The Hole in the Ground

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"The Hole in the Ground"
The hole in the ground.jpg
Single by Bernard Cribbins with music directed by Gordon Franks
B-side"Folk Song"
GenreComic song
Songwriter(s)Ted Dicks
Lyricist(s)Myles Rudge
Producer(s)George Martin

"The Hole in the Ground" is a comic song written by Myles Rudge and composed by Ted Dicks. When recorded by Bernard Cribbins and released by EMI on the Parlophone label in 1962, it was a number nine hit in the UK Singles Chart and remains his highest charting and the most successful of his three hit singles, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.[1][2][3]

The song is about a dispute between a workman digging a hole and an officious busybody wearing a bowler hat. This exemplifies British class conflict of the era and Cribbins switches between a working class Cockney accent, in which he drops his aitches, and a middle class accent for the gentleman in the bowler hat.

Don't dig there, dig it elsewhere.
You're digging it round and it ought to be square.
The shape of it's wrong, it's much too long,
And you can't put a hole where a hole don't belong.


Noël Coward, who wrote many comic songs himself, chose the record as one of his Desert Island Discs. He said: "I think the only one I would never get sick of is 'Hole in the Ground', because I could translate it into French as I walked up and down on the beach."[4]


  1. ^ David Roberts. British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Limited
  2. ^ Jon Dennis (2 May 2012), "Old music: Bernard Cribbins – Right Said Fred", The Guardian
  3. ^ Colin Larkin (2000), The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Oxford University Press, p. 619, ISBN 9780195313734
  4. ^ Sean Magee (2012), Desert Island Discs: 70 years of castaways, Random House, p. 119, ISBN 9781448127450