DESCRIPTION: A song listing the letters of the alphabet. It may have a chorus, but the letters are simply listed, with no mnemonics. Some distinguish vowels and consonants.
EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (Randolph)
KEYWORDS: nonballad wordplay
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Randolph 873, "The Alphabet Song" (6 texts, 6 tunes, but the "E" and "F" texts are "The Vowels")
Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, #149, "Counting Rhymes" (8 texts of the "One-ery, Two-ery, Ickery, Ann" type, 4 of "Eenie Meenie Minie Mo (Counting Rhyme)", 1 of "Intery Mintery Cutery Corn", 1 of "Alphabet Songs", 1 of "Monday's Child", and 20 miscellaneous rhymes)
May Kennedy McCord, "The Singing Alphabet" (AFS; on LC12)
cf. "The Logger's Alphabet" (subject) and references there
cf. "The Vowels"
cf. "Mother, May I Go to Swim" (floating lyrics)
NOTES [168 words]: There are probably dozens of alphabet songs, and no attempt is made to distinguish them here. Note that these are not the same as the various interpreted alphabets (Logger's Alphabet, Sailor's Alphabet, Bawdy Alphabet, etc.)
Portions of these songs not containing the alphabet may be interesting; Randolph's "A" text begins with the floating lyric, "Mother, may I go out to swim? Yes, my darling daughter. Hang your clothes on a hickory limb But don't go near the water." - RBW
The Randolph "A" floating verse is the same as one of the Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 360, "Mother may I go and bathe?" texts (earliest date in Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes is 1951 with a reference to "Indiana in the 1890's"). - BS
The Baring-Goulds (for whom this item is #879, p. 327) quote Ditchfield to the effect that this goes back to the sixth century writer Hierocles. The joke may be the same, but I strongly doubt literary dependence. - RBW
The McCord recording is the one Randolph cited. - PJS
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