Song Lyrics: The Smell of Rebellion


Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin

With orchestrations by Chris Nightingale

Dialogue by Dennis Kelly


This school, of late, has started reeking…

Quiet, maggot, when I’m speaking!

…reeking with a most disturbing scent.

Only the finest nostrils smell it,

But I know it oh too well,

It is the odour of rebellion,

It’s the bouquet of dissent.

And you may bet your britches

This headmistress

Finds this foul odifer-ous-ness

Wholly olfactorily insulting

And so to stop the stench’s spread

I find a session of Phys-Ed

Sorts the merely rank from the revolting.

The smell of rebellion

Comes out in the sweat

And phys-ed’ll get you sweating

And it won’t be long

Before I smell the pong

Of aiding and abetting

A bit of Phys-Ed

Will tell us

Who has a headful

Of rebellious


Hold! Hold!

Just like a rot-

ton egg

Floats to the top

Of a bucket of water


The smell of rebellion

The stench of revolt

The reek of insubordination

A whiff of resistance

The pong of dissent

The funk of mutiny in action


But that’s not right!

It hurts!

I can’t!

But Miss!


Before a weed No more!

Becomes too big and greedy

You really need

To nip it in the bud

Position two!

Before the worm starts to turn

You must scrape off the dirt

And rip it from the mud


A whiff of insurgence

The stench of intent

The reek of prepubescent protest

The funk of defiance

The odour of coup

The waft of anarchy in progress


Once we’ve exercised these demons

They shall be too pooped for scheming

Some double-time discipline

Should stop the rot from setting in.

Alright, let’s step it up, double time!

Discipline, discipline

For children who aren’t listening

For midgets who are fidgeting

And whispering in history

Their chattering and chittering

Their nattering and twittering

Is tempered with a smattering of discipline.

We must begin insisting

On rigidity and discipline

Persistently resisting

This anarchistic mischiefin’

These minutes you are fritterin’

On pandering and pitying

While little-uns like this they just need


The simpering and whimpering

The dribbling and the spittling

The “Miss, I need a tissue”

It’s an issue we can fix

There is no mystery to mastering

The art of classroom mistressing

It’s discipline! Discipline!




The smell of rebellion

The stench of revolt

The reek of prepubescent plotting

A whiff of resistance

The pong of dissent

The funk of moral fibre rotting…

Imagine a world with no children

Close your eyes and just dream

Imagine (come on, try it!)

The peace and the quiet,

A burbling stream

Now imagine a woods with a cottage

And inside that cottage we find

A dwarf called Zeek,

A carnival freak

Who can fold paper hats with his mind.

And he says,

Don’t let them steal your horses

Don’t let them take them away

If you find your way through

They’ll be waiting for you

Singing Neigh. Neigh. Neigh.

Ah-ha! And there. just like I said

The stinky maggot rears his head

Even the squittiest piteous mess

Can harbour seeds of stinkiness

Have you ever seen anything more repellent

Have you ever smelt anything worse than that

Smell of rebellion

The stench of revolt

The reek of insubordination

A whiff of resistance

The pong of dissent…

And I will not stop til you are squashed

Til this rebellion is quashed

Til glorious sweaty discipline has washed

This sickening stench away.