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CapriUni Origins: ABC's: when the 'Twinkle Twinkle' link? (11) RE: Origins: ABC's: when the 'Twinkle Twinkle' link? 24 Jul 12


No, "Sesame Street" did not invent it. Sesame Street first aired in 1969, when I was five, after I'd already started to learn the Alphabet to "Twinkle Twinkle" from my mother (born 1934) and paternal grandmother (born 1884).


I fully concede that it is American in origin, and not known world-wide, since the scansion and rhyme scheme work best with the American pronunciation of the letters. But it is ubiquitous within the States, regardless of regional variations that show up in almost every other children's song across the country (Though, granted, lyrics in the conclusion, to fill out the last 14 notes of the melody do vary).

And it shows up in scattered, random, pockets outside the U.S., and before Sesame Street. In this thread: twinkle, twinkle, MudCatter Wilfried Schaum remembers learning his alphabet to this tune, in Germany, and likewise, Mo the Caller in London in 1940. ... Granted, it might have been imported with the Americans who were in both places during WW2...

But that's precisely why I'm asking -- that it's completely taken for granted here, and completely unknown elsewhere, suggests a more richly textured and bumpy history than we've been told (which is, as far as I can tell, naught).


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