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Monday, May 4, 2009

Which came first: the ABCs or "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"?

: twinkle twinkle

Why: They have the exact same melody.

Answer: The lyrics for "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" are from a poem called "The Star" by Jane Taylor, first published in 1806. There are 5 verses, not 1.

"The Alphabet Song" was first copyrighted in 1835 by Boston-based music publisher Charles Bradlee.

Both songs are to the tune of the French folk song "Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman," which was known in France since at least 1761. Mozart didn't compose it, but he did write 12 variations of the melody.

Source: Wikipedia

The More You Know: "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" also uses the same tune. The original poem was published in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book in 1744, along with "Sing a Song of Sixpence," "Ladybird Ladybird," and "Hickere, Dickere, Dock." The book also included another poem that didn't quite make it into the canon of children's rhymes that goes like this:
Piss a Bed,
Piss a Bed,
Barley Butt,
Your Bum is so heavy,
You can't get up.

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