Ah! vous dirai-je, maman

Or Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?

I was listening to WQXR the other day and was surprised to hear what I thought was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, until it was suddenly transformed into an incredibly beautiful classical transformation of the well-known children’s song.

Out of curiosity, I did some searching and learned that I was listening to Mozart’s “Twelve Variations on ‘Ah! vous dirai-je, maman,'” translated from French into “Ah, will I tell you Mom.”  The melody originated as an anonymous pastoral song in France around 1740, was first published in 1761, and was eventually popularized by Mozart in 1781 or 1782.  It has since been used in “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star“, the “Alphabet Song“, and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”

Here it is:



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