I have taken snippets of lyrics from 12 reasonably well known songs. Each of these snippets contains one or two instances of a whole number in it.

For a consistent format, I've written these numbers in their digital form, removed all non-alphanumeric characters besides spaces, and made all letters lowercase. The tricky part is that I then replaced all digits with # and all consonants (including all instances of y) with _. Your task is to identify all 12 songs with this limited information.

Here are the 12 mangled lyric snippets, one per line:

# i_ __e _o_e_ie__ _u__e_
i __o_e # _oi___
# _i___e _i___
# _a__ a _ee_
# i_ __e a__e__oo_
_ou a_e ## _oi__ o_ ##
__e_ i_ ##
## __o__o_e_ _e_ __e _i_ _a_a_e _i__ ### _o__e__ __o_e a_ _a__
__e_ _ea_ _i_e __ ###
i _ou__ _a__ ### _i_e_
__o a_ i #####

It can be seen that only the 6th and 8th songs have two numbers in them, so there are 14 mystery numbers in total. None of the numbers have leading zeros. All the lyric snippets are in standard English and their songs can be easily found on the web.

Just to clarify what has been done to the snippets, suppose the lyric A seven nation army couldn't hold me back from Seven Nation Army was one of them (just as an example, this is not one of the 12 songs):

  1. make numbers digital → A 7 nation army couldn't hold me back
  2. remove non-alphanumerics except space → A 7 nation army couldnt hold me back
  3. make lowercase → a 7 nation army couldnt hold me back
  4. replace digits with #a # nation army couldnt hold me back
  5. replace consonants and y's with _a # _a_io_ a___ _ou____ _o__ _e _a__


I will accept the earliest answer that correctly identifies all the songs and gives the unobscured lyrics and numbers.



    The songs are not all necessarily from bands or individuals. Some may be from movies and/or musicals.


    The 14 mystery numbers are strictly increasing in the order they appear in the mangled lyric snippet list.

  3. (You'll need this one to really be certain of your answer.)

    The sum of all 14 mystery numbers is 8701125.


3 Answers 3


Think I got them all now:

1 is the loneliest number
i smoke 2 joints
7 little girls (credit to somebody) -or- 3 little birds (credit to Phil M Jones)
8 days a week
9 in the afternoon
you are 16 going on 17
when im 60 -or- when im 64
76 trombones led the big parade with 110 cornets close at hand
shes real fine my 409
i would walk 500 miles
who am i 24601

  • $\begingroup$ "When I'm 60" does not appear to be a song. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Calvin'sHobbies ...Well technically it appears in this song. $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Calvin'sHobbies thought it might've been The Beatles "when I'm 64", but then the maths is out... $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 10:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Alright :P Then this is technically valid but it's not the exact solution I had in mind. I did intend that beatles song, the third song number is 3 not 7. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 10:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 3 little birds, I presume? If so, I've heard of 5 of the 12 songs :( $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 10:58

Tidied up:

1) # i_ __e _o_e_ie__ _u__e_ -> One is the loneliest number - Three dog night

2) i __o_e # _oi___ -> I smoke two joints - Sublime Thanks to @Alconja

3) # _i___e _i___ -> Seven little girls - Paul evans Thanks to @Somebody
(Intended one -> Three little birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers)

4) # _a__ a _ee_-> Eight days a week - Beatles Thanks to @Alconja

5) # i_ __e a__e__oo_ -> Nine in the afternoon - PANIC! AT THE DISCO

6) _ou a_e ## _oi__ o_ ## -> You are sixteen going on seventeen - Sound of music

7) __e_ i_ ## -> When I'm 60 Elton Jhon Thanks to @Alconja
(Intended one -> When I'm 64 Beatles)

8) ## __o__o_e_ _e_ __e _i_ _a_a_e _i__ ### _o__e__ __o_e a_ _a__-> 76 trombones led the big parade with 110 cornets close at hand - Willson Meredith Thanks to @Alconja

9) __e_ _ea_ _i_e __ ### -> Shes real fine my 4-0-9 - Beach Boys Thanks to @Alconja

10) i _ou__ _a__ ### _i_e_ -> (I would walk) 500 Miles - Proclaimers Thanks to @Somebody

11) __o a_ i ##### -> Who am I? 24601! - Les Miserables

12) ####### -> 867-5309/Jenny - Tommy Tutone Thanks to @Alconja

The numbers are (ascending order):

$1 + 2 + 7(3) + 8 + 9 + 16 + 17 + 60(64) + 76 + 110 + 409 + 500 + 24601 + 8675309 = 8701125$


This is what I currently have:

One Is The Loneliest Number - Three Dog Night
I Smoke Two Joints - The Toyes (credit goes to Alconja)
Seven Litle Girls - Paul Evans (helped by a hint from Narmer)
Eight Days A Week - The Beatles (credit goes to Alconja)
Nine In The Afternoon - Panic! At The Disco
(You Are) Sixteen Going On Seventeen - The Sound of Music
__e_ i_ 69 76 Trombones Led The Big Parade With 110 Cornets Close At Hand - The Music Man (credit goes to Alconja)
(I would walk) 500 Miles - Proclaimers
She's Real Fine My 4-0-9 - Beach Boys (credit goes to Alconja)
Who Am I? 24601! - Les Miserables (credit goes to Narmer)
867-5309(/Jenny) - Tommy Tutone


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