Origins of Terrifying Russian Lullaby “TILI TILI BOM” are Murky

Truly creepy, or merely creepypasta?

 

One comes across an abundance of nightmare-fuel when probing the darkest corners of You Tube.  A recent chilling discovery was a video for the Russian lullaby Tili tili bom (тили тили бом).  The lyrics are as haunting as the echoing choir of children singing; minimalist musical accompaniment heightens a dreadful disposition.  Please believe this may be one of the scariest, most unnerving things you’ve ever heard!

Lyrics: Tili-tili-bom / Close your eyes rather / Someone goes outside the window, / and knock at the door. / Tili-tili-bom. / Screams night bird. / He had already made ​​his way into the house. / For those who can not sleep. / He goes … He already close … / Tili-tili-bom. / You hear someone nearby? / lurking around the corner, / and pierces the eye. / Tili-tili-bom. / All hide silent night / For you it is stolen / and is about to catch. / He … He is already close …  /Tili-tili-bom. / You hear someone nearby? / lurking around the corner / and pierces the eye.

While these creepy voices and lyrics would be more likely to keep me awake (especially as a kid), the idea seems to be that Russian parents would sing this song as a means of inducing slumber in their children.  But rather than soothing them with soft, peaceful imagery, the message is: “Hurry up and go to sleep before the Boogeyman gets you!”  Yeah, that’s relaxing!

Could Russian parents really be so cruel?  While it’s true that many English nursery rhymes also have dark roots and gruesome undertones, Tili tili bom seems exceptionally terrifying—hardly appropriate for children of any nation.  But while some ardently insist this lullaby is legit, a search for the song’s origins are incredibly difficult (impossible?) to find.  I went down the rabbit holes previous internet detective have traveled in an attempt to crack this nut.  And just like them, I came to a virtual brick wall at the year 2007; after that: A total informational void.

Like many a Reddit user, I was able to trace Tili tili bom to a soundtrack for the Russian horror movie TRACKMAN (aka Putevoy obkhodchik, Путевой обходчик) but discerning whether the lullaby was written for the soundtrack or merely included on it is impossible to confirm, even when tracing the film back to its official Russian website.  Notice on the screenshot below, no information whatsoever regarding the soundtrack for TRACKMAN.

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A search for the soundtrack on Google Music turns up a similar informational vacuum.

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I hit another brick wall over at IMDB.

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Still determined to find the origins of Tili tili bom, I bought TRACKMAN on DVD (distributed in America by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Underground).  After confirming that this lullaby was indeed a musical backdrop for parts of the film (it’s in the opening credits), I skipped to the end credits where I found: Absolutely nothing about Tili tili bom; nothing even regarding the recording (i.e. when/where released, produced by, performed by, etc.)—even though the other songs used in the film were all represented in the end credits. WTF, am I right?

Knowing when I’ve been bested, I abandoned my search for answers, unable to determine if Tili tili bom is the creepiest lullaby ever written, or merely a particularly chewy piece of internet creepypasta.

The song has gained a certain cult notoriety among fans of all things morbid and macabre, even taking on a life of its own.  In addition to other video manifestations, Tili tili bom has been used to add atmosphere to chilling dash-cam footage (below) of a car traveling through a forest fire, and even as the soundtrack for a fan-made BLACK WIDOW trailer featuring Scarlett Johansson (also below).

If you have any information regarding the origins of Tili tili bom, please let me know in the Comments section.  I’d love to solve this spooky little riddle once and for all!

In the meantime: Pleasant dreams!

Do you agree that Tili tili bom is creepy as hell?  Sound off in the Comments section!

Follow me on Twitter @josh_millican for quality horror articles worthy of your attention.

 

 

11 Comments on this post.

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  • Kat
    7 July 2016 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Did you try contacting the person who uploaded the video on YouTube? DaXia999 or something. Maybe they can tell you something where they got the video?

  • Mary Miller
    21 July 2016 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    This is copied from “Sputnik news” on Russian symphony stories. The article is speaking of the Russian composer Stravinski.

    “Curiously: a man of the world, an individual with “multi-media mentality”, Stravinsky sought to bring up his own children with a distinct “national flavor”. All of his songs, not only these – with texts – are from collections of folk texts. Moreover, the composer unearthed the most genuinely-national, primordial, acerbically-unusual for today’s ear, which has left contemporary language; that which sounds uniquely beautiful…
    “Untranslatable phonemes of the Russian language,” commented the composer.
    Another one is called “Tilly-bom” (tilly-bom, tilly-bom, the cat’s house is on fire – all of our today’s children grow up on this.) Just as they do on the tales “Gooses-swans” and about the bear…”

  • Amanda tyler
    11 August 2016 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Awesome research Mary Miller !

  • Nefaria
    21 August 2016 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Actually, a quick search again with the quote Mary Miller wrote here confirms one thing: Stravinskys “Tilly-Bom” is another song, not the same “Tili Tili Bom” we’re talking about here. So the origins still remain a mystery… Sorry to disappoint, I couldn’t find anything either!

  • hios
    26 August 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply
  • Christian
    8 October 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    My friends phone spoke the words tili tili bom we’re in America. No Russian connection this song is creeping him out.

  • Dawn
    29 November 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

    The song plays in the show Bitten in the third season episode 8. The episode is titled tili tili bom. Its a bit creepy, indeed.

  • Christina Theriot
    1 December 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

    This is a very well known lullaby.

  • Et tu Bluto
    18 May 2017 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Ask Donald Trump…he’s an expert on all things Russian, or even all things…just ask him..in fact he might well have written it himself…

    • PizzaGate Podesta
      24 May 2017 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      thats weak as yo dick !!!!!

  • Natalia Sylvenska
    8 June 2017 at 2:37 am - Reply

    My parents would sing this to me as a kid. I always knew him as a form of demon that would lurk outside the houses of Russia and if I wasn’t asleep he would come up the stairs and eat me. I knew that Tili tili Bom was my Babushka’s (grandmother’s) lullaby as well, so it’s definitely old. She drew a picture of him when she was about 12 for a project and she drew him dragging bodies through the snow of ‘naughty’ children who would stay up at night. That’s kinda the image I got of him, so yeah I would make sure my feet were no way near the edge of the bed and that I went to sleep straight away.

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