My Ding-a-Ling

Album: The London Chuck Berry Sessions (1972)
Charted: 1 1


  • Even though he wrote many rock classics, this novelty song is Berry's only #1 hit. The song is about a young boy who discovers his penis. Berry was good at making sexual references that did not seem offensive.
  • While many rock scholars dismiss this song as a senseless novelty ditty, Berry is quite proud of the song. He told Rolling Stone in 2010 that he wanted to be a comedian at one point, and enjoys getting a laugh. He added that the song was originally about a ring sliding onto a finger (as a metaphor for sex), but he toned it down and recorded it as "Little Girl Sing Ting-A-Ling" in 1968. In 1972 he turned it into "Ding-a-Ling," earning him a #1 hit and a check for $200,000.
  • Although Berry is credited as the composer, Dave Bartholomew claimed authorship of the song, as he released the similar-sounding "Little Girl Sing Ding-a-Ling" in 1952. Bartholomew as a bandleader who collaborated with Fats Domino on the hits "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That A Shame."
  • An interesting thing about the chart life of this song: The week this debuted (at #99 on the "Billboard" Hot 100), the reissue of the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" debuted at #100; three weeks after "My Ding-a-Ling" hit #1, "Nights" peaked at #2.
  • Berry had only one Top 40 hit after "My Ding-a-Ling" - a PG-rated version of his late '50s hit "Reelin' and 'Rockin" backed by a live version of "Johnny B. Goode." All three songs were recorded at the same concert, with the album version of Johnny B. Goode concluding with an announcer pleading with the crowd to make room so that Pink Floyd could perform later that night.
  • This song was recorded live at the Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, Warwickshire, England as part of the Lanchester Arts Festival. The concert nearly did not happen as Chuck Berry turned up over 1.5 hours late, and in a worse for wear state. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Geoff - Morecambe, England

Comments: 38

  • Ade from Coventry UkYes this was recorded in Coventry. The Specials Jerry Dammers was in the audience and can apparently be heard shouting out in the audience. A few years later The Specials recorded the live version of Too Much Too Young at the same venue.
  • Lee from Stockton, CaI have an lp from 1962 or '63 by Doug Clark and The Hot Nuts where he sings this song and is credited with the songwriting to it.
  • Crazyc63312 from Pittsburgh, PaI first heard this song on Dr. Demento's 30th Anneversary(yeah-I spelt it wrong. So what?) CD! I laughed so hard!
  • Paul from Detroit, Mimost annoyingly, stupid song ever recorded.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrMy mistake, I meant to say "phallus". I'm such a doodoo brain. Never saw it spelled? Here's the catch, I can't see! I'm blind, remember?
  • Drew from B\'ham, AlThere is no word "fallace" that I know of, unless it's the root of "fallacy". To clear things up, Annabelle from Eugene, perhaps you heard the word & never saw it spelled. Were you thinking of the Greek term "phallus"?
  • John from Coventry, United KingdomThe song was recorded at the Lanchester Polytechnic Arts Festival 3rd Feb 1972, but the concert was not on the campus it was at the nearby Locarno ballroom. For further information, the support band was Slade and the concert was followed by a late nighter by Pink Floyd.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaToday, ironically enough, the song directly above this (at #4) is Michael Jackson's Beat It.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyBeing a MTF transgender, I do not share the feelings the boy in this song had for his ding-a-ling, mainly because I have never owned a bell in my life. Nonetheless,I love this song--and Monty Python's "Penis Song."
  • Chase from Interlachen, Hithis song might be kinda stupid but its to funny to hate it.
  • Drew from B'ham, AlWouldn't it be kinda dull if it were a 5-verse song talking about nothing but a body part or a toy with bells? I simply believe that the double-entendre is the main thing that makes it intereting... and humored. If it's all about a penis, what happens to all the such humor?
  • Mrcleaveland from Cleveland,Ha haaaaaaaa, this is one of the worst, stupidest, most moronic songs of all time. But Chuck gets a pass since he, along with Bob Dylan, wrote about half of all the hit songs in the first half of the '60s.
  • Jack from Paducah, Ky1. So what? It is about a little boy and his willie. Every boy/man has one and has a close personal relationship with it. We each have a little nick name for it and the world is full of alternative terms for them. Willie for example.
    2. The business about the grandmother being involved. It wouldn't be beyond the pall to guess that he and many others like him were raised by their grandma. One failing in African American sub-culture is that boys are usually raised by their mothers and grandmothers with absentee grandfathers. Making it all the more likely that whoever taught him a name for it would not have given it a masculine appellation.
    3. CB knew what he was trying to say, and I don't think it is offensive or sick in any way. Unless of course you are ashamed of your parts. In which case I am sure there is a couch for you somewhere. Anyone who says they've never played with their own is a liar or isn't telling the truth.
    4. I can't believe there are actually people that don't believe this song is about the penis.
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlOnly a self rightious idiot would not see the humor and entendere in this song. It's one of Chuckey's best pieces and yes, it is inteded to hint at the male sex organ. Face it. There was no deep dark intent to this song. It's just Ole Chuck at his dirty minded filthy best!
  • David from Youngstown, OhThis is perhaps one of the five worst songs of all time. It's easily the stupidest.
  • Andy from B'ham, AlFor all u sickos who think it's about the male sex organ, ... Didn't his Gramma buy him his ding-a-ling? If it's about that, what was it? Plastic surgery? Did he use to be a girl? LOL.
    If the song makes sense, two silver bells on a string. That's what his Gramma got him! More comments?
  • Tony from Topeka, KsIf you listen to the full version (not the single edit), Berry himself explains that "this also happens to be a sexy song... there's nothing wrong with sex, it's just the way that you handle it, you see," and he makes several obvious sexual references as he teaches the audience how to sing the chorus. There's a transcript here:
  • Kris from Wichita, Kswow bianca your really niave cause it's abbout the male sexual organ. com on people it's not a secret it's just kinda catchy and funny. it's a cute way to talk about it.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI agree with Andrew. Who ever thinks it's about a well "dingaling." Are complete pervs. It's abviously about Chuck getting a Gift from his Granmdma, And he takes it everywheres. When the Chior sings, he adds more music. At reccesse He jingles it. You know a favourite toy. Thats all, It's not about. Well you know.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyThere's a conservative commentator named Oriana Fallaci. I guess I'm not a conservative because I can't hear her name without tittering.

    Anyway, from the first time I heard this song, I knew it could only be about one thing: The Hunchback of Notre Dame. LOL.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis song is about a gift Chuck Berry's grandma bought him called a ding-a-ling. A string with two silver bells would be quite fun to play with and could probably confuse a bunch of people - "What's that sound?" You know what else confuses a bunch of people? The lyrics in this song. The way it's worded sounds like a VERY sick-minded pun. Is chuck Berry poking fun at the '70s moral decline? Oh, by the way, since this song is about a toy with bells as a gift from his grandma, and with the instruments and kids' voices as back-up, it sounds as if it should be a Christmas song. Does anyone else get a Christmas present impression?
  • Darrell from Eugene, United StatesThis song is DEFINITELY about somebody's willie. It takes a little imagination, but most people will be able to figure it out quickly by either listening to the song or reading the lyrics.
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhMost everyone I knew thought it rather sad; an indication of how the energetic and creative Chuck Berry had deteriorated by the 1970's, a time when almost everything seemed to be falling apart.
  • Logan from Durham, Nhin one episode of the simpsons, someone sang this at a talent show in a really annoying voice
  • Melissa from Happy Place, KsWhen I first heard this, I was about 9 or 10. I thought he was talking about a little bell he liked or something... >_<'
  • Andy from Hamilton, Canadahey shut up, Weve all got our own personal dinga-lings, and i like to sing about mine sometimes to.....were did that little F**** go to now......
  • Joe from Buffalo, NyI realized this the first time i heard it, but i didn't think thats what it meant. I thought it was actually about a toy,and only someone with a sick mind would think it was about that. I thought it was from too far back to be like that.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scfirst time i heard I didn't realize what it was about, until the last verse. He really didn't full anyone with this one.
  • Bob from Oakland, CaShell, are you saying Annabelle's comment is a Fallacy? LOL
  • John from Fremantle, AustraliaCan't wait for the "uncut" version :P
  • Toshio from Kyoto, JapanDingaling means dick. It's sick.
  • Eddie from Glencoe, IlDidn't Ralph Wiggum sing this in The Simpsons or something?
  • John from Coventry, Uti believ that this was recorded live in coventry england. can anyone confirm this?
  • Shell from Riverdale, Ga"Fallace"? Bwahahaha! You won't find that one in the dictionary. You will, however, find "innuendo". Do yourself a favor and read it.
  • Bob from Mt. Laurel,'s definently not about an actual cute little toy.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrMy Ding a Ling was actually about a cute little toy, Silver Bells hanging On a String. It was not about a Fallace!
  • Dustin from Tampa, FlI remember when i first found my ding-a-ling. What a glorious relationship weve had since
  • Brad Wind from Miami, FlOriginally released in 1958 as "My Tambourine."
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