Tiptoe Through the Tulips

"Tiptoe Through the Tulips", also known as "Tip Toe Through the Tulips with Me", is a popular song published in 1929. The song was written by Al Dubin (lyrics) and Joe Burke (music) and made popular by guitarist Nick Lucas. On February 5, 1968, singer Tiny Tim made the song a novelty hit[1] by singing it on the debut episode of the popular American television show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.[2][3]

Tip Toe Through the Tulips
by Joe Burke (music) & Al Dubin (lyrics)
Tip Toe Through The Tulips Cover.jpg
Original Cover for the 1929 Sheet Music to "Tip Toe Through The Tulips"
GenrePopular song from the 1929 film Gold Diggers of Broadway
PublisherM. Witmark & Sons (New York)

Recording historyEdit

"Crooning Troubadour" Nick Lucas topped the US charts with "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" in 1929, after introducing the song in the musical "talkie" film Gold Diggers of Broadway. Lucas's recording held the #1 position for 10 weeks.[4] Other artists charted with the song in 1929, including Jean Goldkette (#5), Johnny Marvin (#11), and Roy Fox (#18).

The song was used in Sinkin' in the Bathtub, the first Looney Tunes cartoon short, in 1930. It is also heard in the opening scene of the 1945 film Confidential Agent.

The song was revived in 1967 by the California rock group The Humane Society and in 1968 by Tiny Tim, whose version charted at #17 that year, becoming his signature song, which he would continue to perform throughout his career. The song was also later covered by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

In popular cultureEdit

The song is sung by Dr. Smith and again by the Robot in the Lost in Space episode "Space Circus"[5]

The song is mentioned in the 1997 book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.[6] Vernon Dursley hums the song while boarding up small cracks around the front and back doors of his house so he can stop letters from Hogwarts reaching Harry.

Comedian Otto Waalkes sang a version, similar to that from Tiny Tim in his program Otto.[7]

In the 2011 film Wrecked, the song is played on the radio.[citation needed]

The song is featured in the 2010 horror film Insidious.[8]

Welsh indie pop band Los Campesinos! released a song title "Tiptoe Through the True Bits" in 2012,[9] with the song's title being a reference to Tiptoe Through the Tulips.


  1. ^ The New York Times. "Tiny Tim Singer Dies at 64". William Grimes. December 2, 1996.
  2. ^ LA Times. "Behind the Laughter at 'Laugh-in'". Susan King. March 7, 2011.
  3. ^ The New York Times. "A Little Bit of a Bad Thing Can Be Good". Neil Genzlinger. January 31, 2007.
  4. ^ CD liner notes: Chart-Toppers of the Twenties, 1998 ASV Ltd.
  5. ^ "Lost in Space Memories | Episodes". Pythononline.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  6. ^ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, p. 34, Scholastic Corporation, ISBN 0-7475-3269-9
  7. ^ Angeles, Mouse. “Otto Waalkes ‘Tip Toe through the Tulips’ 1973.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Oct. 2013.
  8. ^ "10 Great (But Unexpected) Uses Of Music In Movies".
  9. ^ Listen to "Tiptoe Through the True Bits" by Los Campesinos!, retrieved 2019-09-25