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An alphabet song is any of various songs used to teach children the alphabet. Alphabet songs typically recite the names of all letters of the alphabet of a given language in order. English language alphabet songs, and perhaps the one most frequently referred to as “the alphabet song”, especially in the United States. The song was first copyrighted in 1835 by the Boston-based music publisher Charles Bradlee, and given the title “The A. German air with variations for the flute with an easy accompaniment for the piano forte”.
Next time, won’t you sing with me? This is a version that goes Z to A instead of A to Z. Now you know your ZYX’s I bet that’s not what you expected! The e-d-c-b part is as fast as the l-m-n-o part in the normal alphabet song. Generally, the absent zee-rhyme is not missed, although some children use a zee pronunciation in the rhyme which they would not use elsewhere. Variants of the song exist to accommodate the zed pronunciation.
Note that the third line is lengthened and the fourth line is shortened, to compensate for the Dutch pronunciations. A French-language version of the song is also taught in Canada, with generally no alterations to the melody except in the final line that requires adjustment to accommodate the two-syllable pronunciation of the French y. Many songs have been written to teach phonemic awareness and they are usually referred to as alphabet songs. There are also songs that go through the alphabet, making some of the letters stand for something in the process. A newer example of this is from the musical Matilda. School Song” is an acrostic that spells out the alphabet phonetically. The group Wee Sing released an alphabet song with the letters in reverse order, called “ZYXs”.
The Canadian children’s TV series The Big Comfy Couch used a version of the song in the first episode of Season 4, “Backwards”. Comedian Soupy Sales released a song in 1966 called “Backwards Alphabet” which contained the reverse alphabet in lyrical style. The original version of the song was performed by actress Judi Rolin with the Smothers Brothers in the 1966 teleplay adaptation of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Crazy ABC’s”, an acrostic song listing words beginning with each letter used as a silent letter, by the Barenaked Ladies on their album Snacktime! The alphabet song is sometimes said to come from another of Bradlee’s publications, “The Schoolmaster”, but the first line of that song is given as “Come, come my children, I must see”, in Yale University’s library catalog.