“Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Ah vous dirai-je maman,” “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” “ABC,” Jane Taylor and Mozart

February 24, 2008 at 8:54 am | Posted in kids music, Music for You | 5 Comments

OK, let’s talk, for a moment about Twinkle, Twinkle…every kid loves it (and, because it’s such an easy hit, so does every kids’ singer). It is a song with some serious kid song mojo.

Rumor has it that Mozart wrote the tune, but Mozart himself debunked that myth by titling his piece, “12 Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je mama” – the source was a French folk song – here’s a great page with Mozart’s version – Mozart’s 12 Variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman – it is fittingly manic (as Mozart seems to have been) but I’d like to suggest that it’s not as successful as the eventual variation that Mozart never heard – “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

The text for the now famous version of this song was written in 1806 (15 years after Mozart died) by Jane Taylor in England. We’re not really sure how the melody and the poem got together – but generation upon generation of children are happy that they did. It truly is a melody and poem that were star-crossed – the Romeo and Juliet of the Music world…

Twinkle, Twinkle, little song…

And yes, I am aware of the implications of that metaphor – just like Romeo and Juliet, there were forces trying to pull these two apart. This brilliant (and anonymous) melody has been courted by a whole lot of other lovers – “ABCD” and “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” use it, as well as the the German song “Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann“and the Hungarian Christmas carol “Hull a pelyhes fehér hó“, and the Dutch “Altijd is Kortjakje ziek“. In addition to Mozart, Franz Liszt, wrote “Album Leaf: ‘Ah vous dirai-je, maman’

Suffice to say, this song rocks…I guess it’s time for me to set my star with the greats and record my own variation. Stay tuned, I’m dusting off the 4-track as I finish this…a few days later…finished it – Check out the results – my Twinkle Twinkle Free MP3 here!

To hear the third variation, go here!



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  1. […] writing about this song (here), I set to work recording it – you may have been one of the few lucky ones to have downloaded the […]

  2. merci à toi pour cettte image ! 🙂

  3. […] read about the history of this song go here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Many Faces of […]

  4. […] To read about the history of this song go here. […]

  5. eins nacht musik
    mozart est un genius musicien
    n’est pas?

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