"Yertle the Turtle" as written by Jack Sherman, Cliff Martinez, Anthony Kiedis and Michael Peter Balzary....
On a far away island
of Salamasond
Yertle the turtle
Was king of the pond
A nice little pond
It was clean it was neat
The water was warm
There was plenty to eat
Until one day
The king of them all
Decided the kingdom
He ruled was too small
I'm a ruler of all that I see
But I don't see enough
And that's the trouble with me

With this stone for a throne
I am too low down
I cannot look down
Upon the places beyond
So Yertle the turtle king
Lifted his hand
And Yertle the turtle king
Lifted his hand
He ordered all the turtles
Onto one another's back
He piled them high
Into a ten turtle stack
I'm Yertle the turtle
The things I now rule
I'm king of a cow
I'm king of a mule

Then down from below
In the great turtle stack
Came a burp from a plain
Little turtle named Mack
Just part of the throne
This burpin' little turtle
Looked up and said "I beg
Your pardon king Yertle"
I've pains in my back
My shoulders and my knees
How long must we stand
Here your majesty
"Silence !" the king of the
Turtles barked back
To the bad burpin'
Little turtle named Mack
I'm Yertle the turtle
Oh marvelous me for
I am ruler of all that I see

Yertle, Yertle the turtle
Yertle, Yertle the turtle


Lyrics submitted by PrismPuck, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Yertle the Turtle" as written by Anthony Kiedis Michael Peter Balzary

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Yertle the Turtle song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe guy who says "Look at that turtle go bro!" is George Clinton's drug dealer. George didn't have the money to pay off his debt, so he let his drug dealer be part of the song.
    muzy21on September 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaaah i love this song! The Peppers were the perfect band to cover a Dr Suess book, for sure. The heavy funk beat suits it perfectly. Huzzah for stackable turtles!
    malachiteon April 15, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI couldnt resist posting something on this song. Im sitting here just laughing because someone truly understands what a great song this is. from the title to the turtle i love it all. Im working on a cover of a dr suess book myself, but i must bow to the masters of wicked lyrics involving abstract situations involving animals. Except possibly Jack Off Jill
    Cinnamon__Spideron April 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMore seriously...RHCP have done a lot of songs about social change. And this is definitely about social change, albeit involving turtles in a pond, but still social change.
    malachiteon April 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is great. Only musical geniuses could do a musical version of a Dr. Suess book so well. RHCP RULE!
    UnderTheBridge123on April 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso yeah.. it's fucking great.. see it's about yertle who thinks he is the owner of everything he sees, but then he sees someone who's taller than him and wants to make himself a trone made out of turtles to be the tallest of all, to rule EVERYTHING - he is actually not a "good-guy" although it's impossible not to find him charming - finally tries to reach the moon, because he is not satisfied with what he already has, wants more and mroe, then it ends with mack burping, kind of overthrowing him and making yertle the king of mud.

    i made a fun travesty of this song about christopher columbus, making him the symbol om americans taking native americans land, also keeping the red hots legacy of making pro-natives songs. it's interesting who much columbus fit into the role of yertle.
    moe2000on May 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHeh... My English teacher had us doing a project on Midieval ballads, and at the end, she let us bring in a modern day ballad to play. Well, the qualifications she gave us for ballad were rhyme, chorus, and relation of a story. . . So I brought in Yertle the Turtle... I mean, Hell, it fits...

    Most people don't listen to anything the Peppers wrote before Blood Sugar, and aren't even aware that albums like Freaky Styley exist, or, if they are, are only aware of singles... so, needless to say, I was the only kid in class that had heard this song before, or was even aware that it existed.

    Once my teacher picked up on the lyrics, she screamed and hugged me and made me burn her a copy.

    :-D
    I've created another fan.... and this one's a 50 year old AP British Lit teacher
    :-D
    Unl8nswallowon April 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti work at a toy store, and we have a cd that has celebrities/rockers singing "kids" songs, Yertle the Tertle is one of the songs. i love it because im so sick of hearing childrens songs all the time.
    xxSourGirlxxon May 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOnly a band as amazing as RHCP could pull off a cover of Dr. Fucking Seus.

    You guys can't touch this song.
    Dianaxon December 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe intro to this song, the 'look at the turtle go, bro' bit was done by the bands drug dealer, because they didnt have the money to pay him. he traded drugs for his few seconds of fame on this song. personally i think its pretty cool.
    torrance21on December 31, 2004   Link

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