The Name Game Printable Lyrics – Free PDF for Printouts

If you’ve been looking for The Name Game lyrics, then you’re on the right page!

“The Name Game” or “The Banana Song” was written by the soul singer Shirley Ellis and her manager, Lincoln Chase. The song was released in 1964 becoming a huge success at the time. Due to its popularity, it was released again in 1966 and once more in 1973. According to Ellis’ testimony, she was inspired to write this song from a game she played as a child.

The song is a rhyming game indeed, making ingenious improvisations and variations on people’s names. It starts with two names as a sample, and continues with the explanation of the game’s rules. As the lyrics tell, “there isn’t any name that I can’t rhyme”. Apparently, the live performances, with participation from the audience, must be a lot of fun!

Apart form Ellis’ recording, the song appears in many children’s songs collections. Numerous artists have also recorded it, like Dean Ford and the Gaylords, Xuxa, Laura Branigan and Soupy Sales – just to name a few. The Name Game appears in an episode of the TV show American Horror Story; the fine performance of Jessica Lange (Lana) has created a memorable scene!

On this page you will find the lyrics in two versions, the original Ellis’ recording from 1964 and Lange’s performance from the American Horror Story. You can also download for free a Printable PDF file with lyrics. Finally, we have chosen for you the corresponding music videos. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Printable Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

The Name Game lyrics printable PDF

The Name Game Lyrics

Shirley Ellis Version

The name game!
Shirley!
Shirley, Shirley Bo-ber-ley
Bo-na-na fanna Fo-fer-ley
Fee-fi-mo-mer-ley
Shirley!
Lincoln!
Lincoln, Lincoln, bo-bin-coln
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fin-coln
Fee-fi-mo-min-coln
Lincoln!

Come on everybody
I say now let’s play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme
Out of anybody’s name.
The first letter of the name
I treat it like it wasn’t there
But a “B” or an “F” or an “M” will appear.
And then I say “Bo” add a “B” then I say the name
Then “Bo-na-na fanna” and “fo”
And then I say the name again with an “”f” very plain
Then “fee fi” and a “mo”
And then I say the name again with an “M” this time
And there isn’t any name that I can’t rhyme.

Arnold!
Arnold, Arnold bo-bar-nold
Bo-na-na, fanna fo-far-nold
Fee-fi-m-mar-mold
Arnold!
But if the first two letters are ever the same
I drop them both, then say the name
Like Bob, Bob, drop the “B’s”, Bo-ob
Or Fred, Fred, drop the “F’s”, Fo-red
Or Mary, Mary, drop the “M’s”, Mo-ary
That’s the only rule that is contrary.

Okay? Now say Bo
Now Tony with a B
Then “Bo-na-na fanna” and “fo”
And then you say the name again with an “F” very plain
Then “fee fi” and a “mo”
And then you say the name again with an “M” this time
And there isn’t any name that I can’t rhyme.

Everybody do Tony
Tony, Tony, bo-bo-ney
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fo-ney
Fee-fi-mo-mo-ney, Tony!
Pretty good
Let’s do Billy!
Billy, Billy, bo-gil-ly
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fil-ly
Fee-fi-mo-mil-ly, Billy!

Very good, let’s do Marsha!
Marsha, Marsha, bo-bar-sha
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-far-sha
Fee-fi-mo-ar-sha, Marsha!
A little trick with Nick!
Nick, Nick, bo-bick,
Bo-na-na fanna fo fick
Fee-fi-mo-mick, Nick!
The name game!

American Horror Story Version

The name game.
Judy! Judy, Judy
Bo-budy, banana-fanna
Fo-fudy, fee-fi-mo-mudy, Judy!
Lana! Lana, Lana
Bo-bana, banana-fanna
Fo-fanna, fee-fi-mo-mana, Lana!

Come on, everybody
I say now let’s play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme
Outta anybody’s name
The first letter of the name
I treat it like it wasn’t there
But a “B” or an “F” or an “M” will appear
And then I say “Bo” add a “B” then I say the name
Then “banana”, “fanna” and a “fo”
And then I say the name again with an “F” very plain
Then the “fee”, “fi” and a “mo”
And then I say the name again with an “M” this time
And there isn’t any name that I can’t rhyme

Pepper! Pepper, Pepper
Bo-bepper, banana-fanna
Fo-fepper, fee-fi-mo-mepper, Pepper!
But if the first two letters are ever the same
I drop them both and say the name
Like Bob, Bob, drop the “B’s”, Bo-ob
For Fred, Fred, drop the “F’s”, Fo-red
For Mary, Mary, drop the “M’s”, Mo-ary
That’s the only rule that is contrary

Okay, now say “Bo”! (Bo!)
Now Tony with a “B”! (Bony!)
Then “Banana-fanna-fo”! (Banana-fanna-fo!)
Then you say the name again with an “F” very plain (Fony!)
Then a “fee”, “fi” and a “mo” (Fee-fi-mo!)
Then say the name again with an “M” this time (Mony!)
And there isn’t any name that you can’t rhyme

Kit, Kit
Bo-bit, banana-fanna
Fo-fit, fee-fi-mo-mit, Kit!
The name game!

The Name Game Music Videos

Sing-along Video (Shirley Ellis)

Sing-along Video (American Horror Story: Asylum) Version

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