If you grew up speaking English, chances are pretty high that you learned the alphabet thanks to the song.
In fact, for quite a few of us the letters are so ingrained with the melody that if someone asks you what letter comes after another, you sort of speed-sing your way through it to get there.
No shame. Us too.
Now for as much as the song is practically sacred, if we're being objective we have to admit it has a few flaws.First of all, it's literally the same tune as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
Okay, we'll be honest that's not really an issue unless you're playing Name That Tune, but still... it's a bit odd for two kids songs to be the literal same thing.
Flaw #2 does actually affect learning, though, and it's this flaw that a new version of the song seeks to address.
Be honest with yourself, the "LMNOP" portion of the alphabet song is a bit of a rhythmic dumpster fire.
It's too fast. The letters are jammed together to fit the beat meaning there is little-to-no distinction between the letters.
Young children and non-native English speakers in particular struggle with this portion. You know, the folks who are just learning and so need it the most.
If you've spent any time around the wee ones while they're learning then you've probably heard all kinds of "remix" versions of this section.
Some personal favorites from my time working with kids include:
- "Numa Numa pee"
- "Now I gotta pee"
- "lello lello pee"
- "Lemon lemon pee"
Apparently youngsters don't struggle with the letter P.
Enter the website Dream English. The website's creators are dedicated to teaching English to whoever needs to learn it, and as such, they tweaked the alphabet song to slow down and clarify the infamous "LMNOP" jam fest.
Their version also changes the tune.
Of course, by "changes the tune" we mean they just let the letters fall where they should instead of forcing "LMNOP" to squeeze into the spot that only one letter should be in.
The result comes off less like "H-I-J-K-LMNOP, Q-R-S, T-U-V" and more like "H-I-J-K-L-M-N, O-P-Q-R-S-T-U"
Dream English released their version of the song way back in 2012, but thanks to a recent tweet about it all of internet is just now getting around to listening.
Here you go.
And yes, as much as this version is objectively clearer, easier to understand and allows each letter to stand alone...
...people hate it.
A whole lot.
The overall response can be pretty well summed up as:
If you happen to be one of the few people who doesn't immediately cringe when you hear it, please enjoy this faster updated version, also by Dream English... including the rap/chant breakdown.
Yup, that's a thing.
ABC Song for Children: Sing and Chant Versionwww.youtube.com