Perhaps every single English speaker has learned the letters of the alphabet from the very same song: the classic “alphabet song” that’s been the standard for generations, taught by classrooms and parents alike.
It’s so memorable and so associated with how we think about the alphabet that many adults are guilty of still using it—who hasn’t sung it in their head while alphabetizing a file cabinet?
Times have changed since we were kids, but it’s safe to assume the alphabet song will stay the same, right?
But an “updated” version of the tune has recently gone viral online… and people are outraged by it.
The clip spread after it was posted by television writer Noah Garfinkel on Twitter, who described it as “life-ruining.”
Listen to it for yourself:
It’s a new version that tries to clarify the separate letters L-M-N-O, which are crunched into one word in the classic version, sounding like “elemeno P.”
For those of us who grew up on the original it’s hard to listen to. It throws everything off and it is infuriating to hear all the subsequent letters displaced. The bigger issue is that it no longer rhymes (all the lines in the original end with an “ee” sound) which defeats the purpose of being a catchy song to learn.
The internet had a lot of strong feelings about the new version:
While the update has recently become the internet’s favorite hate-listen, the truth is a little more complicated.
The song comes from a site called Dream English, who aims to “make educational music that is not only filled with important phrases and grammar but is also enjoyable to listen to.”
Whether or not they fulfilled the “enjoyable” part, this updated ABCs song was made with good intentions… and apparently, has helped kids learn.
Their version has been on YouTube since 2009. They call it the “Easy and Fun Version,” and it has over 12 million views.
“It was originally recorded to teach children learning English as a second or foreign language,” Matt, the site’s creator, explains. “I found it much easier for the children to recognize and memorize all of the letters this way. It has since caught on around the world.”
While the Twitterverse has been unanimously trashing the new version, it’s evidently reached its target audience: people looking for a simpler version for their kids.
“I’ve been looking for a slow version forever, thank you!” one comment reads.
“Thank you! It’s the best version that I found for my students,” another says.
Another person from Vietnam writes: “I’m thirteen years old but i really like your songs and your video. It’s simple and it help me know how to [pronounce] English easily.”
This version really isn’t going to replace the original, and a lot of the outraged comments on it are in jest. But it raises an interesting subject of debate: should we fight to keep things the same, or be open to new ideas and changes that can benefit kids in need of extra help?
Maybe there is room in the world for both “L-M-N-O-P” and “elemenopee.”
What do you think? Share this story with your opinion!