Does anyone remember the old Sesame Street song "The Backwards Alphabet"? I know my sister does, because we sang it in recent years with our own kids. Really, don't you need to know how to say the alphabet backwards anyway?
Z Y X W V U...
My kids get a kick out of how one of our friend's youngest, Nick L sings his alphabet. Instead of LMNO, he yells: Elemento!
The band "They Might Be Giants" must have experienced something like this themselves. They have the most hilarious kids album called "Here Come the ABCs". It contains songs like "E Eats Everything" and "Q U", because you can't have one without the other. I love the song "L M N O"with the lyric LMNO are four letters, LMNO are not one. Snert.
The good old Alphabet Song is one of the first songs most english speaking children will usually learn. That alone is pretty cool if you think about it. It's that important of a song, and besides, it's catchy as hell.
One of my favorite, and possibly only, children's punk rock bands is called "The Boogers". (And they are local. I even had them come to our school for an assembly, and they rocked it out! Moshing in the school gym-sweet!).
Anyway, what does a punk band have to do with the alphabet?
I'm glad you asked.
They perform a medley of three songs that we all know so well-and separately, yet all three are the exact same melody:
The Alphabet Song
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Cool, huh? Are you singing them right now too?
Quiz time: Do you know who wrote that little ditty? I would bet about half of you do, but going one step further, do you know the original name of the song? Me neither, until now.
"Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman"", is the piano composition by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which he composed when he was around 25 years old, in about the year 1781.
I wonder if you went back in time and told Mozart that his would be one of the first songs children would still be learning some 250 years after his death, what he would think of that?
And now we can all go about out day having learned something new. Unless, of course you already knew all this. In which case, did you know that the plastic thingy on the tip of a shoelace is called an aglet? Or the dots on a die are called pips? Now I hope there's something new for today...