Everyone knows that little kids have a tough time with the alphabet, mostly because the part where you sing “LMNOP” makes it sound like one letter that goes “ELEMENO-PEE.” And now, because a remixed version of the ABC song is making the rounds on the internet, those of us who grew up with the regular version (read: EVERYONE) are losing their minds at just how wrong this version of the song sounds. Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger loses his mind in Kindergarten Cop? That’s pretty much the entire internet right now, only with this “new” ABC song.
To be fair, this ABC song is not new. The remixed version, in which L-M-N-O is sung in a slower way, which alters the melody; is actually from 2010. It was created by a YouTuber called Dream English Kids. The goal seems to be to try and get kids to understand that these are individual letters and not just one weird chimera letter. (You can watch the full Dream English Kids version in the embedded video here.)
But, late last week, when a few folks on Twitter found the 2010 song, they freaked out, and the altered song became national news.
They changed the ABC song to clarify the LMNOP part, and it is life ruining. pic.twitter.com/TnZL8VutnW
— Noah Garfinkel (@NoahGarfinkel) October 26, 2019
Okay, so, if we’re being fair, what’s the real problem here? That the song just sounds wrong? Well, yes. If we’re getting into it, the “Alphabet Song” as we commonly think of it, is usually sung to the melody of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” meaning the “LMNOP” is the part in the other song where you sing “how I wonder what you are.”
Both melodies are actually lifted from the French song, “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman.” And, if you look at that song, one of the French lyrics translates to “Oh! Shall I tell you, Mummy/What is tormenting me?”
Right now, what is tormenting everyone is the simple fact that the familiar melody of “The Alphabet Song” is being altered for the sake of “clarity.” The intent here might be good, but the power of a melody is perhaps stronger than the power of learning individual letters. Figuring out L, M, N, O, and P are separate letters is a right of passage for all English-speaking children. Perhaps it’s best to leave this one alone and let this 2010 “remix” die a quiet internet death.