pro-crastinatin’
Maybe he’s really just meditatin’
He can think all day.

CHORUS

Now we’re playing Lewis & Barry
It isn’t very scare, scare, scary
Their presence is just imaginary
They’re squopped out at home.

CHORUS

Dave York he can score no points on us,
He shouldn’t have rolled that big fat joint for us;
All his teammates disappointed us –
They’ll be squopped all day

CHORUS, but replace the second line with:
How ’bout you, you, you


Winks Reunion, Here We Come

The song California Here I Come originally appeared in the 1921 Broadway musical, Bombo, starring Al Jolson. The song was written by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyer.

The winks song was written by Bill Gammerdinger and Scott Hirsh and first sung in public on 20 August 2016 at NATwA’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Montague, Massachusetts USA.

(Tune: California, Here I Come)

Winks Reunion here at last
Out of shape from years that passed

We’re limping, we’re aching
With bodies too fat

The winks keep rolling
Won’t stay on the mat

MIT, Cornell, and Zoo
Hyth and Relix,
Boondocks, too

Brings us back to Montague
Winks reunion, here we are!