Abecedarius Song


play mp3 sample: Abecedarius
pdf, mp3, rehearsal mp3s – unison with letter chords & SATB bridge – words from the Shaker Manifesto 1882, music by Peter Amidon

Note: $5 is the base price and gives you rights to print 5 copies of the sheetmusic.
Order multiples if you'll be printing more than 5 copies; i.e. order 2 for 10 copies.

      End MA Abecedarius

You get lyrics, one score with the melody, lyrics, letter chords, another score with the SATB harmonies to the bridge of the song, and an mp3 recording of the Amidon Family (Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, their son Sam and his son Arthur, Peter and Mary Alice’s son Stefan with his wife Zara Bode and their children Desmond and Vera) performance of the song that is from this film of the Amidon Family. Here is an extraordinary solo performance of the song by Peter’s two-year-old grandaughter Vera. The Shaker Abecedarius poem was published in the Shaker Manifesto in 1882, and used by Shaker children to learn the alphabet. The “Peaceable Kingdom”, a picture book of the Shaker Abecedarius illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen (out of print but there are second hand copies around) is a great companion to this song. Peter Amidon found the rhyme on the back of one of his t-shirts and was surprised to not find any settings of it, so he composed one.  Peter added the two last lines to finish the song.  Here are the lyrics:

Alligator, beetle, porcupine, whale,
Bobolink, panther, dragonfly, snail,
Crocodile, monkey, buffalo, hare,
Dromedary, leopard, mud turtle, bear,

Elephant, badger, pelican, ox,
Flying fish, reindeer, anaconda, fox,
Guinea pig, dolphin, antelope, goose,
Hummingbird, weasel, pickerel, moose,

Ibex, rhinoceros, owl, kangaroo,
Jackal, opossum, toad, cockatoo,
Kingfisher, peacock, anteater, bat,
Lizard, ichneumon, honeybee, rat,

Mockingbird, camel, grasshopper, mouse,
Nightingale, spider, cuttlefish, grouse,
Ocelot, pheasant, wolverine, auk,
Periwinkle, ermine, katydid, hawk,

Quail, hippopotamus, armadillo, moth,
Rattlesnake, lion, woodpecker, sloth,
Salamander, goldfish, angleworm, dog,
Tiger, flamingo, scorpion, frog,

Unicorn, ostrich, nautilus, mole,
Viper, gorilla, basilisk, sole,
Whipporwill, beaver, centipede, fawn,
Xantho, canary, polliwog, swan,

Yellowhammer, Eagle, hyena, lark,
Zebra, chameleon, butterfly, shark.
I’d tell you more but we’re out of time;
Thanks to the Shakers for this Shaker rhyme.