This animated sequence from 1930 (!) is definitely my all-time favourite. The most disturbing, the most ingenious, the most vivid—it is a must-see.

However, due to the fact that everybody who was engaged in the production of this tiny treasure... well, their time had come before we could make out all the lyrics of the spooky version of the song. After an hour of web surfing, I came up with the complete version of the transcript. Sadly, I am by no means a native English speaker, so any feedback (in case you manage to decipher anything that was illegible or at least compose something very plausible, convincing and sound-alike) will be very welcome.

Slightly uncertain parts marked in blue. Heavily illegible parts marked in bold red. Recovered lines are marked in green (thank you active viewers!). Please find the complete “Swing you Sinners” lyrics below.

Swing you sinners 1930 cartoon: title card

The introduction is pretty standard:

You sinners, drop everything,
Let the harmony ring,
Up to Heaven and sing,
Swing you sinners!

Just wave your arms all about,
Let the Lord hear you shout.
Pour the music right out,
Swing you sinners!

Whenever there’s music,
The Devil kicks.
He don’t allow music
By the river Styx.

You’re wicked and you’re depraved,
And you’ve all misbehaved.
If you wanna be saved,
Swing you sinners!

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: angry tombstones

Then comes the overture to the mayhem.

Good night, this is your finish, brother.
You’re never going to get away.
“Oh no!” “Oh yes!”
You’ll never rob another hen-house!
You’ve sinned, and now you must ordain.
“Oh no.” “Oh yes.”
We’re going to pulverize you brother (Ya needed it!)
And scatter all your bones away.

An intermission.

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: spirits’ accusations

Chickens you used to steal
— I don’t steal no more!
Craps you used to shoot—
— I don’t shoot no more!
Girls you used to chase—
— I don’t chase no more.
Get ready, brother, your time has come!

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: dancing flour sack

Stand up you sinner,
We’ve got you at last.
You can’t get away, there’s no time to pray,
Your finish is going to be fast.

Brothers and sisters,
Come on get hot.
We’ll amputate your vo-do-de-o
And tie your bones in a knot.

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: laughing ghosts

— Brother, you sure are gonna get your face lifted!
— And a permanent shave!

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: inflated spitits’ faces

— Where you want your body sent?
— Body? Huh! Ain’t gonna be no body!

Swing you Sinners 1930 cartoon: final trippy sequence

You can’t make any excuse,
So you’ll quail in your boots
‘Till we’ve picked up the noose,
Swing you sinners!

For making chickens elope,
You’re at the end of your rope,
So just give up all hope,
Swing you sinners!

We’ll stretch you like a giraffe,
Maybe cut you in half,
Just to give us a laugh,
Swing you sinners!

I shall be grateful to anyone who will help me bring this masterpiece together.

Update 2014-04-04: Samuel St.Cyr suggested four restored lines. Merci beaucoup!

Update 2014-04-19: Simol Regan deciphered the most illegible line and fixed a whole quatrain. What a great deed!

Update 2014-05-03: Charles Anthony came up with a small refinement. Let’s thank him!

Update 2014-05-31: Jed Wentz carried out some experiments with slow playback and shed light on two lines. Today he is the one who deserves kudos.

Update 2018-02-18: Finally, owing to Tom Parkes and Jason Cullen, we have resolved the last ambiguity. Congratulations, you sinners!